Monday, October 23, 2006


7 km North East of Hanoi lies the ancient village of Le Mat. The locals have been catching and breeding snakes, making snake wines and cooking tasty snake dishes for some 900 years.

Whilst the many restaurants have mouthwatering menus (including snake spring rolls, ground snake bones, snake soup, snake skin crisps) a trip to the village is for the whole experience, not just the food. After selecting a snake, it is killed at the table and its blood and bile are mixed with snake penis wine for a powerful appetizer. The heart is then removed and for one lucky diner they have the honour of swallowing it while it is still beating.