Drink

Would you like some venomous snake wine?Quoc Trieu Restaurant, Vietnam

Step 1) Find a glass bottle.
Step 2) Stick a whole venomous snake in it, like say, a cobra.
Step 3) Leave it to ferment so the venom seeps into the alcohol.
Step 4) Try and get Westerners to drink it by telling them it cures everything from poor eyesight to hair loss.

If you’re feeling particularly brave, drunk or stupid, you might also have a go at downing a shot of blood from the still-beating heart of a snake. It, like so many things in Asia, is said to increase male virility.

Head to the reputable snake meat and liquor restaurant, Quoc Trieu, in the famed 'snake village' of Le Mat near Hanoi. There you will find all manner of snake dishes and, if you request, they can even source you a live cobra.


get there

Take a taxi from central Hanoi to Le Mat. It’s about a half hour drive and the restaurant can be difficult to find on your own, but the taxi driver should know where Quoc Trieu is.

Available nearly everywhere in Vietnam, snake wine is often made by villagers filling up leftover brandy or Perrier bottles, with prices varying significantly. A meal at Quoc Trieu costs US$30-50.

Drinking this potentially sickening concoction is not for the faint of heart, so many people drink drops instead of a whole shot.

Quoc Trieu Restaurant
Le Mat Village
+84 38272988
Open: 10am–10pm

This drink contains snake venom, which becomes inert in alcohol. However, homemade brews may also contain snake parasites.

Animal lovers beware – live snakes may have been killed just to make this drink.

Tags: drink, unusual experience, vietnam

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