Robb and I decided that we wanted to play tourists in Hanoi. So we jumped on the motorbike and headed to Le Mat, a snake village about 7km from the city center. We went during lunch time thinking the place would be busy. We were so wrong…
We drove by one restaurant and a guy waves us down. Since he was the only one waving, we decided “why not?!”
The guy pulled out a blue mesh bag fulled with snakes. He grabbed out and handed it to Robb. I had nothing to do with it. (Someone needed to take the pictures!)
A little boy came out of nowhere and gravitated to the snake. He held the snake as the adult man began cutting the snake. The boy was playing with the shedding skin of the snake while trying to drain the blood.
It was quite interesting to see it all done. It probably wasn’t very humane how the snake was killed. The man basically stepped on the snake’s head. But in Vietnam, rules don’t really seem to matter.
Before our six course meal, we were offered the snake’s beating heart along with a shot of blood and bile. I made Robb eat the heart, which kept beating for more than 30 minutes! The shots we did together. All I tasted was alcohol.
Snake really has not distinguishing taste. The generic answer is that it tasted like chicken. The dishes were ok, but nothing to write home about. I guess my favorite dish was the fried snake skin. Can’t beat fried!
Before leaving, we were introduced to the great-grandmother of the family. She’s 88 years old and drinks snake wine every day. She loved waving the knife around for the picture. Overall, we’re glad we did it, but we wouldn’t be heading back there any time soon. Our meal costed us VND700,000 ($30 USD).