Have You ever felt like rat kebab?
Yeah, me neither. But apparently it’s a considered a delicacy for many years in southern areas of the south Asia – especially among Red River and Mekong River delta people.
The word about rat meat is spreading fast and nowadays you can find it in many Hanoi restaurants as well. I kind of don’t blame them though. Rats are everywhere, easy to hunt – especially in southern Mekong delta, during flood season when rats try to escape from their flooded hearths. Additionaly, they are somewhat popular among tourist, who like always live by the rule – the weirder the better. I don’t get it though – do they do it out of curiosity or just so they can say: “dude, I ate a rat meat in Vietnam!”, once they get back home.
They are usually served roasted and on a stick. Or You can just get a kilogram of dead rats at the market for as little as 4-5$ (100,000 dong).
If, that wasn’t wierd enough for You, how about eating a snake and wash it down with a shot of vodka with this snake’s still beating heart?
Yeah, this is for real! Moreso, planty of tourists visit the northern regions of Vietnam – tiny Hanoi village of Lệ Mật to check out a place where they manufacture (in front of their eyes) the Vietnamese most powerful aphrodisiac – cobra vodka.
A rarity for the curious is the pickled cobra snake liquer, dipped in rice wine. Often, a bottle of that spirit will find contain tangled together representatives of related to cobra species. Most nutritional value has a tincture of cobra heads, and outright delicacy is the one made from its genitals, flooded with alcohol. It’s a very expensive specialty, but in the Vietnamese medicine is second to none.
Tincture of alcohol flooded vipers and venomous reptiles in Vietnam just as popular as vodka in Poland or rum in the Philippines. According to the assurances of the sellers and Asian restaurants owners – snake liquer strengthens the body, increases the potency and male power. It is no wonder that the drink is also called “the Vietnamese Viagra”. Why would anyone take the little, blue pill, if they can drink alcohol with with the blood of venomous reptile instead? Sounds much more legit to adding power to a human snake-alike part of the body (yes, pun intented), doesn’t it?
OK, You must probably wonder what’s the deal with snake’s beating heart vodka shot. Let me enlight you. You arrive to Lệ Mật village, choose one of many restaurants offering snakes in the menu. After you choose the size and type of snake, the living specimen is presented to diners and the heart is removed, dropped instantly into a shot of blood and vodka. After that still-beating amuse-bouche, another sickly shot is created using the snake’s bile. Then the fresh corpse is taken to the kitchen and introduced into ten different dishes, including crisped snake skin and crushed-bone poppadoms. Voila!
I don’t want to creep you out too much in that post, so let me just mention this, for the sake of it – yeah Vietnameese eat dogs meat. Fortunately, the subject has been widley controversal and most of young people feel bad about eating dogs, but still according to the Asia Canine Protection Alliance, more than 5 million dogs are killed for meat every year in the country.
I think we heard enough about eating weird creatures in Vietnam, so let me move on to a different subject – a weird ritual. It turns out, that Vietnamese burn dollars.
Apparently, they figured out a way not only to communicate with the dead, but also to pass them objects, that can be useful in heaven. How can an Earth-Heaven transfer be made? It;s simple – just burn stuff. Of course, one can burn a Gucci bag or a book, but how can we be sure our dead relative will love it? Just like with Christmas gifts, its much easier to send cash and let the person choose what they wanna spend it on, hence dollar burning.
They believe, that this will help their loved ones who passed away, have a better afterlife.
P.s sometimes they send over cigarettes or alcohol, so they can keep up their party spirit.
On more serious note, to to offend any Vietnamese people with my smack writing, you should know, that Vietnamese are very family-orientated, they care about the offspring and their upbringing. They do it, because the retirement pensions do not exist in the country, so its natural, that the young ones will take care of the elderly, also after they die.
- Nguyen is both a first name and a surname which has as many as 70% of Vietnamese.
- The Vietnamese language has six different tones. A change in tone changes the meaning of the word. This makes their language somewhat difficult to learn.
- When they drink tea or water, they always leave a little sip of it on the bottom of the cup.
- Most of the Vietnamese take a nap after lunch. Therefore, at noon, the cities are very quiet and peaceful. The best part about it, there are no traffic jams then.
- An estimated ten million motor bikes travel on the roads of Vietnam every day. Every family has at least two motor bikes.
- I’m not sure, if this can considered to be wierd, but it surely is awesome to me!
Two years ago (2013), in the port city of Da Nang a bridge was built for the 38th anniversary of the taking of the city at the end of Vietnam war. Not just any bridge! A 1,864-foot-long bridge, that looks like a giant dragon, which breath fire from its mouth!!
If you want to read about more weird shit take a look at you will not believe what they eat in The Philippines