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When traveling you always want to experience the culinary delights that you never see at home. Eating different and unusual food is a big part of what makes your holiday memorable. When visiting Ho Chi Min City (Formerly Saigon) one finding a snake meat restaurant will be a very memorable experience - albeit not a very luxurious one.

You don't really want to try and go alone when you want to try slithering delicacies in Vietnam.  Best to ask at your local hotel where to find a snake meat restaurant. There will almost assuredly be a person there more than willing to be your guide for free (A snake meat meal is pretty pricey - will set you back at least $30 or $40 which is a lot for a meal in Vietnam and the restaurants pay guides hefty commissions).

You will take a Taxi to the snake alley and as you get out you will be bombarded with dozens and dozens of touts wanting to bring you to their snake restaurant (This is the real reason you bring a guide - just to keep the touts away from you). The alley has a dozen or so large houses rather than usual restaurants and inside will be one or more snake cages filled with slithering morsels. Choices will range from common non venomous snakes sold cheaply to giant King Cobras which can spit poison and will cost you something in the $600 range.

After picking out your meal the snake handler jumps in the snake cage and retrieves your snake. Normal Cobras are a popular item with tourists as they are only slightly more pricey than non venomous snakes and much cooler to talk about later. This Cobra pictured here - lets call him Ralph, will soon be turned into fillets and sausages.

Ralph is not happy

The handler will play with the snake for tourist satisfaction and then a quick whack kills the creature instantly.

Snake blood is supposed to be healthy with many health benefits as well as a natural form of Viagra. Its an acquired taste with a sticky property to it and might make you vomit. Its pretty foul tasting. Once you learn to like it though supposedly its good tasting and you will see people gladly chugging it like any other drink. A vein is cut and the blood is poured into a glass where you will be offered it to drink (You need to have a beer to help you drink this).

A few minutes later and your very delicious snake meal is waiting. If the glass of blood has ruined your appetite you will quickly get it back after seeing the delicious meal waiting for you.

Here is what Ralph soon looked like. You will find that snakes don't have a lot of meat. 

So what's it taste like? Well, there is no fat and it is extremely lean and tender (And probably very healthy? Otherwise, TASTES LIKE CHICKEN. Only better. After trying snake, you will surely be back for more.


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