Snakes are considered a delicacy at wildlife restaurants in Vietnam, where they are served in special dishes or in “snake wine”. Large numbers of snakes are also smuggled from Vietnam across the border to be consumed in China.
Wild pythons are hunted for their skins, used to make shoes, belts, wallets, and other expensive products, many of which are exported from Vietnam. Python farms have been established to help meet commercial demand, but farmers continue to supplement their captive stock with animals illegally obtained from the wild.
Cobra wine is popular in Vietnam. There are four species of cobras native to Vietnam. The king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) is the largest cobra species, growing up to four meters in length.
Patrons at a restaurant in Dong Thap province enjoy a snake dish at a wildlife restaurant.
Dozens of water snakes await purchase in a southern market.
Jars and jars of snake wine for sale in Hanoi’s famous “Le Mat” snake village.
A bag of banded kraits (Bungarus fasciatus) seized by authorities from smugglers in Ninh Binh province.
Dried snake meat for sale in a market.
Snake pit: patrons can choose the sea snake they wish to eat from a basin at a popular seafood restaurant along the coast in Quang Binh province.
A closer look at a snake specialty dish served at a wildlife restaurant.