What to see
Located in Viet Hung ward, Long Bien district, Hanoi, the village nowadays is a place for adventurous tourists who want to taste the lavish feast from snake meat.
Once upon a time in the early days of Hanoi as the capita, legends have it that a princess while taking a boat cruise in the river was attacked by a giant snake. A young peasant living by the river slain the giant snake to rescue the princess. The King, as a result, granted him a great fortune and a tiny land which is now the Le Mat village. The village was named after the name of the peasant. Later, the peasant was glorified into the village god. Every year from then, the villagers celebrate a festival in the third month of Lunar Calendar to remember their forefather.
The highlight of the festival is a snake dance which always gathers a big crowd. There are also competitions on snake beauty, snake feeding, snake caring and all. It is true that this the snake spot of the whole country.The villagers are proud of their trade in snake especially the two clans- Tran and Nguyen. The famous elder at the Nguyen clan have had in his sleeves more than half a decade hunting and nurturing snakes. Snakes are hunted then domesticated to become a domestic animal just like chicken and pig.
Most of the tourists come down here for a taste of snake meat. It is hard to imagine that they can compose of that many dishes from snake meat only. To name but a few: stir-fried snake, barbecue snake, deep-fried snakeskin, stir-fried gizzards, sticky rice with snake meat, spring roll, ginger soup, snake egg chowder and etc. Besides the cuisine application, snake components play an important role in the herbal tradition. Snake fat is an effective ointment for bruises. The snake gall is a cold reliever. The snake poison can be mixed up to be potent in treatment against asthma and maternal bleeding. The snake wine is very much popular among Vietnamese gentlemen. As they believe it has the effect of strengthening their bones and joints。
If you are of the bold nature, it is pretty good challenge to come down to Le Mat village for a “fresh meal” at scene. A villager would prep snakes in front of your eyes. Snake blood will be mixed with rice liquor and then cheer. Bloody Mary would be ashamed to this drink.