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ImageHad toured Vietnam and visited the city’s of Hanoi, Hoi An, Mui Ne and Ho Chi Minh  during December-2013.Also did  some  local “One Day Package ”  sightseeing tours.Hanoi is famous World-wide for its Le Mat snake village that has restaurants serving live snakes to tourists at approx 50 $ U.S / per cobra.This  consumption of a live snake  is one of the popular tourist attractions in Hanoi.The snake restaurant owners claim that the cobra’s of Le Mat village are bred in captivity akin to chickens while a few are caught from the surrounding forests. How much of this version is true and how much false ? ImageCan cobra’s be bred in “snake Farms” akin to poultry or rabbits ?I personally didn’t visit Le Mat village as  seeing snakes being killed and skinned alive was not my cup of  a “Sexual Aphrodisiac”. In India i had personally visited  the “Madras Crocodile Bank” in Chennai  during the 1990’s and had watched in bewilderment the “MILKING” of “SNAKE VENOM”. The milked snakes were then put back into clay pots and later released in the forests by the Irula tribesmen, a tribe famous for snake-catching.Came across “SNAKE WINE” sold in a liquor shop during a stop-over at a mall while undergoing the “Ha Long Bay Package tour”.Was surprised to see a few bottles of liquor containing a hooded cobra with a scorpion in its mouth sold in the malls wine department.At 20 U.S $’s per bottle this liquor was very cheap for Western tourists, besides, its potency advertisement was a  added bonus for purchasing the bottle.Later during my tour visited the coastal fishing village and sea-side resort of Mui Ne, a Russian tourist base in Vietnam. ImageA sea-food restaurant had snake meat on its menu and was also shown a pair of live cobra’s kept in  a bag, meant to be killed and its blood and heart consumed raw, a aphrodisiac.Later on visiting Ho Chi Minh city had been on a day’s packaged tour by bus  to the “Mekong Delta” and had a bus-stopover at a mall. In the “Wine Section” came across “Cobra Wine” and was even given a teaspoon of the drink for tasting, a “Cobra wine-taster”. The drink was harsh and strong, akin to “Bombay hooch”.  What amazed me was the legality of the “Cobra Wine” and its cheap price, affordable to the average tourist and hence a common drink.The spurious advertisement of sexual prowess and sexual enhancement for aged men  was a definite incentive for purchasing “COBRA WINE”.How many decades would it take for the cobra to become extinct in the jungles and forests of Vietnam ?

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