Located nearly 7km from Northeast of Hanoi City, the ancient Le Mat snake village (common name as Snake village), is famous for its tradition of catching snakes and making delicious culinary dishes from them. Not only the local people but also foreign tourists like to come here at least one time in their journey. After enjoying a delicious meal (often 8 – 12 dishes made from snake) in Le Mat village, you will recognize that you hardly ever find such an “odd” snake village nowhere.
Refer to Le Mat, you may be astonished at its legendary foundation. The story begun in Ly Thai Tong dynasty (1208-1054), when a young man named Hoang in Le Mat village bravely fought against the sea monster to save the King’s daughter. To express his deep gratitude to the young man, the King gave him many precious properties and high-ranking title in the Royal but he refused all of them except for only one wish of carrying all of his Le Mat villagers and 12 others neighboring villages to go to the western part of Thang Long Citadel for a new life. Nowadays, from 20-24th day of 3rd lunar month every year, the 13 villages celebrate a joint festival in commemorating their ancestor.
In 1960s, Le Mat village was the main source of supplying snakes for restaurants and pharmaceutical companies. However, the snake breeding there seemed to be vanished and today, it has been restored and developed more than ever thanks to the Convention on wild animal protection applied in 1993 and the status of “Craft village” ratified in 2007 by Vietnamese Government. Since then, the “Traditional handicraft Le Mat village”, has turned into a new chapter in its history and attracting many tourists not only in Vietnam but also all over the world.
The snake catching job in Le Mat village, according to elders here, is a secret handed down from father to son. Together with the snake catching job, there is the snake-raising job and few families in the village make patent medicines for injury bitten by venomous snake. The snake catching job in Le Mat is famous all over regions because Le Mat people usually go to catch snakes everywhere but they don’t hand down the vocation outside. May be, Le Mat is the place where the number of people who work at catching snake are more crowded than anyplace in all over the North delta.
Every day, the Le Mat snake village attracts about 1,000 domestic and foreign tourists coming here for sight-seeing as well as eating snake cuisines. There are about 100 households in Le Mat village breeding snakes for meat. You may be dazzled at so many delicious and tasty dishes here, from traditional dishes to new dishes, even “horror” dishes, etc.
After a day in Le Mat village, many foreign tourists happily leave their advice on new travelers that: “It might be astonishing at first but you will have a fantastic adventure here if you are not “shocked” at snake”. Join us to discover Le Mat snake village.