Vietnam may be famous for its stunning natural landscapes, colonial architectures, and beautiful temples, but the country also offers lots of unique experiences that you cannot find elsewhere in the world. Despite the many years of colonization, there are still certain aspects of Vietnam that remain authentic and something that’s totally mind-blowing! If you’re up for some exciting adventure, here are some of the craziest and most unique experiences to try in Vietnam.
1. Drink a Snake Wine
Snake wine is exactly what it sounds like – a wine with a snake! This exotic drink is prepared by infusing a venomous snake in a jar of rice wine. You’ll find this in the village of Le Mat in Hanoi, also known as the Snake Village.
Once you arrive at the village, you’ll find many shops selling different kinds of snake wines. There are also restaurants that serve dishes made out of snakes. When visiting the village, you’ll have the opportunity to have a close-up view of where the snakes are kept and how they are made into wine. If you’re brave enough, you can sample a glass of snake wine along with a meal of different snake delicacies!
2. Witness an Elephant Race
In the Dak Lak province of Vietnam, there’s an annual Elephant Race that takes place every March. The race is part of the celebration of Buon Don Ethnic Cultural Festival. Aside from the elephant race, there’s also a wide range of cultural shows such as a gong performance and buffalo sacrifice ceremony.
The Elephant Race is usually held in the forest beside the Sevepok River. In preparation of the race, locals would take their elephants to places where they can eat enough food that includes papayas, bananas, sugar canes, and other crops. On the day of the race, the elephants will be gathered in the racetrack, which usually consists of a large plain ground, enough to accommodate the elephants that will be taking part in the race. Upon the signal of a musical instrument, the mahouts will command their elephants to run and the first to reach the finish line will be declared the winner.
3. Crawl Through a Tunnel
The Chu Chi Tunnels in Ho Chi Minh is one of the most famous attractions in Vietnam. Visiting the tunnels, you’ll have the opportunity to crawl into a tiny hole that takes you to the underground network of tunnels, which serve as the hiding area of Vietnamese soldiers during the war.
The Chu Chi tunnel is 120 km long and most of it is fitted with living areas, storage facilities, kitchen, hospitals, and command centers. Visitors can only explore a small portion of the tunnels, but it’s such a unique experience that you’ll surely not forget. Aside from exploring the tunnels, you also have the opportunity to fire a gun. If you’re a history buff, visiting the tunnel is a must. It’s a great opportunity to learn about the country’s history and get a sense of what it was like during the war in the 60s and the 70s.
4. Taste a Coffee Made with Egg
Egg coffee is one of Vietnam’s specialties and sampling it is a truly unique experience. Unlike the usual coffee, it’s made of whipped egg yolks, condensed milk, sugar, and a black coffee. It may sound strange, but it’s actually delicious!
The best place to sample the egg coffee is in the Giang Cafe in Hanoi. This coffee shop is said to be the home of the first egg coffee, which was invented during the period when dairy is a scarcity in the country. It’s prepared by beating the condensed milk and egg yolks together before pouring into the black coffee. If you prefer it to be sweet, you can request for sugar to be added.
5. Visit the Train Street
Visiting Hanoi’s train street is another unique experience that you should not miss during your trip to Vietnam. This is basically a residential area in Hanoi with narrow streets and where trains would pass by at least twice in a day!
Hanging around the train street will sure to get your heart racing. The tracks are only inches away from the houses and shops. Once the train approaches, you’ll find locals ushering their kids and pets indoors and removing their stuff from the street. It’s such a joy to watch because there are not many places in the world where the train is only mere inches away from the buildings!
So these are some of the most unique experiences to try in Vietnam. While visiting the usual tourist spots in the country is a fun experience, trying these unique experiences will make your trip even more memorable and worthwhile. If you’re heading to Vietnam soon and need a visa to enter the country, you can apply for your visa in advance at vietnamvisa.cheap.