Vietnam Travel News
Post: 19-08-2016 08:59:30 AM - Views: 1050
Situated about 9km west of My Tho City, Dong Tam Snake Farm in Binh Duc Commune, Chau Thanh District, Tien Giang Province is the largest centre for snake rearing and snakebite treatment in the Mekong river Delta. It has long been an interesting tourist site for Vietnamese and foreign visitors. It's one of special tourist destination in Vietnam.
Dong Tam Snake Farm is one of the largest snake centers in Vietnam where offers a green environment for the snakes without the impact of human beings. Dong Tam Snake Farm was established on October 27, 1979 in an area full of mines and barbed wire left by the US army.
Dong Tam Snake Farm is one of the country’s largest snake-raising centers where venom is produced for local use and export, with its collection of over 50 species of snake. This 12-ha-farm was formerly run by a retired Vietnamese soldier and expert-at-snake named Tran Van Duoc (Tu Duoc also). The farm is now under the operation of military, with a big collection of not only snakes but also some animals like: crocodiles, bears, turtles, sheep and ostriches. Some of them are mutant – evidences of the spraying of Agent Orange in the Mekong Delta during war time. Dong Tam Snake Farm has long been an interesting tourist site for domestic and foreign visitors.
We followed lieutenant-colonel Vu Ngoc Luong, Deputy Director of Dong Tam Snake Farm when we visited the farm. We were horrified and also excited when we saw the cobras nearly 4 meters in length and 18-20kg in weight lying curled up with an upright flattened head and sparkling eyes. They seemed to be preparing to attack us. The cobras are a venomous elapid species. They are considered the “king” of the snakes and are classified in the “E” grade in Vietnam’s Red Book. They crawl as fast as the clouds floating in the wind so they are called cloud tigers. Each year the cobras deliver only a one baby snake. At present, Dong Tam Snake Farm has about 200 parent cobras and many young snakes from 3 months to a year of age.
The cobras are a precious and venomous species. They are classified in the “T” grade and protected by the State. One gram of their venom can kill 160 people with an average weight of 60kg.
Another elapid species which mainly lives in the mountainous and midland areas can eject their venom 1.4-1.6 meters away, so visitors should stay far away from them. The vipers always lurk in green leaves. They look gentle and slow but when they are in danger, they strike as fast as lightning. The venom of this species will rupture the blood vessels, causing a cardiac collapse that makes the victim die.
Dong Tam Snake Farm is a unique site in the My Tho-Thoi Son Isle-Dong Tam Snake Farm tour. At the farm the tour guide will help visitors learn about each species of snakes, their characteristics and physiology, how to distinguish venomous and non-venomous snakes so that they can survive when bitten by the snakes. Here, visitors seem to be lost in a kingdom of hundreds of species of snakes.
There are many snakes winding themselves around the branches. Visitors also have an opportunity to see many rare and precious species of amphibians, such as pythons, crocodiles and turtles which are in danger of extinction in Vietnam. Dong Tam Snake Farm has a museum with over 40 specimens of snakes which have been listed in Vietnam’s record book. This is the first snake museum in Vietnam.
Besides learning about the snakes, visitors will enjoy the quiet atmosphere of the fruit gardens which are reminiscent of a peaceful countryside. Every year, about 30,000-40,000 domestic and foreign tourists visit this area.
From Ho Chi Minh City, it’s quite convenient to get to the farm by motorbike, as well as car. From Dong Tam Junction, follow the dirt road for 4km, turn right and continue until you reach the snake farm. To get there from My Tho, follow Le Thi Hong Gam street westward along the river for around 7km and turn right just beyond the Binh Duc post office. Then follow the dirt road for 3km.
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