a snake in the glass

china eatingSitting on the Great Wall of China sipping Great Wall wine seems a very suitable celebration, even though China is not known for the quality of its western-style wines.  More famous are the Chinese-style wines, such as the strong Mao Tai, and there is also a local rice wine renowned for having a bite to it, as Express reader Jennifer Rodger discovered…

“I am a most adventurous traveller and am willing to try almost anything, so when the opportunity arose to try Snake Wine on a recent trip to China it was too hard to refuse.

It is a combination of alcohol and fermented snakes that have been slit and gutted and left to ferment in the alcohol for a ‘period of time’. There is an ancient Chinese belief that to drink this wine will give you good energy and it will promote wellness and good strength.

It was around lunchtime and the meal, as always, was good. A gentleman with a rather large glass bottle, topped with a dubious-looking cork, was wandering between tables asking if you want to drink? Seeing the snakes all coiled up inside the bottle made my tummy turn (majorly afraid of snakes), but the opportunity to brag that I had drank it, and have the photos to prove it, was too overwhelming.

We each bought half glasses, then took the plunge and drank straight down before we could really think about what it actually was. We DIDN’T get that feeling of increased strength, but we DID stay well and went on to enjoy one of my most memorable trips through China!”

Tour China with Intrepid on trips like these great small group adventures:
Taste of China Northbound – 9 days
Wild China Northbound – 15 days

* photo by Julia Palewov – Intrepid Photography Competition

About the author

Sue Elliot - Like many of us, Sue contracted a serious travel bug at an early age. She's visited over 90 countries in search of a cure, but her wanderlust just seems to get worse. Thankfully at Intrepid Travel she's amongst people who understand the affliction and since 1998 Sue has enjoyed being our blog and newsletter editor. Here you'll find helpful travel advice and inspiring tales from Sue and other Intrepid travellers.

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I look forward to it – I am going to China in August of this year.

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