Ting Tong and Dong

Thai dog

Dog lovers are advised not to view the following story or at least read it with your fur combed down over your eyes.

They say if you are offered something on a plate you should take it. If the offered hand has a plate of Thit cho nuong or Cho Xao Sa Ot , in my mind you’d have to be ting tong with a wallet full of Dong to take it. The Tay Ho District of Hanoi has many dog meat restaurants and the above mentioned delicacies, grilled dog meat or fried dog in lemon grass and chilli, are two of seven different ways the Vietnamese cook dog meat.

The consumption of dog meat is most popular in the North of Vietnam, and is mainly eaten by men, although some women do like to gnaw on a paw sometimes. Males believe the meat, eaten mostly towards the end of a lunar month, increases the libido and is also linked to astrology and good luck. The head, internal organs and feet, are the parts that most tickle the taste buds of the Vietnamese dog diners.

The dog meat on offer is bought from puppy farms where the pups are reared and sold when they are about one year old. If the dog on your plate has a texture on the tough side, there’s a good chance it came from one of Vietnam’s countryside villages. The canine killing is usually with a single blow, and then the poor deceased pooch is boiled to make it easier to take off the fur.

So where does Thailand come into this story…..

File:Dog meat.jpg

Earlier this week I stumbled upon a very good blog site named Life in rural Thailand and a post called The bucket truck. On many occasions when I have stayed at our village house in Udon Thani I have seen a caged pick up truck, crammed full of dogs drive past our home.

I have always considered myself street wise or perhaps that should read soi wise enough not to ask where the dog show is taking place. The pick up trucks apparently head for the Laos border where the dogs are transported over the Mekong River and from there Vietnam. The bucket truck post covers this in greater depth, with some rather sad photographs.

I certainly won’t be dining in any Hanoi establishment, but if you’re partial to a hot-pot and a side plate of dog biscuits, lets take a look at what else is on offer. Please remember dogs are welcome in these restaurants, but never on leads.

Rua man….. steamed dog in shrimp paste, rice flour and lemon grass

Doi cho….. dog sausage

Gieng Me Mam Tom….. steamed dog in shrimp paste, ginger, spices and rice vinegar

Canh Xao Mang Cho….. bamboo shoots and dog bone marrow

Thit cho hap….. steamed dog meat

Here are some other countries where walking your dog is not advised on a long lead……China, Ghana, Indonesia, Korea and Nigeria.

Here’s a few countries where it’s safe to throw a ball and let your dog run, without fear of his family jewels being turned into meatballs…. United Kingdom, USA, Germany, Mexico and Canada…… I have heard about one province in Thailand where the locals are a little partial to a bit of a dog’s dinner, perhaps you can help me on that one, as I’m not sure which province it is.


Photograph Vietnamese dog meat dish VietGrant


I'm a sixty-year-old Englishman living in the town of Swindon in rural Wiltshire and I have a real deep desire to retire in Thailand one day. If you don't have a dream then you won't have a dream come true.

11 Responses

  1. Piploy was telling me about a dog market somewhere over near the border, on the Thai side… I’m determined to go there one day. Memock’s views on LIRT make a lot of sense – why should Lassie be sacred, while we happily gnaw on Donald Duck or Bugs Bunny? Even Tweety Bird isn’t too small for the French.

    When I say I’ll go there that doesn’t mean I’ll get stuck into Snoopy Fried Rice, but I like confronting some of the cultural taboos we have unconsciously acquired over the years. Kind of like a ‘reboot’.

    The ‘bucket truck’ sounds unpleasant – cramped up together in the tropical heat must be really horrific and the mutts must suffer a lot. But the Thais have a fatalistic approach to suffering all round, including their own. They find our squeamishness very odd, especially given the manner we factory raise the likes of chickens, force feed geese to the point that the livers nearly explode, raise veal calves for a few months then kill them before they’re any size just so their flesh is more tender and tastier, etc etc.

    We live in a world of contradictions…

    Pete, FrogBlogger’s last blog post..French Air Force – like lambs to the slaughter

  2. Frances says:

    Hi Martyn,
    Thanks for dropping by my blog and for your good wishes! Your post really interested me because in France I have to get used to the fact that people eat horses and rabbits and it’s a personal opinion of mine to not wish to eat them – I have three horses and three rabbits and a dog! I rescued one of my horses (not the one I fell off!) from the clutches of the meat man. I think that while you cannot stop people wanting to eat meat – whatever it is – you can attempt to stop the cruelty that these animals suffer en route to slaughter houses and when they are there.

    Those pictures on the post of the dogs crammed into cages are heart breaking. And the same thing happens to horses – they are transported across Europe in overcroweded conditions wtih many dying along the way.

    Anyway, really glad to have found your blog and have added it to my blog roll!

  3. Hoo Don says:

    Pete – You sound in good spirits, more like the Chiang Mai mad blogger we love to read about.

    I really did enjoy reading Memock’s story even if it did make me a touch sad thinking about Sally who died last year. Like you I think the bucket truck is an awful way to transport these dogs to the dinner plate but as you say, are we any better. Can’t say as I’d fancy a trip to a dog market myself, would find it a bit upsetting.

    Expecting a little bit of flak over the post but I have included a warning at the start. I just thought having read LIRT it would be a good story to follow up. Thanks for the positive comment. If the flak does fly could you tell Jules I might have some contract work for him and his fluffy lawnmower. Hope Piploy and baby are having a good time.

    Frances – Thanks for the link and having read some of your blogs, I shall be returning your lovely compliment. The photos of the dogs crammed into the cages upset me as well, but you’ve just got to blog on.

    You mention your three rabbits. Brit in Bangkok is a Thai blog written by an English lady living and working in Bangkok. She’s mad about rabbits, she has 3 or 4 of them in her apartment, perhaps you should check out her site. Thanks and I hope your back feels better soon.

  4. I agree with the taboo thing, after all, why should man’s best friend be off the menu when pigs are just as intelligent? I wonder if you can get a mutt sarnie for breakfast in Vietnam? Brown or red sauce?

    I don’t think I’m hungry enough to eat a dog just yet! In your picture, I wouldn’t say it looks very appetising, but then, when I came to Thailand, alot of the food didn’t appeal to me.

    When in Rome maybe?

    Nah, still can’t imagine myself eating a dog sarnie!

    Ben Shingleton’s last blog post..Anuson Concert – Message from the King, and a close shave with a Thai Elephant

  5. malcolm says:

    I remember growing up and hearing about Aisian countries and their culture, and eating habits and life style. I remember my teacher saying ” the Aisian folks will eat anything that doesn’t eat them first.”
    Having lived in Thailand now for four plus years , I have to say that I agree somewhat with him.Some things like toads , iguanas, scorpions, I thought no way , then I saw my brother – in -law and his friends getting drunk and eating all sorts of these things , I don’t think they would have a problem eating the neighbors dog at all. On some holidays, when I know they are celebrating , I lock Ole Smoky girl up for a few days ( my adopted soi dog) ha ha.
    I don’t like the dog eating and the means of transport, but I live here and some things I just accept, knowing they will never change , After all this is Thailand the LOS and Gentle people. Malcolm

  6. martin in bulgaria says:

    This is always going to stir emotions from cultures where this is not the norm – its all about excepting that this is no different than killing any other animal for its meat and fur. Slaughtering and eating dogs goes in in Bulagria, mainly from the gypsy communities, in fact they are doing a favour as they take stray dogs in the main. There are mainstream Bulgarians who also do the same, but this is generally not broadcast. After all, the poverty here would certainly lend itself to eating rather than entertaining dogs here. They eat donkeys here as well, my own donkey ended up as salami!

    martin in bulgaria’s last blog post..Expatriate Statement – Untrue!

  7. lillian says:

    if you ever want my dog for a BBQ let me know 555

  8. Hoo Don says:

    Ben – You were actually one of the people I was hoping wouldn’t read the story. I visit your blog and I know how much you love are canine friends, but as you said, when in Rome.

    Martin – I didn’t realize that dogs were on the menu as such in Bulgaria, but culling and eating the strays does seem a practical solution if poverty enters the equation. Your donkey must have made a bloody big salami.

    Lillian – I am a dog lover myself and the thought of eating one horrifies me. Never been a BBQ fan, to many drunks amongst to many sober people, not a good mix.

  9. Frances says:

    Hi Martyn,
    Thanks for letting me know about the Brit in Bangkok blog site I’ll check it out. Will keep returning to read your updates – thanks for adding me to your site!

    Frances’s last blog post..Bed bed bed bed bed and daily injections

  10. MeMock says:

    Hi Hoo Don, thanks for the link to my site regarding the bucket truck. I thought it would have stirred a little more emotion then it did but as one of your readers said, when in rome….

    MeMock’s last blog post..Another satellite dish

  11. marcus says:

    Well I am glad my wife won’t get this recipe. Her cooking is bad enough as it is. Very good read and a well organised site . keep it up

    marcus’s last blog post..Hints & Tips

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