Thuoc Lao is strong pipe tobacco smoked after a meal on a full stomach to “aid in digestion” and one of the old customs in Vietnam. Nowadays, smoking Thuoc Lao is retained popularly in the Northern villages mainly by the old male farmers as well as in some ethnic minority groups. This high-nicotine tobacco was used to invite a guest as same as a quid of betel or a cup of green tea.
After planting and harvesting, the pipe tobacco is hand-made by washing its leaves, slicing and chopping up into very small parts then drying to finish. The unique difference of smoking thuoc lao is in the method of consumption with a water pipe. There are three kinds of pipe: dieu cay (a bamboo pipe), dieu bat (a ceramic hookah), and dieu ong.
Smoking Thuoc Lao By Pipe (Bamboo Pipe)
Dieu cay is the most popular and simple one. It is made of a 50 centimeters-length bamboo cylinder with a small hole of the bowl on it. A head is closed to contain a little water, the rest one is opened to smoke. People put tobacco into the bowl, burn, take a breath, and release the smoke. The sound of the dieu cay inspires smokers. Smoking Thuoc lao by dieu cay is very convenient, tasty, resounding, and cheaper so almost common workers and farmers used it in their daily life.
Smoking Thuoc Lao By Dieu Bat (Ceramic Hookah)
Dieu bat includes a pipe bowl, usually made of ceramic as a water catchment, and a small straight stem made of around 50-centimeter bamboo tube. People put tobacco in a hole above the bowl, light the spill, inhale, feel and release the smoke. The bowl of dieu bat is often decorated with a lot of sophisticated and ingenious patterns so it is popular in royal and Mandarin classes. Because of the inconvenience to bring out, dieu bat is mainly used at home and the old nobles need their servants to lift the dieu and light the stem. It is so great to have a scented teapot after smoking.
Smoking Thuoc Lao By Dieu Ong
Dieu ong is a 30 centimeters tube made of precious wood, animal bones, or of ivory. It has a silver hoop, handles, and rim. With dedicatedly carved patterns, it is popular in the rich family. Servants bring the dieu ong along with their boss every time.
Now, Thuoc lao trees are famed in Quang Xuong, Thanh Hoa province, and Tien Lang, Hai Phong city. It can be bought in all grocery stores of streets in Vietnam. A small bag of tobacco for 5 to 8 hits is bought approximately VND 5.000 (about 22 US cents), a larger one of VND 10.000 (about 45 US cents). Smoking Thuoc Lao is a unique feature of custom in a Vietnamese family’s daily life.
How to Get High by Vietnamese Tobacco – Thuoc Lao
Smoking Thuoc Lao is one of the unique experiences brought by Vietnam local tour agency in many of our tour packages. Many tourists traveling to Hanoi capital have tried Thuoc Lao but you have been forewarned. Thuoc Lao will not cause detrimental effects to you or your body but the feeling can be quite intense. If you want to try smoking Vietnamese tobacco, don’t worry about harmful effects, and here’s how.
Sitting on little plastic stools you pack up the bowl fully with a ball of tobacco. Then you pull lightly and kill the entire bowl in one drag. Next, you pause, tilt the bowl sideways and puff into the bong to blow out the ash. Finally, you get ready and clear the bong as hard as you can.