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Favored by the Mother Nature as an unbelievably beautiful coastal province, Halong is famous for its variety of fresh and delicious seafood specialties such as crabs, prawns, and snails (ốc).
Visiting any random snail restaurant in Halong, gourmets might be surprised with a very long list of different exotic snails there. Each species possesses distinctive appearance and a very distinctive flavor. Coming to Halong Bay without trying these dishes is just a big waste.
With the diversity of Halong’s snail, remembering all the names takes forever, not to mention their distinguish appearances, let’s only list some popular dishes such as ốc hương, ốc đĩa, ốc gai to, ốc vặn, ốc mút, and ốc len. All you can do is being an adventurous traveler, trying a random dish that catches your eyes or going with a local, who can show you the difference among the ốc. Although Halong chefs have a similar recipe to mix dipping sauce for almost every snail dishes, including fish sauce, rice vinegar, chili, sugar and ginger, you may still feel clear differences if you taste different dishes.
Eating snails in Halong, gourmets may have to use a local tool, a very strange long pin, to hook the snail out from its shell. It is said that Halong snails always lie deep inside its shells, unlike snails living in other provinces in the Northern Vietnam. Using this tool properly will help you conquer any Halong snails. However, you can eat some species of snail without using any tool, just by sucking or bumping the snail onto your dish.