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  1. #1
    Hifaluten Member
    Wayne Kerr's Avatar
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    Wayne Kerr Goes Lizard Farming in Vietnam

    A year or two back a mate invited me to Vietnam to check out some lizard farms he was setting up. Having never been to a lizard farm I thought it sounded a decent lark, so last month I booked a flight to take old mate up on his offer of a few days of debauchery Vietnam style.



    One thing I didn’t anticipate was the bloody PAD overrunning Suvarnaphumi Airport, so rather than a pleasant couple of hour’s air travel via Saigon, I found myself on an overland mission to Siem Reap with the hope of getting a flight to somewhere in Vietnam. Two days and a filthy case of food poisoning later I arrived at a not so sunny Nha Trang city for a few days of drinking and eating

  2. #2
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    Wayne Kerr's Avatar
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    Vietnam via Cambodia

    The closure of Bangkok Airports really f’d things up but not being one to let such things stand in the way of a good time I organised a minivan to Siem Reap – one of the worst travel decisions I’d made in my life. Things were rosy until I hit the border when the roads turned into a complete nightmare. The border checkpoint was full of tourists escaping Thailand and the whole trip took about 14 hrs, 8 of which had me stuffed in a 20 year old mini van bouncing over dirt tracks. Siem Reap is still the worst place on the planet for food and two days of chucking up my nuts and shitting through the eye of a needle was my penalty for an overpriced dinner for two at what seemed a popular joint on pub street.


    ^ I marked out this rough mud map on a beer coaster the night before … looked good at the time


    ^ Unfortunately the Cambodian roads haven’t improved much … this is Poipet at the border and it didn’t get much better for 8 hrs




    ^ After about 30 phone calls I scraped onto a Vietnam Air flight to Saigon and even managed a quick run out to Angkor Wat for a few happy snaps. I'm not sure of the policy about shitting on temple grounds but I am not particularly proud to report that I involuntarily did my bit to help fertilize a few of the wooded areas about the place. Most of my photos are blurred as I was shaking like a madman most of the time and the two above are about the best from 50 odd shots .

    [MORE TO COME AFTER DINNER]

  3. #3
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    Bexar County Stud's Avatar
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    Looks great, but lizard farming? That sounds interesting

  4. #4
    punk douche bag
    ChiangMai noon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bexar County Stud
    but lizard farming?
    sounds easy.

    is it profitable?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Kerr
    A year or two back a mate invited me to Vietnam to check out some lizard farms he was setting up.
    Isn't it great that Vietnam is making this forward thinking move into preservation of their reptile species. Thank Wayne for taking an interest and bringing it to our attention.

  6. #6
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    Oh, and very artistic photos so far. Keep them coming.

  7. #7
    The Dentist English Noodles's Avatar
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    Now this is an interesting thread.

  8. #8
    I am in Jail

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    Great thread coming, I've been this route before, cheers Waynekerr. Incredibly I was so drunk for the overland to Siem Reap I slept for two hours in the share taxi - hope it's a record

  9. #9
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    Yes, lets see some of the debaucery too.

    Cheers.

  10. #10
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    I gotta say Wayne, I'm intrigued as to why he would farm Lizards, I can't see McLizard or KFL(izzrd) having legs to be honest.

  11. #11
    punk douche bag
    ChiangMai noon's Avatar
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    ^
    people keep them as pets don't they?

  12. #12
    Have you got any cheese Thetyim's Avatar
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  13. #13
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    I am looking forward to knowing what Nah Trang is like. I have heard that there is a plateau very close by with a lot of agarwood. Did you see any wayne?

  14. #14
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    Good link Tetters...I have great respect for people who make something for themselves as this guy has done...

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Kerr
    [MORE TO COME AFTER DINNER]
    come on Wayne i'm intrigued!

  16. #16
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    Knowing how Wayne usually eats like King I am also looking forward to the photo thread on tonights dinner.

  17. #17
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    The Lizard Farms - Nha Trang, Vietnam

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Kerr
    [MORE TO COME AFTER DINNER]
    That took a little longer than I thought ... catching up with old mates and all that

    Anyway, back to the road ...

    The Lizard Farms - Nha Trang, Vietnam

    My mate runs a small seafood company in southern Vietnam and his fishermen collect lobsters and abalone from the nearshore reefs. The idea for the lizard farms came about when his staff complained they weren’t making enough money, so he built each of them a small plot to farm lizards for sale to a few restaurants in Saigon, Hanoi and Guangzhou. It has been so successful the fishermen can’t be arsed to go fishing anymore and everyone is making a decent little profit along the way.

    The critters breed like rabbits, have next to no smell or disease, can be stocked at very high densities (about 1000 in a small 20 sq.m pen), and they fetch about US$18 a kilo at the farm gate. They grow to the size shown in the pics in about 3 months and the commune I visited had 23 pens, which on average produced 20,000 lizards per quarter (or about $30,000 if they sell them at a size of 12 lizards to the kilo). Not a bad little earner for all concerned especially considering they feed them vegetable scraps and the sand for their burrows is collected from the floodplain nearby.


    ^ A typical lizard pen … the sand is about 1 metre deep which provides plenty of room for the lizards to burrow into


    ^ The farmer and his boy get in and chase the things around all day


    ^ Not my idea of good working conditions but I guess it aint any harder than walking around on reef flats all day looking for abalone


    ^ The farmer was well proud of his babies


    ^ They bung them in small cages like this for live transport to the restaurants … they are simply grilled whole on a barbecue and taste like a cross between chicken and fish

  18. #18
    Hifaluten Member
    Wayne Kerr's Avatar
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    Vietnamese Feast

    Vietnamese Feast

    After poking around the farm a bit the fishermen cum lizard farmers took me down to their local fishing place for a good drink and feast. It was pissing down rain most of the time but the scenery on the way made up for it.


    ^ Reminded me a lot of Thailand up north


    ^ A fair sign there would be some decent seafood for lunch


    ^ The view from the small fisherman’s shack we went to eat at … the hard rock looking stuff is 4000 year old coral reef … every thing after that is reef flat which extends out onto about 1000 hectares of fringing reef … if the weather wasn’t so crap I’d have been out for a swim in a flash


    ^ Fortunately the main menu item was nice and cold

  19. #19
    Hifaluten Member
    Wayne Kerr's Avatar
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    Menu Item 1 - Vietnamese Mangrove Worms

    Menu Item 1 - Vietnamese Mangrove Worms

    The chaps there know my tastes when it comes to fresh local seafood and first up was a spot of mangrove worm barbecued gently with a splash of fresh chilli and lime. These are the absolute delish and a must try if you ever get a chance.


    ^ Mangrove worm, chilli and lime ... the absolute delish


    ^ Onto to the barbecue


    ^ About 1 beer later and they are done


    ^ A grown man should get through about 30 of these before the second course

  20. #20
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    Vietnam seizes a ton of monitor lizards

    Science News


    May 13, 2008, 12:18 GMT



    Hanoi - Police in Vietnam have seized more than a ton of live wild monitor lizards being smuggled from central Vietnam to the country's northern provinces, where they might have been destined for China, officials said Tuesday.
    The lizards were found Sunday packed in wooden boxes on a truck heading north from Quang Tri province, 580 kilometers south of Hanoi, said Tran Xuan Vinh, head of the province's Economic Police Department.
    'We seized 1,012 kilograms of monitor lizards and arrested the driver of the truck immediately,' Vinh said.
    The driver of the truck, Vu Van Duong, 36, confessed to the police that he was hired to transport the animals to the north, the police official said.
    'We have launched an investigation into the case to find the leaders of the ring,' Vinh said. 'The reptiles were probably destined for restaurants in either Hanoi or China.'
    The police have transferred the lizards to the province's Forest Management Department, which will release them into the wild.
    Smuggling wild animals is rampant in Vietnam, where eating wild animals is an elite habit of the rich. Vietnam seized more than 66 tons of smuggled wild animals last year.
    According to Vietnamese law, smuggling wild animals is subject to a prison term of up to seven years and a cash fine of 20 million dong (1,250 dollars).


    There is certainly a market for those things Wayne. Do you reckon they would be keen on Goanna?

  21. #21
    Hifaluten Member
    Wayne Kerr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Longprong
    here is certainly a market for those things Wayne. Do you reckon they would be keen on Goanna?
    Shit yeah mate, they eat monitor lizards like they're going out of fashion. Plenty in your part of the world you could knock off from the national park .

  22. #22
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    Wayne Kerr's Avatar
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    Menu Item 2 – Vietnamese Sea Snails

    Menu Item 2 – Vietnamese Sea Snails

    Next up was a couple of dozen sea snails. These aren’t that easy to find in Thailand, but are plentiful in southern Vietnam. They are a strombus snail and for those interested the Thais call them “Hoi Sharkteen”, from memory they are called “Gong Gong” in Bahasa. Absolute delicacy these things are and I could eat them all day given half a chance. Things got a bit pissy by the third course, but from memory it was fresh blue swimmer crab and squid.


    ^ Gently steamed sea snail with fresh lemon grass and chilli


    ^ Things tend to get a bit messy with these things

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by MeMock
    I have heard that there is a plateau very close by with a lot of agarwood. Did you see any wayne?
    Funny you should mention that mate. One night I was treated to this lovely sunset behind the hotel and one of my mates took me up onto the roof to check it out over the mountains out the back. He is some environmentalist and told me that the mountains below contain all sorts of rare trees, one being the agar tree. Most of it is primary forest so I reckon you’d find all sorts of things in the hills up behind Nha Trang.


    ^ Nha Trang sunset


    ^ Agar wood filled mountains for Mr. Mock

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by peterpan
    Yes, lets see some of the debaucery too.
    OK … no worries




    ^ Nha Trang has its fair share of night spots

  25. #25
    Thailand Expat Bobcock's Avatar
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    I'm interested in the angkor Wat pics. I was there just a short time ago and the place had a large amount of scaffolding all over it. Also the sky is a different colour to the reflection.

    Great thread though.

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