Smoking Viet's tobaco or Thuoc lao

 Being different from cigarette, Vietnam's tobacco or Thuoc Lao has been become common drink for a long time. Thuoc Lao is widely planted in lowland and midland in Northern Vietnam. The farmers pick the leaves then slice into thin fibers, dry under the sun, then preserve in dry and cool place. 

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Traditionally Vietnam's men like to smoke Thuoc Lao as the start of telling a story when they meet each other and at joyful time. It is still uncertain why we call the tobacco Thuoc Lao. It may comes from Laos or planted first by a man named Lao few hundred years ago.

Normally, for a smoking man, he smokes 3 - 5 times a day. He smokes right after he wakes up in the morning, after meals, or chatting time. 

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He use a small piece of Thuoc Lao, places on smoking pipe made of bamboo or ceramic smoking bow. Inside the pipe or smoking bow there must be certain amount of water that help soften strong tobacco. Because of the inside water it makes funny bubbling sound when he smokes.

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Vietnamese women chew betel nuts and plant they also add a small piece of Thuoc Lao and lime paste. Nowadays smoking is not encouraged in Vietnam but traveling to countryside, remote villages, it is common to see bamboo smoking pipe in each family.   


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