"Southeast Asia one click away"


Oh Dear! Dog or Deer?

Oh Dear! Dog or Deer?

In the coffee shop where I got my morning caffeine fix, I met a Vietnamese man with a wooden left foot. He had just returned from a hunting trip and, when he caught me staring at his foot, invited me for a hunter’s luncheon at the restaurant he’d improvised behind the coffee shop.
At lunch time, I went to his place where he proudly presented a freshly-made ragoût, “Barking deer ragoût,” he said, “very delicious.” I wasn’t sure what barking deer was, but it definitely looked and smelled delicious; sautéed pieces of meat, bright yellow potatoes and sliced carrots, all floating in a velvety brown sauce sprinkled with fresh coriander.
As we ate, the atmosphere was friendly and the hunter very talkative - his seemingly bottomless beer glass may have helped. After a couple of beers, I dared to ask him about his wooden foot.
“Ho Chi Minh Trail,” he said and then gave an account of how, as a young soldier during the war, he had stepped on a piece of unexploded ordnance. His story, temporarily darkened the mood around the table, but as soon as he returned to telling hunting tales, the atmosphere brightened again.

When I recounted the stories to the backpackers gathered at my hotel later that night, they grimaced. “You ate what?” they exclaimed.
Then it dawned on me: barking deer. They thought I’d been eating dog! Had I? It hadn’t tasted like any venison I’d ever had before, but what was barking deer? Feeling flushed, I went to an Internet café to check it out. “Barking Deer”, officially known as muntjacs, is a deer species native to South Asia. This was Southeast Asia. I guess I’ll never know!

- Marko van Gaans -

Share Your Travel Story With Us!

Did you have any interesting or unusual travel experience in Southeast Asia? Would you like to share it with our readers? If so, tell us about it in 300 words and address your mail to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; with the subject, Travel Tales.

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter all the required information, indicated by an asterisk (*). HTML code is not allowed.

You're intested

Follow us