Traditional Areca Nuts and Betel Nuts Chewing


According to legends, chewing quid of betel nuts and areca nuts has been a custom since the Hung King period and connected with the antique legend of betel and areca.

The custom of Betel nuts chewing in Vietnam

A quid of betel is called “trau” consists of 4 elements: an areca leaf (sweet taste), betel bark (hot taste), a chay root (bitter taste), and hydrated lime (pungent taste). The custom of chewing betel nut is exclusive to Vietnam. Previous health books claim that “chewing betel and areca nut makes the mouth fragrant, decreases unhealthy tempers, and makes digesting food easy”.

A quid of betel makes people get closer and be openhearted. At any wedding, there should be a dish of betel and areca nut, which people can share as they get pleasure from the happy day.

During  Tet Holidays (Traditional new year of Vietnam) in the old days, betel nuts and areca nuts is employed for inviting guests and creating acquaintances. Sharing a quid of betel with an old friend is like expressing gratitude for the connection.

A quid of betel and areca nut makes people feel warm on cold winters days, and through funerals, it relieves disappointment. Betel and areca nuts are utilized in offerings.

When Vietnamese people worship their ancestors, betel and areca nut must be presented at the altar. Nowadays, the custom of chewing betel remains well-liked in some Vietnamese villages and among the old.

Smoking tobacco rustic in Vietnam

vietnamese women smoking tobaco pipe

Don’t forget to say ” thuoc lao” or tobacco rustic. For women, betel can initiate varied female conversation, except for men, thuoc lao is expounded to their joyfulness together with the disappointment in their lives.

Peasants always carry their dieu cay (pipe for smoking while plow the rice fields).

Hanoi Eco Tour do hope that you have gained an in-depth understanding of some traditional custom of Vietnam such as Areca Nut, Betel Nuts chewing and Smoking tobacco

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David Nguyen : Freelancer tour guide as well as a passionate writer for Hanoi Eco Tour, who has been working over 10 years in the tourism industry. All articles are written by him from his REAL travel experiences, down to earth and unique.

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