Parallel Worlds

[two pro travel journalists turn amateur bloggers]

A taste of Asia’s traditional drug

[words and video © Mark Eveleigh]

Betelnut is one of Asia’s oldest drugs. Its mild narcotic effects are known, and enjoyed, all over South East Asia. The scarlet splashes of betelnut juice have long disappeared from the polished streets of Singapore and uptown Kuala Lumpur. Bangkok and Saigon will be purified before long. In backcountry markets in remote communities betelnut vendors still occupy their traditional posts. It was in just such a market in Danang that I took an opportunity to video what is becoming an endangered vice.

Betel Juice – experiencing Vietnam’s ancient drug – was filmed for


3 comments on “A taste of Asia’s traditional drug

  1. Pingback: Stringer – sailing to Jakarta | mano@mano

  2. Pingback: Stringer – sailing to Jakarta | Parallel Worlds

  3. Mark Eveleigh
    October 30, 2013

    I’m in West Papua (Indonesian New Guinea) at the moment and wanted to make a slight correction to this post. Almost everywhere I’ve been in SE Asia betelnut really could be considered a dying drug that is used only by a few of the older women. Here in Papua, however, it’s still used by many many people of both sexes…and all ages. Today I met a very sweet little 4 year old girl called Putri who claims to like betelnut almost as much as she likes Coca Cola.

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This entry was posted on January 19, 2012 by in Asia, Posts by Mark Eveleigh and tagged , , , .

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