What exactly is Yao Tou Wan?

Chemically, where does Yao Tou Wan lie? What kind of drug is it, usually? From what I’ve seen, it seems to be a uniquely Chinese phenomenon. Some people have told me it’s speed, but the people who are on Yao Tou Wan in clubs don’t seem especially speedy to me. Or at least they have a really different reaction to it than Western people I’ve seen using amphetamines.

I’ve been told it’s ecstasy (MDMA), too. But um… a friend of mine in Thailand and um… HIS girlfriend popped a couple e’s for the first time. She proudly summed up her experience: “This is NOT Yao Tou Wan!”

What exactly appeals about Yao Tou Wan? I can think of many more fun psychoactive experiences to have than standing in a club, not interacting with anyone, and wagging your head uncontrollably. Why isn’t it ecstasy that’s become popular instead? Amphetamines, from what I’ve heard, are a really rough and edgy high!

It is “ecstasy” (MDMA, although most “MDMA” these days aren’t really pure MDMA anymore … it’s a bunch of other sh*t all mixed up together) … anyway, what the Taiwanese call “Yao Tou Wan” is none other than E, X, or whatever you want to call and it.

It’s ecstacy, and as LBTW said, probably not the purest. What your ‘friend’ got in Thailand amy have been a stronger variety, or mixed with Cocaine, Heroin, or god knows what else :shock: I don’t think the drug dealers have a very stingent OQC, so the exact contents tend to vary…

What does she know? She’s not exactly speaking from experience, is she?

Maoman, I think what she meant was she had no urge to do anything special with her head. In fact, she was more interested just in touching things and rolling around in the shallow seawater with a big goofy grin on her face. There was trance music on, but she felt no urge to get up and move aorund.

Then again, pure MDMA (rare, as you noted SuperS) alone doesn’t give people the urge to get up and move. It’s actually a really sedate, peaceful feeling. Most people I know who are into e actually like their pill with a touch of speed (amphetamines), for the dancy effect. I can’t imagine what the pills in Taiwan have.

MDMA is relatively easy to make, but the gross profit margin is only around 50-75% if you do it right. The problem is it takes time and there are a lot of chemicals, which can be difficult to get without jack-booted thugs kicking in your door and hauling you off to jail. This also assumes you know what you’re doing and not trying to poison yourself or others. Kitchen chemistry is not the safest of disciplines. Also while there may be heaps of material on making drugs, there is relatively little on properly cutting(diluting) them with acceptable inert substances for administration. Pill machine dies are also closely watched and often are an easy way to see the distribution patterns of dealers and chemists.

In New England they’re even starting to track marijuana by DNA. If they get the funding this year they’ll be able to do it for the entire US. This is a boon for large cultivators, but will impact the high quality specialty growers that use highly advanced techniques(SCROG, DWC, LST, inducing hermaphrodism), specially bred seeds that can cost as much as their weight in gold and equipment($300Can for coolers for nutrient solution, $70 SCROG grills, High quality silent powerful air pumps, and expensive HIDs). A high quality set up can generate up to 2kgs of high quality product a month for an initail investment of about $2000-5000Can and might only run with only 50 plants at a time.

It is generally cut with MDA. Supposedly both of these are related to mescaline. MDA qualifies as an amphetamine. MDMA doesn’t quite make the cut. Amphetamines can be a really pleasent trip at first. They are so great in the beginning, till you get a monkey on your back that grows into a gorilla. Meta-amphetamine will eventually drive you to a life of paranoid delusions and insanity. Pretty rough shit, especially when you see it happen to your own father.

She sounds like she was on Ecstasy without the speed. I’d imagine the pills in Taiwan would come from a Taiwanese generic pharmaceutical company, which could be a good thing if they didn’t skimp on quality control. They would have the reources and equipment to make it quite worthwhile for them.

My guess is that a lot of the drugs in the ecstasy family that are made in Taiwan are made by chemistry students, or by greedy pharmacists who don’t feel they make enough by their legitimate trade.

But as you said, it’s pretty easy to track down who purchased what chemical ingredients in what quantities at what time. And in Taiwan, a developed country that’s VERY anti-drugs, my guess is it would be hard to get away with for very long.

MDA? I doubt it. I’ve never tried MDA, but I hear it’s slightly hallucinogenic, and hallucinogens are never somthing the Chinese have ever had a taste for. My guess is that pharmacists probably cut their pills with some sort of stimulant or alkaloid, that’s legal in Taiwan by prescription. Plus, MDA is just MDMA minus the second methyl group. If chemists are going to go so far as to manufacture MDA, why not go all the way and make it all into MDMA, a much more palatable high for the average Joe.

I bet a good bit of the pills that end up in Taiwan are made in countries with looser law enforcement and where it would be easier to order ingredients anonymously and set up a lab in the boonies. Mainland China and all of the ASEAN countries come to mind. The new airlink with Vladivostok, Russia might show some interesting developments for the pill-popping community here as well.

In public Taiwan is very anti-drug, but the police and government have so many connections with organized crime (including drug trafficking) here that they do next to nothing to curb the illegal drug trade, other than occasional raids by the police to make the public think they’re doing something about the problem. I’d love to see the police and government crack down on the drug trade here, as I see it as becoming a more and more serious problem, but I don’t think it’s going to happen as long as the “hong bao’s” are rolling in to the government and police officials …

As other posters have said ‘Yao tou wan’ is ‘ecstacy’ and like E anywhere, it’s probably not pure MDMA, but that’s what it’s supposed to be or at least have. There might be something els in it. Remember even the same pills can effect different people at different times in different environments with different peopel around them. The same pill might make one person want to jump around and shake their head, another sit down and babble away to a friedn and another roll arround and touch things.


bu yiding. Most Taiwanese journalists (and I suspect many users) use ‘yaotouwan’ to refer to both ecstacy and speed, usually, in my experience, without being aware of any difference. This was true 3 or 4 years ago when the craze started at least.

In my experience (and I mean years ago before I got old and married) if people wanted speed they asked for amphetamine (forget the Chiense transliteration, something like aifeiteming).

Of course when used by journalists, I guess ‘yao tou wan’ could mean anything, so you’re right too.

I used to just ask for ‘tangguo’. (I mean my friends did).


I’m with the Don on this one.

“an fei ta min” is the pinyin for speed but in any case its more associated with students cramming for exams and business chappies trying not to get too plastered while out on the second round.

Yao tou wan on the other hand is the name for the unknown chemical cocktail referred to as eee eslsewhere.

The weird thing when I first started seeing Taiwanese using it some 5 years back was that they really did stagger around on the dance floor shaking their heads. At that time I thought it was some strange new substance and my interest was indeed pricked. Sadly it was just the same old formula.

I’ve also read references (in Chinese) to yet another substance “jiao yao wan” or foot shaking pills. To me that conjurs images of a dance drug but in the references I’ve read its more a jiggling foot thing. Weird.


[quote=“Huang Guang Chen”]I’ve also read references (in Chinese) to yet another substance “jiao yao wan” or foot shaking pills. To me that conjurs images of a dance drug but in the references I’ve read its more a jiggling foot thing. Weird.

Hmmm, interesting question…

“yao jiao wan” is LSD…