It’s A Bug’s Life: Eating Insects in Bangkok
Thailand is the street food capital of the world. Tourists and locals alike can be seen devouring a Pad Thai, snacking on a satay stick or downing a freshly made iced coffee. There’s another side to Bangkok’s street food scene, and it’s a bit creepier and a bit crawlier… Eating insects in Bangkok is something every tourist should experience!
Spindly legs. Slimy bodies. Crunchy wings. Sounds appetising right? You’ll be forgiven for thinking not! Explore the street food markets of Bangkok and you’ll soon come across a more unusual stall full of beady eyes staring out at you. It might not be your usual snack choice, but Thailand sells snack bugs by the bag full every day!
Thailand is one of 9 countries worldwide that consider bugs as a genuine source of protein and not just a tourist attraction. China and Ghana have also hit the news in recent years when bug eating almost became a necessity through food shortages.
Where can you eat insects in Bangkok?
Eating bugs in Bangkok is as normal as opening a bag of chips. The only people staring will be the bewildered tourists looking shocked and appalled as someone bites the head off a cricket without so much as a blink. Once you get over the initial weirdness then you might begin to see them as just another tasty snack. Feeling ready to go try some for yourself? Head down to one of the following places and get eating.
Backpacking Mecca. Normally the first place that most backpackers in visit in Thailand. Endless bars, delicious restaurants and plenty of tourist attractions. Wander along the road and it won’t be long until you come across a bug stall. Simply look for the crowds, the bright lights and the thousands of legs.
Talad Rod Fai
A little bit further from the backpacking district, this is Bangkok’s first train market. By that we mean that the market is set entirely along a train track and has trains running through it. The stall owners step back, pull up a cover and wait for a train to roll past before carrying on. It’s quite the experience! Primarily a local’s market the bug carts regularly sell out, so if you want the best selection then turn up earlier in the day! The best way to get there is by motorbike taxi and it’s open from Thursday to Sunday.
Another famous destination in central Bangkok, near Yaowarat Road. The Chinatown markets have some informal bug sellers dotted around the main market areas. It’s not just bugs either, you’ll be able to drink down some delicious soups and crunchy spring rolls. Explore the area from the MRT stop at Hua Lamphong from exit 1.
This somewhat seedy district of Bangkok is usually crawling with a certain type of expat, but it’s also home to a whole host of bug sellers. If you fancy something a little less creepy than the scenes in some of the bars then grab a handful of bugs and enjoy a drink! Si Lom MRT station is your closest to Patpong as well as the Sala Daeng stop of the Skytrain.
Snacking on Bugs in Thailand Insider Tip
If you’re feeling squeamish at the thought of eating bugs just close your eyes and imagine that you’re either eating chips or Cheetos. They genuinely have a similar salty tasty and crunchy texture. If you really can’t face it then enjoy taking a photo or two, just be sure to tip the vendor if you see a tip jar!