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Where To Find The Tastiest Edible Insects In Bangkok

Bug Vendor off Yaowarat Road | © Courtesy of Kelly Iverson
Bug Vendor off Yaowarat Road | © Courtesy of Kelly Iverson
In Bangkok, seeing people eating bugs is as normal as seeing a kid eating an ice cream cone. No one bats an eyelid as a herd of Thais walks down a soi (street), hands deep in a plastic baggy filled with crickets. While visitors of Thailand might see eating a bug as an opportune moment to take a Snapchat video to share with their friends back home, these bugs are viewed entirely different by those who live here. It is nothing more than a delicious snack. With that in mind, eating a bug is a must-do activity while traveling in Thailand. Read on for a list of the best places to find edible insects on the streets of Bangkok.

Khao San Road

As a backpacker, visiting Khao San Road and ingesting one of these creepy crawlers is a right of passage. You will find a handful of pushcarts stocked full with everything from scorpions to tarantulas to silk worms. There will also be freelancer bug sellers, if you will, with a tray of an assortment of crunchy snacks for you to choose from. Thailand is one of nine countries that eats bugs as a viable source of protein and not simply for the shock value alone, although Khao San Road seems to be the exception to this. According to a 2014 US News & World Report Travel article, other countries that eat bugs include China and Ghana, where eating bugs is a necessity when other foods are in short supply. Khao San Road is not located off any BTS Skytrain station, so the best way to get here is to take a taxi. This will be easy, as a driver will know exactly what a foreigner is saying if the destination is Khao San Road.

Khao San Road, Khet Phra Nakhon, Bangkok, Thailand

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Bugs on Khao San Road | © Courtesy of Kelly Iverson

Talad Rod Fai

Market, Thai
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Bugs for Sale at Talad Rod Fai
Bugs for Sale at Talad Rod Fai | © Courtesy of Kelly Iverson
You never know what you are going to find at Bangkok’s first train market, Talad Rod Fai. From antique cars to secondhand clothing, you are always in for a surprise when meandering through this market’s seemingly endless number of stalls. The biggest surprise of all might be the bug vendor. Business is booming, and you will have to weave your way through paying customers to get a photo. The later you get to this market, the more sold out these carts will be. These vendors are different than those selling on Khao San Road because they are not catered to tourists. Instead, they sell bugs in small containers, for hungry Thais to take home with them and snack on later. To get to this market, take the BTS Skytrain to station On Nut. From there, you will have to take a taxi. Tell them to go to Seacon Square Shopping Mall or Talad Rod Fai. You can also take a motorbike taxi. This market is open from Thursday to Sunday, and the best time to come is anytime after 5pm.
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Sun - Mon:
5:00 pm - 1:00 am
Thu - Fri:
5:00 pm - 1:00 am
Fri - Sat:
5:00 pm - 1:00 am
Sat - Sun:
5:00 pm - 1:00 am

Chinatown

Tucked away off the noteworthy Yaowarat Road are a handful of bug vendors, selling some seasoned, edible insects. Chinatown is crawling with food (pun intended), and this area of Bangkok is regarded as having some of the city’s most noteworthy eats. From chocolate-filled rolls to ginger soup, Yaowarat Road in Chinatown is one-of-a-kind, and its bug vendors are no exception. Find these bugs tucked away off one of the many sois (streets) that line the busy road. You will find seasoned crickets the size of your palm, as well as larvae just waiting to be devoured. To get here, take the MRT subway station Hua Lamphong stop, and take exit one. You can also get here by boat. Get to any pier on the Chao Phraya River, the easiest being the Saphan Taksin Pier (right off the BTS) and head to the Ratchawong Pier. From here, walk straight ahead and you will run right into the Grand China Hotel, located on the famous Yaowarat Road.

Chinatown, Bangkok, Thailand

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Bug Vendor off Yaowarat Road | © Courtesy of Kelly Iverson

Patpong

In addition to go-go bars and creepy old expats, the red light district of Patpong is home to creepy crawlers as well. Bite into a number of different bugs, such as ants, water bugs, and beetles. These delicacies, if you will, are certainly crunchy. After you devour one of these edible insects, you will oftentimes find a leg or two stuck in your teeth long after you have swallowed. Take the BTS Skytrain to stop Sala Daeng and take exit one to find these edible insects. The MRT Subway also goes to Patpong: get off at Si Lom and take exit two.

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Beetles, Water Bugs, Ant Mix | © Courtesy of Russ Bowling/Flickr

By Kelly Iverson