Eat Insects at Chiang Mai’s Sunday Night Market

I am not sure what my fascination is with eating bizarre foods, but prior to heading to Thailand there were a couple things that I knew for sure, one was that I would be riding in a tuk tuk and another was that I would absolutely, positively be eating insects. Rumor had it that this could be done at Chiang Mai’s famous Sunday Market.

Guess who’s going to a market?

At about 4 o’clock Peter & I walked out the front door of our hotel, the 3 Sis, and the Chiang Mai’s Sunday Night Walking Market was just a few steps ahead, on the blocked off street. This market is the grand daddy of all the ones in the city, known to showcase the art, craftsmanship and food culture of Northern Thailand.

So, there were a lot more things to do besides just eating insects.

We had arrived early enough for the booths to still be in setup phase and not many people shopping…yet.
Chiang Mai Sunday Market

There was an initial sensory overload, with colorful booths on each side of you. Shopping was quite difficult for my indecisive self, because I didn’t want to buy anything before I had first explored the entire market. Though I did spot some large beach bags, silver hair clips and wooden coffee cups with saucers, that were on my radar for the second go around. But, by the time I got through browsing the seemingly endless length of the streets, and was ready to make some purchases, the prime opportunity had passed.

 The road was wall-to-wall people.

I did wind up squeezing through the crowd to purchase a half dozen of unique smelling soaps including a Citronella one that I hoped would ward off the pesky Chiang Mai mosquitoes. FYI: That didn’t work.
Chiang Mai Sunday Market
Chiang Mai Sunday Market

What wasn’t overcrowded was the bee-bee gun shooting station. Why not? Never having had the opportunity to shoot a bee-bee gun before, I stepped right up to see if I could hit the bulls-eye. Nope.
Beebee Guns in Thailand Annette White Shooting Beebee Gun

As we walked away from our shooting experience, I saw them.

Insects, discreetly lying on a table.

You could hear chattering from the dozen of gawkers surrounding the booth, “eww”, “you try it”, “gross, I’m not eating insects”.  Most of the people actually purchasing the insects were not locals, they were adventurous tourists looking for a new experience, much like myself.

All sorts of varieties of edible bugs were there; crickets, cicada, mealworms and whirligig beetles. How do I choose?
Edible Insects in Chiang Mai, Thailand Edible Insects in Chiang Mai, Thailand

I opted for the insect sampler pack for 20 baht ($0.65 usd), a little of each. I like variety.

I ate a small mealworm first, which tasted like a salty, uncheesed cheese puff. Acceptable. Feeling confident, I grabbed a big cricket. As I bit into it I ended up being more freaked out about eating the crunchy leg than the actual bland taste. And as I chewed more of the body, it only got worse.

Done. Bugs aren’t tasty.

At least I made a couple of checks off my Bucket List of 23 Edible Bugs Around the World. It’s all about moderation, when it comes to my bug eating adventures.
Edible Insects in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Annette White Eating Insects

I needed something to wash down my crunchy cricket. I think a leg was stuck in my throat. So, I ordered an intriguing drink that was being sold all over the market, but I had yet to try, a Grass Jelly Milo.

Grass Jelly is a jiggly jelly-like dessert that is used in making Bubble Tea and Milo is a chocolate and malt powder. Shake, stir and a Grass Jelly Milo is born.

It did the trick. No legs in my throat anymore.

Grass Jelly Milo Making Grass Jelly Milo Grass Jelly Milo

Because we couldn’t survive on eating insects alone, there was other interesting street food to be had. Who could resist a waffle with shredded pork and mayonnaise? Apparently me.
Street Food at Chiang Mai Sunday Market Street Food Chiang Mai Sunday Market  Street Food at Chiang Mai Sunday Market

What I couldn’t resist was a Pandan leaf flavored cotton candy cone and a bamboo cup filled with fresh coconut juice.
Chiang Mai Sunday Market  Chiang Mai Sunday Market Chiang Mai Sunday Market

Is eating insects on your bucket list?

. . . Related. . .

Bucket List of 18 Things to Do in Chiang Mai, Thailand
Get a Thai Massage in Thailand
Learning to Make Pad Thai in Thailand
Bathe Elephants at a Rescue in Thailand
Wat Chedi Luang: Explore a Temple Inside the City Walls of Chiang Mai
Learn to Make Handicraft Umbrellas in Chiang Mai
Map of Chiang Mai
Get a Foot Massage by a Prison Inmate in Chiang Mai
Traveling by Tuk Tuk in Chiang Mai & Other Transporation
Make Wishes at the White Temple in Chiang Rai
Tour an Insect Museum in Chiang Mai




2017-03-11T09:21:07+00:00 June 12th, 2013|Categories: FOOD, QUIRKY, Thailand, TRAVEL|Tags: , , |

24 Comments

  1. Emma's Bucket List June 12, 2013 at 1:24 pm - Reply

    As you know, I tried this too when I went to Archipelago in London http://emmasbucketlist.com/2012/09/26/archipelago-eating-insects-and-drinking-python-infused-absinthe/

    Not quite as cool as eating them in Thailand… Do you think you could ever eat a tarantula? This is a video of Gordon Ramsey trying one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=9Z_UndhO2ME

    I’m not sure I could be brave enough to bring myself to try one…

    • Annette White June 12, 2013 at 2:40 pm - Reply

      I remember that story about you eating insects! If it was deep fried, I’m sure i’d eat a tarantula. How about you?

  2. Luke Day June 12, 2013 at 3:28 pm - Reply

    I ate a few scorpions in Beijing. They were sauteed with garlic butter. Tasty!

    • Annette White June 12, 2013 at 3:38 pm - Reply

      I wouldn’t have taken you for a Scorpian kind of guy 😉 But, now I know where to go to try some!

  3. Emma's Bucket List June 12, 2013 at 4:08 pm - Reply

    I don’t think I could eat a tarantula, no. I really don’t like spiders! I have a severe phobia of them, though I was brave enough to hold a rose tarantula once!

  4. Heather June 13, 2013 at 5:23 am - Reply

    No interest in eating insects — makes me shiver to even read your words O:-)

    But eating pandan flavored cotton candy? Absolutely.

  5. Zalika June 13, 2013 at 12:58 pm - Reply

    I had been to Bangkok recently, and eating insects was on the agenda, but I never got to actually eating it. I tried a lot of street food though. Its good you at least gave it a try.

    • Annette White June 13, 2013 at 2:10 pm - Reply

      Though I did eat bugs, I didn’t get to eat enough street food!

  6. Juliann June 14, 2013 at 7:57 am - Reply

    We’re going to Beijing this summer and I’ve dared my husband to try insects or a scorpion like Luke Day described in these comments. My husband keeps applying to be on “Survivor,” so I told him he needs to be able to do this. But I’ll be VERY surprised if he does.

    We’ll soon see… 🙂

    • Annette White June 14, 2013 at 8:55 am - Reply

      Love it! I always make my husband eat weird stuff and he always says he hates it, but I think he is secretly happy that I make him try something new. Good luck with your hubby eating a bug!

  7. I would totally eat an insect!

    • Annette White June 14, 2013 at 9:56 am - Reply

      Then will you create a recipe for your blog using bugs? 🙂

  8. Danny Delnison June 14, 2013 at 8:40 pm - Reply

    Great food! But grubs??? I can’t try to eat them. Thanks for sharing

  9. […] to any brave sole who would take a drink. I was a brave sole. Even braver after the experience of eating insects and a preserved century egg at Chiang Mai’s Somphet Market days earlier. May as well keep […]

  10. […] to any brave sole who would take a drink. I was a brave sole. Even braver after the experience of eating insects and a preserved century egg at Chiang Mai’s Somphet Market days earlier. May as well keep […]

  11. […] photos of all the informational placards to read at a later time, if ever. But, after eating bugs at Chiang Mai’s Sunday Night Walking market and being bitten by a dozen mosquitos, I figured it might be a good idea to go to an insect […]

  12. […] photos of all the informational placards to read at a later time, if ever. But, after eating bugs at Chiang Mai’s Sunday Night Walking market and being bitten by a dozen mosquitos, I figured it might be a good idea to go to an insect […]

  13. Kerry July 8, 2014 at 11:27 pm - Reply

    Don’t know if I could psych myself up into trying bugs. I am still working on some fish and sea food. 🙂

  14. […] Read about my experience here: Eating Insects at Chiang Mai’s Sunday Night Market […]

  15. […] rescue center and that century eggs don’t taste quite as bad as their ammonia smell, but crunchy insects are not at all appetizing. You also got me over my massage fear by letting me get dozens of foot […]

  16. […] next stall over featured a pan of freshly fried silk worm larvae that were reminiscent of the insects I had eaten while in  Chiang Mai. Surprisingly, this looked appetizing after having just eaten worms. I popped a couple into my […]

  17. Christina December 12, 2016 at 1:41 pm - Reply

    Beetles and the rest may certainly be an acquired taste. You were very adventurous to try it out.

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