Are you brave enough to eat bugs in Thailand?

You can’t travel halfway around the world and not try this exotic snack. You just can’t find good bugs at home, so if you’re up for it you have to try this one of a kind South-East Asian Snack. We’ve eaten just about every kind of bug served in Thailand, and here is everything you need to know before eating bugs in Thailand.


Where to find Bugs in Thailand

You can find insects to eat in Thailand all over the country. Your best bet to find edible bugs is to head to local food markets. While eating bugs is becoming less popular in Thai culture, you should still find them in markets and street vendors. Another place you might see bugs to eat for sale is at restaurants and bars being sold by walking vendors. If you are up for it they taste a lot better than they sound.

One common place to find insects to eat in Bangkok is on Khao San Road. There is at least one insect street food cart parked on the main part of Khao San Road for tourist to try this one of a kind treat.


Is it safe to eat bugs in Thailand?

The simple answer is yes, it is safe to eat bugs in Thailand. Insects are raised to be eaten and not simply found in the jungle somewhere. They are also generally well prepared and packaged. Most bugs in Thailand and fried or dried making them safe to eat. As long as the food cart or the packaging looks clean and relatively professional the bugs should be prepared in a way that they are safe to eat.

Related Post: How to stay safe while eating street food


Bug cart in Bangkok Thailand - common bugs

Bugs you can commonly eat in Thailand

  • Grasshopper
  • Locust
  • Silkworm
  • Ant Salad
  • Scorpion
  • Water Beetle
  • Fried Frogs

Grasshopper

The grasshoppers were crisp and crunchy, close to the insect version popcorn. If you don’t think about it, they are actually pretty good. They are well seasoned with a salty and spicy mixture.

Silkworm

This one was a little tough for me, mostly because they weren’t dried like the others. The worms were still wormy with a white goo still in them. Remember those snacks “Gushers” you had growing up? Yeah, it was like that but in a really bad flavor.

man holding a locust- eating bugs in Thailand

Locust

These are the big guys! Very similar to the grasshopper except it’s a mouthful.

Ant Salad

The salad is served in a little plastic baggie with a spoon. They are scooped into the bag and then with a small squirt bottle, they are covered with a blend of soy sauce & other herbs. There must have been a lot of Thai lime leaf in there too because it had a really nice limey taste. Again if you didn’t know they were bugs, you could eat a whole bag no problem. In fact, I was part of they clean bag club that night!

Eating Water Beetle in Thailand

I never shy away from an opportunity to try some food most wouldn’t dare, but there are a few that intimidate even me. I have seen this thing before staring at me from its cozy seat on its cart on the infamous Khao San road in Bangkok. I have tried all of his friends, but I swore I would leave him alone. Well, peer pressure and Chang are very influential, and against my better judgment.

So what you ask has me approaching with such caution? Its name is Lethocerus Indicus. Commonly known as the Water Beetle. This massive cockroach-looking thing is without a doubt the worst thing I ever put in my mouth. It was more than just the look of it, the texture was the real killer. He is not crispy like his fellow bugs beside him on the bug cart. Crickets and even scorpions are light, crunchy, and surprisingly good. The water beetle, on the other hand, stays nice and juicy on the inside. As I crunched my way through this palm-sized bug the texture problem wasn’t the only thing I noticed. You can tell by the taste that these guys live and eat in the water, and who knows what water.

If you are looking for an adventurous bite, opt for the rest of the bug cart and leave these beetles in the water.


Tip: Find the bug cart that the locals are going to, not the ones parked on the roads for tourist shock.

If you find yourself in Bangkok don’t miss your chance to push your limits with some tasty bugs!

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16 thoughts on “Are you brave enough to eat bugs in Thailand?”

  1. Great article! I’ve often heard about insect munchies and the more I hear the more intrigued I get. It sounds like the ants or the grasshopper were your favourites, is that right?

  2. Wow you’re brave to eat all those! Impressive! I’ve never had the guts to try them. I think I will have to next time just to say i’ve done it atleast :p

    • Adam was the only one to try them, but I PROMISE I will try some sort of insect when we are back in Thailand!! Let me know if you end up trying any!!

  3. I’m off to Thailand in a couple of weeks and believe it or not this was on my list of things I HAVE to try over there. I might give the silk worms a pass, though :p

    Do you have any recommendations for markets/stalls to find the best bugs? (Reading that sentence back it sounds really weird…)

    John

    • John – The best tip I can give is to look for a cart that has some locals buying too. That really goes for any street cart in my opinion!

      We were touring around with someone from Bangkok so they lead us to the cart where we tried them. It was actually in the Khao San Road area, but I did see a few others through the city.

      Hope you have a great trip! I can’t wait to get back!

    • Olivia – The bugs are a must! It helps to have some Chang-Courage, if needed! I don’t think I need to have silk worms ever again, but the rest were pretty darn good.

      Hope you have a great time in Thailand, we will be back at the end of this year December/January, Can’t wait to get back to Bangkok and the beaches!

      Safe Travels!

  4. Arggg, I don’t know how you ate all that in one sitting. My husband ate silf worms while in Thailand. Recently, we tried grasshoppers in Oaxaca but they had a chewy taste. I think I wouldn’t eat them if they were crispy.

    • If you didn’t know you were eating bugs, they were pretty darn good! Next time you are in Thailand just drink a few Chang’s and give them a try! You might surprise yourself! If nothing else it makes for a good photo opp!

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