Nick Wharton & Dariece Swift By
Posted 29 Apr, 2013 | 22 Comments
Posted in: China, Cuisine, Travel Blogs

We love eating at street-side vendors and have our favourite ones here in Yangzhou. However, those foods consist of delicious cold noodle dishes, soups, wraps and fruits, not insects! China is definitely one of the best countries for incredible cuisine in the world, but these ones may be a little bit too shocking for most western palates.

Here’s a list of some of the less appetizing street foods seen all around China:

1. Deep Fried Massive Spiders. These bad boys were spotted in Hangzhou and were so massive that I was even scared to take a photo of them! China is one of the cheapest countries to travel and the cheapest to live in as well, but if you’re eating insects you can save even more money.

street foods in china
Eeek! Massive, black, gross spiders at the street-side market in Hangzhou

2. Battered and Deep Fried Crab. Sure, crab is delicious but when it’s fried whole, eating the shell (and everything else) is a must and you’ll spend the rest of the day picking bits of it out of your teeth.

eating in china
Deep fried, whole crabs for sale on the street…good luck eating the shell!

3. Duck Heads. How much meat could possibly be found on the beaks of these cute little birds?

food in china
I don’t see a lot of meat on these duck heads

4. Chicks. Are there not enough fully grown chickens in the world that people have to resort to eating the babies?

strange food in china
Can you see the chick here? Look for the tiny wings, small little neck and body!

5. Flying Lizards. Fried and stuck on a stick, these reptiles are apparently delicious.

6. Sea Horse. This teeny tiny animal of the ocean is sought after by scuba-divers.  Turns out, all they have to do is come to a Chinese street-side market!

strange food in china
Flying lizard anyone? How about the cute and seriously small seahorse?

7. Scorpions. These big, black, creepy crawlies have been spotted in both Beijing and Hangzhou, but we’ve yet to try them here. They’re just too big!

street food in china
These scorpions are just too big for me to even consider trying!

We’ve tried small scorpions and maggots in Thailand when we were slightly intoxicated but we just don’t have the desire to try any of the “food” listed above! Who knows though, maybe it’s delicious and we’re the ones missing out…I guess we’ll never know.

What’s the weirdest food you’ve ever tried?! Tell us about it below.




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Nick Wharton & Dariece Swift

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Nick Wharton and Dariece Swift are the owners and founders of Goats On The Road. Together they have been travelling and working abroad since 2008 and have more than 20 years of combined experience in online business, finance, travel and entrepreneurship. Their expert advice has been featured on the Lonely Planet, CNN Money, Business Insider,  WiseBread and Forbes and they also spoke at the World Tourism Forum in Istanbul about the business of travel blogging.

Learn more about Nick Wharton and Dariece Swift on their respective author archives on this site and on the Goats On The Road About Us Page.

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22 thoughts on “7 Seriously Strange Street Foods In China

  1. I saw these scorpians for sale in Bangkok but there was a sign in english that stated the price in Bhat to take a photo..
    Years ago in Laos in Muang Sing.. I saw rats and turtles and toad for sale..barbequed..

    1. I think that’s ridiculous that locals will sometimes make you pay for a photo of food! Such a scam.
      mmm BBQ’d rat, turtles and toad..haha, no thanks! There are definitely some interesting foods in Asia.

      Cheers for the comment Carl.

  2. Guys, shame on me, but I tried them all and I pretty like it. I love experiencing with my food and China gives me this opportunity. I also had some pig’s ears and nose LOL:). Sounds disgusting, but it was edible :).

    1. Good for you Agness! That’s awesome that you’re so brave and will try all of these things. We’ve eaten tongue, stomach, blood and intestines and they are actually all pretty good…but I can’t get my head around eating massive spiders, reptiles and baby chickens! haha.

  3. I think this is fucking disgusting. If it breathes, they eat it. How is this ok?? Why must everything be eaten. It’s not enough that pigs and cows and chickens get massacred daily, it now has to be every living soul?
    I’d call them pigs, but pigs are better.

      1. trust me I live there I have never see this food sold outside of wangfujin and wangfujin is a tourist attraction that’s why you see this food if you want to see real creepy food you should visit south korea

        1. trust me i live there and I never saw those things sold ouside or restaurents , chinese people don’t eat this things, those pictures are taking in wangfujin and wangfujin is a tourist attraction street that’s why you find this things for sell ,
          wanna see creepy food go to south korea , they eat everything

  4. these are only for forgners they don’t eat them and you only find these stuff in wangfujin street and it’s a tourist attraction street
    you find the only ones eating this food are forgners , chinese they don’t
    if you wanna see really creepy food go to korea the most disgusting food i’ve ever seen , they literaly eat everything , even your cute littel puppy they will make a soup of it

  5. I’m actually living in France, country of the gourmet food, where I have tried froglegs (that is a chicken-like meat in texture and taste), snails and raw oysters. The most common version of snails is OK, a little rubbery texture drenched in butter and garlic and grilled in the oven. The second version is trickier, where the snails are grilled alive over an open fire. No comment about the taste that for me was masked by the vision of the sputtering gastropods. Anyone who has had a bad case of cold, can imagine gobbing oysters…

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