One of the best things about travelling is stepping out of your comfort zone. The whole point of visiting new places and seeing different cultures is to experience them – not as an observer, but through first-hand immersion. So one hot afternoon, we headed to the local food markets in Phuket to pop my insect-eating cherry.
Rawai Markets are a local market on the island of Phuket in Thailand that’s jam-packed with delicious traditional food and fresh produce. It’s not really a tourist destination, but if you’re into authentic local food that’s dirt cheap, it’s definitely worth checking out. In the afternoons, locals rock up on their bikes to buy ingredients for dinner. It’s located right near the wharf, so there’s an abundance of fresh seafood just waiting to be whipped up into an aromatic Thai dish.
As usual, we weren’t there for the regular stuff. We made a beeline for the insects. There were crickets, bamboo worms, coconut worms, grasshoppers, ants, beetles and many unidentifiable species of bug. I wasn’t concerned – anything deep-friend and salted is usually good, especially when you’re washing it down with an icy-cold local beer. The coconut worms were definitely the best – they were cooked in regular oil, but had a strong coconut flavour due to the heavy coconut consumption of the worm. We did a pick-and-mix with a bunch of different insects and had a walking tapas-style dinner through the markets as the sun set over the island.
Where: Hwy 402, Phuket Province, Thailand.
When: 5:30pm-11pm, Monday and Thursday.