Wangfujing is a famous street in China and well known for it’s street food. While, I am used to street snacks consisting of hotdogs here in the States, crepes in Europe, and tacos in Mexico, what they were dishing up on Wangfujing was unlike anything I had ever seen. We took our time to go, quite frankly, because I was afraid of what food they would have and feel the pressure to eat it. We made some friends on our tour who were our age who had dined on this fine cuisine, and let me tell you, they loved being able to boast about how they ate fried scorpions, spiders (ew, ew I’m dying and gagging over), and God knows whatever else. We asked them what it tasted like.
Um ya, I’m sure that those crunchy insects did NOT taste like chicken.
My husband and I like to consider ourselves curious eaters, but we didn’t know about Wangfujing. We finally mustered our way down there on our last night. I already feeling nauseated and didn’t know how well I was going to tolerate this culinary and visual experience. FYI Wangfujing is near Tiananmen Square and pretty easy to find. We had our cab take us there. TIP: Get the your hotel’s business card, on the back it should list all major attractions in English, just point to where you want to go and they will take you. Extra bonus is that cab fare is CHEAP! Before we even got to the start of Wangfujing, we saw tons of Chinese kids walking past us with their skewers filled with random insects, creatures, and all sorts of things still moving. We kind of stood there in awe of it for a few minutes, kind of mentally preparing ourselves for it. The smell of hoison was strong and I could hear the fryers hot and ready to burn. Oh God, do we have to go? Usually I am down for this but between feeling half way about to puke and just wanting to rest, I was not down or feeling up to doing this. Then again, we were half way around the world and had already eaten a handful of questionable things, so of course, we did it.
I can still vividly remember seeing scorpions with a skewer pierced through them, still moving, slowing waiting for their demise. I mean, scorpions are awful, pinchy, ugly creatures but they don’t deserve to die that way (who I am caring about the welfare of scorpions now, come on Chloe, get a grip). We saw fried seahorses (now that made me sad), starfish, and pieces of snake. We also saw some “normal” food such a chicken, duck, and beef but even that didn’t even look appetizing as I was already traumatized by this point. I couldn’t stomach it since I was already feeling ill. I am sad to write that I couldn’t muster trying anything. I just couldn’t stomach it.
While the images are still extremely vivid in my mind, I am glad that we went and experienced Wangfujing. While it may freak you out, keep going and you will never forget it. Do I regret not trying anything, yes and no (even if I would’ve eaten something it probably would’ve come back up!) But I am still glad we went through and checked it out. At the end of Wangfujing, it opens up to a busy part of Beijing filled with shopping and plazas (there was a giant flash mob filled with cute Chinese kids doing their thing). It is definitely something to check out while in Beijing and if you able to stomach the local delicacies, I salute you.