I’d always thought I was used to difficult food choices. Pizza or pasta? Chocolate or vanilla? Tough decision, I know, but no matter which choice you make you are unlikely to die as a result. But what if your two options are snake and scorpion?
I’m not one to shy away from strange foods – whenever I visit a new country I want to try all the local foods and these are often very different from what I normally eat. They’re usually not half bad either – I genuinely enjoyed cow tongue until I realised that I was basically making out with a large hoofed animal. Way to ruin my appetite, brain. But Chinese street food has definitely pushed me to my limits – I don’t wanna give much away but I tried snake, y’all.
In this video, we will visit two famous street food destinations. Read on to find out what they are and what makes them so special!
First up, I’m taking you to Wangfujing Snack Street, which is located in one of the most Westernised parts of Beijing. I wasn’t a big fan of the area – you can see shopping streets like it everywhere and anywhere around the globe and many of the vendors tried to rip us off. However, I still think it’s well worth a visit. Where else will you find stalls filled with moving scorpions, hairy tarantulas and white snakes on a stick and big skewered testicles? Lovely.
Our second pit stop is Gui Jie, usually known as Ghost Street. As I write this article, I am actually sat in a lovely hostel in the heart of the hutongs it is surrounded by, called Ming Courtyard. The food on Ghost Street isn’t as insane as Wangfujing, although I did witness a young man decapitating frogs there.
With over 150 different restaurants on this lively kilometre-long strip, there is something for everyone. It is particularly renowned for its hotpot restaurants, Little Sheep being my personal favourite. Hotpot is essentially a cauldron of boiling broth – all you have to do is take your food, chuck it inside and then gorge yourself once it’s cooked.
What is the weirdest food you’ve ever tried? Did you enjoy it? Is there anything you’re just not willing to sample? For me, it’s got to be tarantula – I once threw my phone across the room after a picture of a big hairy spider popped up on the screen, so who knows what would happen if I actually tried to eat one.