Skuon (Spiderville) Spider Market, Cambodia

When you’re traveling between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, a must-visit — or a must-avoid, depending on the level of your arachnophobia — is the insect market in Skuon some 55 km north of the capital, which TripAdvisor very inaccurately names

Skun Spider Sanctuary

Yep, if you missed Bugs Cafe or found that a little highbrow for your tastes, here’s the real thing: Fried spiders!

Skuon (Spider Village), Cambodia

And silkworms! And crickets! And scorpions! And water beetles! And we don’t know all what with way more legs than we generally consider food!

The fun part though, was that all the fried tarantula vendors are sitting on pails of live tarantulas, and their idea of opening sales negotiations is to pick one up and plop one on your arm for selfies. Sure, we’re all good … and then our new friend decided to dash at full speed up our arm, which was unexpected on all counts and discombobulated us just a tad as it headed for our face:

Skuon (Spider Village), Cambodia

Turns out what was up with that was, for some reason this tarantula figured our flapping Mambosok® looked like an excellent burrow, or at least a good place to hide:

Skuon (Spider Village), Cambodia

… and it was very difficult to coax it off the top of our head. Having all those feet pitter-pattering across your cranium is an extremely unusual feeling indeed!

Skuon (Spider Village), Cambodia

Anyway, once that was sorted out we returned to the veritable cornucopia of culinary delights you saw above there, and yes fried tarantula is tastier than you’d expect,

Skuon (Spider Village), Cambodia

but our vote for “Least Likely To Be Something You Would Generally Consider As Food” is the giant water beetles.

Skuon (Spider Village), Cambodia

So while the history and the temples and all are good reasons to visit Cambodia, if you want selfies to really make your social media cliques perk up and take notice, don’t miss stopping at Skuon!

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Alex Curylo

Alex

I go places.

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