In Cambodia, stop off in Skun, some 60 km east of the capital, Phnom Penh, to munch on a deep-fried spider. These fist-sized arachnids are crunchy on the outside and taste like cold, gooey chicken on the inside. They cost just 12¢ apiece, but for a little extra you can wash them down with a swig of spider-infused rice wine.
For a seasonal treat, visit a Cambodian street vendor during the rainy season, June to September, to nibble on a cricket. The size of a grown man's finger and priced at about 3¢ each, they're served deep-fried with a pinch of salt and pepper. The most popular are the females laden with eggs—like spiders, they have a crispy outer shell and a thick, milky center.
Next door in Thailand, streets and shopping malls are filled with carts selling all sorts of creepy crawlies. The Thais consume around 300 tons a year, and estimates put the bug business at $50 million annually—about the same as the country's pizza business. For about 50¢ a bunch, the adventurous eater can snack on a variety of 20 kinds of insects (depending on the size of the bunch and who's selling it), from fried beetles to waterbugs. But the Big Mac of bugs has to be grasshoppers, which taste a bit like shrimp. Would you like fries with that? Or perhaps bamboo worms? The yellow wrigglers, known as "express trains" (rot duan) because of their cylindrical shape, are easily mistaken for fried potatoes. But they taste more like worms.