The name this particular marker is Dong hua men market. As far as I know, there are quite a few of these markets in Beijing.
Years ago when there was a lot of starving people in China, the people would eat insects and rodents or anything that they could find. Apparently, there is an old Chinese saying that states that “the only thing, with legs that a China man wont eat is the table and chairs””.
They say that this is one of the most famous night markets in China but as far as I can see, it’s just a place to shock tourists and to see what we’re daft enough to eat.
I wondered if the local maket vendors had bets on how many weird things they can sell but I never did find out about that one.
At the start of the market, which is very cramped, there’s a stall with some insects on sticks – some of them are still moving.
The main things seem to be scorpions and starfish although, further up, there are various other things. I’m not really sure what they are and I had no desire to eat them either ! ! !
Some were black and looked like massive maggots and others looked like something you would expect Bear Gryls to eat on one of his TV shows.
In the time that we spent there, I couldn’t see anyone – Chinese or westerners buying any of the bizarre creatures that were for sale.
Of the market stalls, the majority are selling “normal” food and drinks, it’s a small number that were selling the insects. The one thing that put me off eating anything though was the bins – every time you approached a rubbish bin, there was a horrendous smell coming from them. You could smell them a long time before you could see them.
That said, if you’ve not got a weak stomach then it is a good fun to spend a bit of time wandering around. The main street leading up to the market is very lively and seems to be a shopping street so it’s worth while taking a walk along that.
As it was, we had a fairly large lunch before going to the market that night so were not ready for anything to eat. Running off the main market street, there’s some nice looking eateries and there is a stage with some guy dresseed as a woman dancing – it’s all a bit weird but I reckon you should go and experience it all.