Inside Cambodia’s Tarantula Snack

Soy Lun takes off her hat and puts a hand in her pocket. She pulls out not a wallet or a phone, but a tarantula as big as her palm.

“This one crawled up my leg when I was selling them so I kept it,” she laughs.

Every day, Soy receives crawling sacks full of the huge, hairy spiders and counts them out into plastic bags like she’s doling out candy. Soy and her husband Kong Hi are one of two tarantula wholesalers in their town, Skuon, which sits on a junction connecting three of Cambodia’s biggest cities: Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Kratie. Skuon is famous across Cambodia for its deep fried spiders, and for traders like Soy and Kong, the idea of a spider being anything less than delicious is bizarre.

“In Australia, what kinds of spiders do you have?” Kong asks, fascinated.

“Can you eat them? What is the size of the spider that can kill you?”

As well as wholesaling, Soy and Kong sell fried tarantulas at a busy i…
Read more
  • 0