Shanghai Insect Market

Whilst wandering around Shanghai Old Town last month I came across this curious market selling all manner of creepy crawlies and other things you’d probably not want to get too close to! In fact, the market sells a variety of flowers, birds, fish and insects as well as all the paraphernalia needed for keeping them (although don’t expect animal rights to be very high up on anyone’s agenda here).

Baby Turtles

Baby turtles by the dozen. They go nicely sautéed with birds nest soup I hear… 😉


Looking at these birdcages I was reminded of Chinese apartment blocks.

Live Insects for Sale

If you can put up with their incessant chirping apparently crickets make very good low-maintenance pets – all they need is a few fresh grubs each day! In ancient China, they were the pet of choice for the rich and wealthy where cricket fighting was and still is today a popular pastime. In Beijing, the Association for Cricket Fighting organises cricket fighting events and championships (I kid you not). In some cases, the crickets will go as far as to bite each other’s legs off and cricket gambling can be an equally dangerous business where thousands of Yuan are often at stake.

You can find the market not far from Laoximen metro station (line 8).

David avatar

2 responses

  1. Hmm. I guess everyone decides for themselves whether that is “man’s rightful dominance over nature” in action or whether it’s more like “big-time animal rights infringement”. I’m not so sure myself. Advocates of the former would seem to be in the majority (considering China’s population and the stories I hear), whereas the animal rights activists are making so much noise, that it’s difficult to guess their numbers.

    1. Hehe, I’m not going to get into that debate, but I will say I didn’t see anything terrible going on here although some of the stories I’ve heard are pretty appalling.


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