Tourists in Beijing will no longer be able to indulge their adventurous palate and sample scorpions, centipedes or other insect delicacies, with the city's popular bug market set to down shutters on June 24, according to reports in the Chinese media.

The closure of the 32-year-old Donghuamen night market in a narrow 300-metre-long street that smells of "stinky tofu" and is almost always brimming with people, marks the end of one of the Chinese capital's most visited streets, where foreigners as well as locals are greeted by live scorpions on thin skewers, ready to be grilled and devoured by the boldest customers.

Lack of hygienic storage and waste management - waste usually accumulates in the middle of the street - combined with neighbours' complaints over noise, have prompted the authorities' decision to close down these food kiosks, located in central Beijing, a few metres from Wangfujing, one of the most upmarket streets in the Chinese capital.

The market started in 1984 as a set of street stalls, offering tourists and locals a taste of Beijing's culinary diversity, although gradually it started offering other regional cuisine too.


Currently, a visitor to the market can tuck into anything from spring rolls, roast duck, chicken or lamb on skewers, to snakes, cicadas, starfish or seahorses.

Travel guides on China usually recommend a visit to this Beijing market, where it is common to see foreigners, as well as locals, taking selfies or recording videos of themselves trying out a fried grasshopper or a lizard, surrounded by red Chinese lanterns.

Although Beijing's Donghuamen may cease to exist eight days from now, places such as the southern province of Guangdong will continue to offer insect-based delicacies on their menus.