When most people think of adventure travel, their minds immediately go to extreme sports, extreme conditions, or unstable environments. And while skydiving over mountains and traveling to war-torn countries certainly qualify as adventurous — even dangerous — some of the most adrenalin-producing experiences in the world can come for the traveler at mealtime.
From experimental cuisine that involves insects to a terrifying ascent to a Chinese teahouse, here are six of the most adventurous eating experiences in the world.
Witchetty Grubs, Australia
Head to the Land Down Under for an insect meal that is definitely not for the faint of heart, mouth, or stomach. Witchetty grubs are ghost moth larvae, and they were once an important part of food gathering for many Australians and aboriginal people.
Eaten live, raw, or barbecued, the witchetty grub is mostly eaten as a novelty now, although if you ever find yourself lost in the bush and in need of some solid and reliable protein, you’d be lucky to happen upon some.
The Huashan Teahouse, China
Much more than just a simple hike to a teahouse, getting to the Huashan Teahouse requires traveling to the top of Mt. Huashan – at over 7,000 feet above sea level.
The trip up takes a long time and it’s actually quite physically demanding, but it’s the claim on your nerves that’s the true test.
Once a tram drops you at the path, you tiptoe sideways, unharnessed against a cliff face atop tiny, wooden planks that are nailed into the rock. There is no fence or rail to guard against your back to keep you from plummeting to your death, thousands of feet below.
From there, you transition to a steep staircase with only a small, rickety fence to offer protection. Once you reach the top, the tea is truly delicious, but then you have to make your way back down. It’s truly one amazing set of stairs!
While it may not seem all that exotic or adventurous to some, moonshine has a reputation for danger that precedes its prohibition era days. After all, the straight stuff has been credited with making folks go blind.
While an honest moonshiner will make sure to never cut his swill with anything other than water (and a proud moonshiner won’t even do that), stories have been relayed over the years of dishonest moonshiners cutting their liquor with turpentine or drain cleaner, and because moonshine is so toxic to your taste buds anyway, you wouldn’t know it was poison from the taste.
If you’re looking for a dangerous drinking experience closer to home, book a great flight on Flights.com to the backwoods of Kentucky, West Virginia, or Tennessee.
If someone offers you moonshine, it would be impolite to refuse, but if it’s a bad batch, it will make last year’s flu look like a free, all-inclusive Bahamas vacation. You may also wish to read up on these tips for international intoxication!
Dinner in the Sky, Brussels
Developed in Brussels, a Dinner in the Sky experience allows you and 21 of your friends to eat a meal on top of a suspended platform that sits about 180 feet in the air.
The experience offers a stunning view of the city below, and it comes with a photographer, a waiter, a chef, and an entertainer, just in case eating a meal in the middle of the sky — without walls around you — wasn’t interesting enough.
You can pre-book your taxi for Brussels online.
Fugu, or puffer fish, is one of the most dangerous foods human beings can consume. Filled with lethal amounts of a tetrodotoxic poison, if fugu isn’t prepared properly, death by asphyxiation is a common result.
If you’re going to eat fugu, make sure you choose a chef who has been through the certification process — an arduous ordeal that takes around three years and has a very high rate of failure, which means very few chefs are licensed to keep you safe while you eat it.
Once you’ve located a reputable chef, keep in mind that some prefer to leave a bit of the poison in the flesh so that you can feel dizzy, numb or tingly around the mouth.
Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, Maldives
While it claims to be 100 percent safe, there’s nothing like dining beneath the visible sea to make you wonder how thick the glass of your aquarium-like walls actually is, and whether or not it’s been built to fully withstand the pressure.
Located on the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, this restaurant features a 270-degree view of the sea above you. You enter the restaurant via a staircase at the end of a jetty, and if you want to stay all night, you can rent the restaurant as a guest room, as well.
Travel the world with adventure by setting out to experience food and drink with danger.
Whether you’re willing to try the most poisonous fish in the world, or you want to dine under the sea, these restaurants, foods, and drinks will test your mettle.