Fish Food: How we became part of the food chain

Karon Beach, Phuket, Thailand is home to pushy vendors selling knock-off Ray Ban sunglasses and tailors selling custom evening wear.  Walking down an alley one tailor called out to us, “yes, yes to wedding dress?” but none of this captured Mo’s photographic imagination quite like the “fish pedicure.”

Let me explain.  Karon Beach is also home to nail salons galore.  Thai women dressed in bright neon uniforms stand in front of salon’s competing for your dollar.  In front of each salon is a tank full of pinky-sized sucker fish.

These fish have the lovely role of eating the dead skin off of tourist feet. The Thai salon women informed us that the fish eat “the death” skin off your feet and that it “no hurt.”

At nights the fish tanks light up along with the neon signs of the alleys giving the whole street an iridescent glow.  Mo was captivated.  Now all she needed was some fresh feet – mine to be exact.  Mo dared me to become fish bait for the evening.

Armed with a GoPro and lots of “death skin” I tentatively dipped my toes . . . and then my feet into the tank. Within seconds my feet were covered with the orange-clear bodies of sucker fish.  I was dinner.

The feeling of hundreds of fish eating your skin is not particularly pleasant and was similar to having suction cups attached to, and then ripped off your skin.  Personally, it was the ick factor that made me wish the 15 minute “beauty treatment” would end ASAP. The feeding frenzy storm made me want to flee!

Still the $150 Thai Baht Mo paid to feed me to the fishes was well worth it for the images  – if not the experience.

Mo also experienced a similar “holy s$%# I’m-part-of-the-food-chain” moment earlier in the day when she snorkeled up to a small school of barracuda.  See the GoPro video below.

Have you ever felt like you were an animals dinner? Share your experience with us below.

2 Responses to “Fish Food: How we became part of the food chain”
  1. Wanda T says:

    Joanne this is your cousin Sue.

    WOW! This is very cool. Stay safe and keep writing so we can keep track of your adventure!

    take care.

  2. Whoa! That is the freakiest pedicure I’ve ever seen! Mo, I am really enjoying your adventures. So glad you are sharing your stories, and that of the wildlife in Thailand. Stay safe!

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