Phnom Penh is a city filled with markets and sometimes it can be hard to know what market you should visit and where to find what. The eight most popular and central markets are Russian Market, Central Market, Olympic Market, Orussey Market, Boueng Keng Kang Market, Kandal Market, Old Market and Night Market.
Most markets have a wide selection ranging from fresh food to clothes to households supplies to motor parts, but the markets still differ a lot and they are specialize in different areas.
The most popular market among expats and tourist is definitely Russian Market, where you can find; souvenirs, handicraft, western sized clothes, handmade silk, fake bags and English DVDs. This is also the market where you will need to bargain the most.
Central Market, which is housed in a beautiful Art-Deco building, is the most spacious and cleanest market in Phnom Penh. Central market has the biggest supply of jewelry and gemstones of all markets and probably the freshest food section. You can also find a lot of shops selling electronics and household electronics around the market.
The biggest and most crowded market is Orussey Market, which is the commercial center for Cambodians in Phnom Penh, here you can find almost everything except souvenirs. There is also a lot of stalls and shops on the streets around the market.
Olympic market and Boueng Keng Kang Market are the two most popular markets among young Cambodians when they go shopping for fashion, such as clothes, accessories and shoes. Olympic Market offers imported products from other Asian countries and has a good selection of fabrics. Boueng Keng Kang Market on the other hand does also offer imported products but mostly second hand products, a good place if you are looking for vintage stuff.
Kandal Market and Old Market are two genuine local markets and are the best places to go to if you want to get a glimpse of the local culture or if you want to get some local food.
Phnom Penh’s Night Market is relatively small and is only open Friday to Sunday from 6pm until midnight, but it is a nice and airy market located on riverside close to the restaurants and the nightlife. The night market is aimed towards tourist and offers mostly touristic stuff.
When you are shopping at the markets there is a few things you should keep in mind; none of the markets is indoor with air-conditioning so drink a lot of water and bring a small wet towel that you can keep around your neck to cool off and dry off your sweat with.
If you want to buy fresh food you should try to go to the market as early as possible, preferably before 9 am, before the food has been out in the heat for too long.
When negotiating the price remember that Cambodia has almost no domestic production and most of the commercial products are imported, that is why it is sometimes more expensive in Cambodia than in neighboring countries.
Read more about the markets here!