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Markets in Phnom Penh – Where to go for what!

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!


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Shopping at Russian Market (Toul Tom Poung Market)

Russian Market is the most popular market among tourists and expats and probably the best place to pick up souvenirs.  It does not look like much from the outside but when you get in you will find everything from beautifully hand carved statues, colorful lanterns and handmade silk scarves to fake bags, printed T-shirts and DVDs.

Russian market is located in the south part of Phnom Penh and is known to the locals as Phsar Toul Tom Poung. The reason why it is called Russian market is because it was a popular market among the Russian expats during the 1980s when most of the western expats in Phnom Penh were Russian.

It is a narrow and sometimes steamy market since most of the stalls do not have Air-conditions or even a fan, but it is still worth the visit and if you get tired you can always take a relaxing coffee at one of the cafés around the market.

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Shopping at Central Market (Phsar Thmey)

Central Market is located in the heart of the Phnom Penh. The Khmer name of the market is Phsar Thmey translates as “new market”.

The Central Market was built in 1937 during the French colonial period, in Art Deco style, and is painted bright ochre. It consists of four wings dominated by a central dome, the design allows maximum ventilation. It is probably the cleanest  and most airy market you will find in Phnom Penh. The Market was recently renovated to restore its old glory. The renovation was financed by the French government and finished in March of 2011.

The Market is filled with stalls selling gold and silver jewelery, electronic equipment, clothing, fake watches and bags, suitcases, dried and fresh foodstuff and lots of souvenirs.

Central Market is definitely the best and freshest market for browsing, but it has a reputation for overpricing on most products.

Read more about the diffrent markets in Phnom Penh here.

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Shopping at Night Market in Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh’s Night Market on the riverfront is aimed towards visitors and tourists, offering a wide and varied selection of Cambodian handicrafts silks, art, cloths and souvenirs. Interestingly thought is that it is probably more popular among Khmers than foreigners. 

The market has a more relaxing, cooler and festive atmosphere than a typical local market in Phnom Penh. In the middle of the market is a big stage where they most of the time have some kind of performance or concert.

There is also a picnic area behind the stage where you can sit down and enjoy the food from the food stands and listen to music.

The Night Market is opened every Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening from 5 pm to midnight.

More detail about address, please click on Night Market venue.