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The Top Markets In Phnom Penh, Cambodia
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The Top Markets In Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Picture of Crystal Au
Updated: 12 February 2017
Phnom Penh is the capital and largest city of Cambodia. The area is littered with enthralling French architecture, grand boulevards, picturesque waterside scenery and friendly, bustling locals. And where else better to immerse yourself in Cambodian culture than the local markets? Sample some sumptuous fried noodles, witness boisterous bartering and pick up handmade souvenirs along the way while you traverse the colorful marketplaces of Phnom Penh; here’s the very best of the bunch.

Central Market

Established in 1937, the Central Market in Phnom Penh is known as Phsar Thmei or the ‘New Grand Market’ to locals. It’s set in an art deco style building which features four wings full of stalls designed by French architects. History has left its mark on the venue; the market was destroyed by Thai aircraft during the Franco-Thai war, was rebuilt following the bombing in WWII, and was completely renovated in 2011. A must-stop for shoppers seeking gold, jewelry, food or souvenirs, the Central Market’s entrance is lined with enthusiastic merchants hawking everything from T-shirts and postcards to silver curios and kramas. Opening hours: 7am-5pm daily

Street 128 (Kampuchea Krom), Phsar Thmei 1 Commune, Daun Penh District, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Russian Market

Natively known as Phsar Toul Tom Poung, this venue is now recognized as the Russian Market thanks to its popularity amongst Russian expats living in Phnom Penh during the 1980s. It’s the place to purchase a range of handicrafts and handmade goods including woodcarvings, silks, musical instruments and miniature Buddhas, and although it is renowned for being hot and stuffy, it’s a top spot to bag a bargain. Watch out for the authenticity of goods here; there are fake brands wherever you look. Opening hours: 7am-5pm

Street 155, Toul Tum Poung 1 Commune , Chamkar Mon District, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Night Market

The Night Market (Phsar Reatrey), is an open-air weekend affair located near the river. It’s the place where locals and tourists come to shop for traditional clothing and consume some authentic street food. The Night Market is the most relaxed marketplace in Phnom Penh, and in the balmy evenings here visitors can settle in the picnic areas, eat some fried crab or fish amok and soak in the electric atmosphere. A highlight is the traditional Cambodian dance performances held on the elevated stage, a musical fusion of historical, well-worn dance steps and modern Cambodian sounds. Opening hours: Fri-Sun 5:30pm-11:30pm

Street 1 (Preah Sisowath Quay), Wat Phnom Commune, Daun Penh District, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Old Market

Just across the street from the Night Market, the Old Market (Phsar Chas) is an ideal place in which to experience authentic Cambodian culture in its most natural form. This is the market where the locals shop; you’ll find no souvenirs here, only authentic fruits and vegetables waiting to be used in traditional cooking. This is one of the most crowded shopping areas in the city, offering everything from motorcycle parts, to handmade glass and cheap haircuts, and with its stunning location by the river in the Old French Quarter, visitors should definitely make an effort to stop by here on a trip to Phnom Penh. Opening hours: 5am-10pm daily

Street 13 (Preah Ang Eng), Daun Penh District, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Olympic Market

Next to the Olympic Stadium, a building which has never actually held an Olympic Games, the Olympic Market of Phnom Penh sits flamboyantly. A haven for fabrics and textiles, colorful cloth of all variations is available for purchase here, incorporating traditional patterns, diverse textures and intricate weaving methods. The Market is also popular amongst young Cambodians wanting to buy clothes, shoes, accessories and other fashion items imported from China, Korea, Thailand and Vietnam. Three stories high, the venue was fitted with the first escalators ever to be used in Cambodia, which are still operating today. Opening hours: 7am-5:30pm daily

Street 286, Olympic Commune , Chamkar Mon District