No holiday would be complete for me without a walk around one of the local markets and Phnom Penh was no different. Whilst most of my images are of the “Wet Market” areas as this is what interests me, both of the markets mentioned below have far much more to offer than just this and would be great locations to pick up souvenirs and presents for friends and family.
Russian Market (Psah Toul Tom Poung) Corner of Street 163 and Street 444, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Open daily from 7am – 5pm the Russian Market (named for its popularity with Russian expats back in the 1980’s) is a great place for tourists visiting Phnom Penh to explore. The labyrinth like interior of the market sees clothes stalls blend seamlessly with beautiful chinaware (I especially liked all the teapots and water jugs on display) arts and crafts, dry goods, beauty salons and a wet market which as you can imagine was where I spent most of my time. The market is also said to be the best place to buy fabrics and silks and you can also pick up some good deals on factory outlet clothes and leather bags although I would say if the deal looks too good to be true than it probably is! Bartering is expected and prices are inflated accordingly so have a good idea of what you want to spend on something before purchasing but do remember that whilst that extra dollar might not make much of a difference to you for many Cambodians it most certainly does so don’t be obnoxious about it!
Central Market (Psah Thmei) Between streets 126 and 136, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Open daily from 5am – 5pm Bigger and airier than the Russian market , the impressive art deco Central market was originally built by the French back in the late 1930’s and underwent extensive French funded renovations back in the 1990’s. The main central hall houses numerous “gem” sellers which I would suggest avoiding unless you are an expert as many of these are fakes. Clothes, bags, homewares, shoes, food stalls and another lively wet market are all located in different areas of the market and we stopped to grab an ice coffee to help cool down whilst exploring and watch the market traders at work. I always think markets are one of the best ways to get a feel for a new country and it was truly fascinating to watch daily life inside this giant market, a great spot to visit and easily walkable from Wat Phnom or the Northern end of Sisowath Quay