We were in Phnom Penh for 2 nights and after the planned sightseeing, as always, we found time for the local markets. Anyone who knows me, knows that I always like to spend time at the markets.
The Central Market is a large market constructed in 1937 in the shape of a dome with four arms branching out into vast hallways with countless stalls of goods. The unique Art Deco building is a Phnom Penh landmark.
The entrance to the market is lined with souvenir merchants hawking everything from T-shirts and postcards to silver curios and kramas. A krama is a sturdy traditional Cambodian garment with many uses, including as a scarf, bandanna, to cover the face, for decorative purposes, and as a hammock for children. Inside is a dazzling display of jewels and gold. Electronic goods, stationery, clothes and flowers are also sold.
These markets are a bargain shopping paradise. The shops are full, and when I say full, they are bursting at the seams with watches, sunglasses, mobile accessories, t-shirts, ladies dresses, clothing, shoes and all kinds of souvenirs and gifts.
This is an enormous market. It is jammed packed with all kinds of stalls from food to bling. No matter what you are looking for it will be there.
Be prepared to barter, there is a good deal to be had but they are hard, however, don’t insult them by going too low. You will no doubt find something you like here, the prices are good and most of the sellers can speak English which makes it so much easier. Just remember to take US dollars as that is the preferred currency in Cambodia.
We had initially planned to go to the Russian markets which I had heard so much about, however the Central Markets were much closer to our hotel and very easy to get to. We certainly were not disappointed.
This is a market with items for both tourists and the locals. It is definitely worth a visit during your Phnom Penh stay. A real Cambodian market experience