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The Best Markets in Cambodia

The Best Markets in Cambodia

By Wendy Updated Sep. 29, 2022

The lively and bustling markets of Cambodia are a truly exciting and unique way to experience local Vietnamese culture, while doing some shopping of your own or sampling one of the many delicious street foods.

Asia Highlights has compiled a list of some of the most famous and unique markets in the country. Each has a different atmosphere and selection of goods. If shopping is not your main objective, these markets still offer interesting and relevant cultural experiences.

Quick Facts

  • Most commerce in Cambodia is conducted in markets
  • There are various types of market (fruit markets, night markets, etc.)
  • Prices and goods vary from market to market
  • Markets are a great place to go for food
  • Markets provide an education in the local culture

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Why visit a local market

Unlike in most western countries, most Cambodian commerce occurs in markets, making markets an attractive destination and a potential learning experience for foreign travelers.

In addition to their novelty, the markets often have interesting histories, boast surprising architecture, have deep roots in the local culture, and play a central role in the lives of the Cambodian people.

In short, a visit to a market is at once educational, exciting, and meaningful.

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What to expect when visiting a market

The atmosphere at each market varies. It often depends on the building that houses the market and how much space the vendors have. No matter where you go, you can expect some crowds. Compared to a western mall, markets have lots of people and little space, but this adds to the excitement and authenticity!

In addition to crowds, you can expect fairly aggressive vendors. Shouts of “hello” are common and many vendors will try to attract your attention as you walk about. This is all about business. The people are friendly and the markets safe, but keep an eye on your belongings at all times.

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Phnom Penh

Central Market

One of the largest markets the country is housed in a giant French-style building that is a wonder in its own right. Spread over four long wings, the Central Market is less crowded than some of the others on this list, although its atmosphere is still lively.

Location: Street 128 (Kampuchea Krom), Phsar Thmei 1 Commune, Daun Penh Open: 7 am – 5 pm daily

Open: 7 am – 5 pm daily

What to buy

  • Gold
  • Jewelry
  • Food and snacks
  • Souvenirs like T-shirts and post cards
  • Silk and textiles
  • Silver curios and cameras

Russian Market

Do not let the name mislead you; the so-called Russian Market is for locally-made crafts and goods. Known by the locals as Phsar Toul Tom Poung, the market got its name from the high number of Russian expatriates who shopped there during the 1980s.

Today, the Russian Market is a Mecca of textiles, statues, crafts, and hand-made products from around Cambodia. Bargain prices and a lively atmosphere combine to make this market a great time. Some visitors say it is more crowded than the Central Market, but the diversity of wares and goods makes it all worth it.

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

Open: 7am – 5 pm daily

What to buy

  • Musical instruments
  • Hand-carved statues
  • Miniature Buddhas
  • Bargain clothing
  • Silk and textiles
  • Bargain clothing
  • Knock-off western brands

Night Market and Old Market

The laid-back feeling you will experience at the Night Market contrasts with the festive atmosphere found at the two markets above. Open from 5:30 pm to 11:30 pm, the Night Market attempts to beat the heat and offers locals and travelers alike a way to cool down after dark.

Expect a slower feeling than the other markets, but many of the same goods. Do not expect to find as much jewelry or high-value items after dark, but you can still find plenty of handmade crafts and fun souvenirs.

Another highlight of the Night Market is the street food. With less space dedicated to shops there are plenty of food options in the evening and into the night.

Across the street from the Night Market is the Old Market. This traditional market is where the locals shop, and can be the best place to find anything from car supplies to cooking utensils.

If you are interested in buying “daily necessities” then this market might be for you. Expect fewer high-end or tourist items.

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

What to buy

  • Low-cost souvenirs and gifts
  • Food, food, and more food
  • Locally-made crafts
  • Fresh fruit and vegetables for your breakfast

Siem Reap

Angkor Night Market

As you wander the 200+ stalls that make up the Angkor Night Market, you might be hard pressed to decide on a purchase. This market is famous for its size and for the authenticity of its unique products, like paintings and figurines. You can also find jewelry, alcohol, food, and gifts of all kinds.

The market is well lit, spread out and relatively easy to navigate. Open from 4 to 11 pm this market is another great place to beat the heat. On weekends it often features live music or puppet shows to add to the festive atmosphere.

Location: Sivatha Boulevard, Siem Reap

What to buy

  • Handmade puppets
  • Handbags
  • Recycled and repurposed crafts
  • Brass and silver carvings
  • Silk paintings

Old Market

The Old Market got its name from being the oldest market of its kind in the country. Renowned for its plethora of cheap souvenirs, jewelry, and shoes, this is the perfect stop for a traveler who needs some gifts to take home.

The Old Market has become a hub for Cambodian cuisine. Stop by to try authentic dishes in one of the small stalls that surround the other vendors. Open 7 am – 8 pm, this market is best in the early mornings, when the crowds are small.

Location: Psar Chas Road, Siem Reap

What to buy

  • A meal or two
  • Souvenirs
  • Shoes
  • Hand-carved statues

A Journey to Mysterious Cambodia and Idyllic Vietnam

Market tips

  • Carry a variety of denominations to make purchases quickly and easily
  • Always secure your bag or purse at the front of your person
  • Children can frequently be used in scams
  • Feel free to barter as it is widely acceptable
  • Stick together as it can be easy to get separated in the rush
  • Know what you want, and look at several stalls to find the best price

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