The best markets in Phnom Penh Cambodia

In Cambodia tour package, a tour of Phnom Penh market is an experience you could not missed. Most markets have a wide selection ranging from fresh food to various clothes.

1. Central market ( Phsar Thmey )

Central Market – also referred to as Phsar Thmey, meaning ‘New Market’ – is one of the major landmarks in Phnom Penh. Designed by Desbois and erected in Art Deco style, Central Market was the largest of its kind in Asia when it was constructed in 1937 during the French colonial era. In an effort to preserve this unique architecture, Central Market underwent a renovation with funds from the French Developmental Agency before it was reopened to the public in 2011.

Around the main buildings are stalls offering Krama (checked scarves), stationery, household items, cloth for sarongs, flowers and second hand clothes, usually from Europe and the US. On the eastern side of the building is the main entrance where you’ll come across shops that have items such as ornaments, T-shirts and souvenirs on sale. Likewise, head over to the market’s central area that holds numerous jewel stores, gold as well as silver jewelry collections. Further, the market has a slew of shops that especially deal in electronics, clothing and second-hand items at incredibly cheap prices. Above all, don’t forget to sample the distinctive food items available here. One of the specialty dishes is the creamy coconut pudding that is particularly great to relish during scorching afternoons.

2. Russian market ( Phsar Toul Tom Poung )

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.

This market is popular to collectors of genuine antiques; also, for those looking for good reproductions. Filled with stalls selling sundry souvenir items (silk scarves and bags, woodcarvings, etc.) and clothing, Toul Tum Poung is a well-frequented market among tourists. The food area is very interesting to wander around, though be careful of the wet floor near the fresh food area as it can be slippery. Stop for lunch or a snack on the delicious local food offerings to recharge between your bargain hunts.

3. Night Market ( Phsar Reatrey )

The night market in Phnom Penh, located in front of the Phsar Chas (Old Market) near the riverside, is perpetually crowded with tourists in search of a good bargain. The market was originally aimed towards visitors and tourists but interestingly thought is that it is probably more popular among Cambodians than foreigners.

At the moment, there are more than 150 stalls selling an array of items from clothing and ornaments to furniture and souvenirs. The entire setting of the Phnom Penh night market night market is made from natural material, and there are occasionally music performances and entertainment acts.

It has a wide selection of all the usual tourist items including handicrafts, silks, art, T-shirts, curios, knickknacks, and souvenirs. While it is an open market like a local market, it has a bit more of a relaxed and festive atmosphere than a typical local market. The night market is a different addition to Phnom Penh’s shopping scene.

4. Old Market ( Phsar Chas )

Old Market (Phsar Chas) is a centrally located, local market, behind Night Market just one block west of riverside in the south end of the Old French Quarter. If you are looking for typical Cambodian souvenirs then you have come to the wrong place but if you want to get a glimpse of the local culture this is the market to go to.

If you want to buy fresh fish and vegetable you should try to get there as early as possible before the best goods are sold out. Some of the stalls open already around 5am and at 6am you can expect all of them to be open.

In addition, the market provides customers with a significant number of raw materials used for cooking food. Besides departments for food, the Old market has the stores selling products of old clothes and motorbikes. Many kinds of old clothes with affordable prices draw the attention of quite a few visitors including foreign tourists. Motorcycles are also displayed to customers with a variety of types of models. Due to this diversity of commodities, the Old market becomes more and more busy and crowded.

5. Olympic Market

Olympic market is one of the best places in town to find nice fabrics, most of the fabrics are end-of-roll textiles from the local garment industry. The market is additionally well-known for clothing fashion and accessories such as belts, glasses, wallets and shoes. Besides clothes, there are also numerous shops offering jewelry in the first floor. The second floor is specially for ladies with evening dresses worn in Cambodia on a festive occasions. The last floor located restaurants which offer a lot of special and tasty Cambodia dish with affordable price.



A taste of fried tarantula in Cambodia

Cambodia travel destination is not only holiday getaway with its historical sites and natural attractions, but also popular the local exotic food “fried tarantula”.


Tarantulas first started meeting with woks in large numbers during the tragically widespread food shortages of the brutal 1975-1979 Khmer Rouge regime. After the Khmer Rouge were ousted, Cambodians realized that their crafty survival skills had rewarded them with a tasty new chapter of gastronomy.

Most people suffered from hunger so they would just eat anything that they would find edible. The necessity resulted to a traditional exotic dish and aside from tarantulas, locals also eat scorpions, grasshoppers and silkworms. Nowadays, the A-ping has become a popular snack that both signify the history and culture of Cambodia. There are also other interesting superstitious beliefs about this dish because the locals say that eating one would make you beautiful.


Women around the area believe that the snacks have cosmetic properties and can enhance your natural beauty. If you eat the legs first, you can get long and lustrous hair too. The Cambodians also believe that the tarantulas have medicinal properties. They are very useful for soothing back aches and treating breathing problems found in children. They are considered to be more effective when served with rice wine.

Fried spider is a popular and favorite dish is Cambodia. They are a specialty snack that also attract the tourist population here. They are also bred in special holes in the villages of north Skuon. According to experts, the eating habit of fried spiders may have started due to desperation when there was shortage in food supply. The spiders used for the snacks belong to the species called tarantula and are known as ‘a-ping.’ They are the size of a human palm. The cost of the snack was about 300 riel ($0.08) in 2002. According to a travel book, the spiders are known as Haplopelma albostriatum, also called the zebra tarantula. The species is also known as ‘edible spider’ for more than hundreds of years.


While you can find a vendor or two hawking trays of a-ping in Kampong Thom and Phnom Penh alike, the town of Skuon—75 kilometers north of Phnom Penh—is the epicenter of a-ping cuisine, and close to the spiders’ underground burrows where they are harvested. In nearby forests, children and adults set about tarantula hunting, searching for the small holes in the ground that are home to the spiders. They spend a few minutes poking a stick down the hole and making chirping sounds to bring them out of hiding. As soon as a spider shows its face, it is caught bare-handed.

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Things You Must Pack If You Are Visiting Cambodia [Part 2]

Cambodia travel destination is always attractive to many backpackers keen on discovering the local history. Here’s a detailed packing list for you in Cambodia.

Making a trip to Cambodia by packing smart and bringing only what you need. You don’t want to over-pack or be weighed down by unnecessary luggage and items.

6. Light rain jacket

If you’re headed to Cambodia during monsoon season, then a light rain jacket is a must. While they tend to only last for an hour, the heavy spells of rain and deafening claps of thunder will have you soaked within seconds otherwise.


7. Travel Insurance

Before travelling to Cambodia you’d do well to take out an insurance policy to cover against theft, loss of personal items and documentation, illness and injury. However, before you pay for a new policy, it’s worth checking whether you are already covered: some all-risks home insurance policies may cover your possessions when overseas, and many private medical schemes include cover when abroad – check that they cover Cambodia. Students will often find that their student health coverage extends during the vacations and for one term beyond the date of last enrolment.


8. Headphones and playlist

Cambodia is a loud country, from the construction that rings heavy around Phnom Penh to the constant chattering on the phone during bus trips. If you plan on using the country’s network of buses, then, unless you want to spend hours listening to blasting karaoke songs or foreign films, drowning out the sound with your own music is a must.


9.Travel adaptor

It’s well worth bringing a universal charger or adaptor because, depending on where you stay, the plug sockets will differ. And if you don’t want your laptop to fry or your phone to overheat, it’s well worth investing in a charger that comes complete with surge protection, too.


10. Torch

Power cuts, especially during hot season, still plague parts of Cambodia, especially more rural areas, so it bodes well if you plan on exploring to take a mini torch with you. City centres are also often poorly lit, so you may want to put your torch in your bag during an evening out.


==> Read more:

Things You Must Pack If You Are Visiting Cambodia [Part 1]

Cambodia travel destination is always attractive to many backpackers keen on discovering the local history. Here’s a detailed packing list for you in Cambodia.

Making a trip to Cambodia by packing smart and bringing only what you need. You don’t want to over-pack or be weighed down by unnecessary luggage and items.

1. Clothes

Apart from being hot, Cambodia’s climate is often humid, so make sure you pack breathable clothes that can cope well with heavy sweating. Light, loose and cool clothing is essential. Because Cambodia is extremely warm and if you are visiting sites like Angkor Wat you will be doing lots of walking in the hot sun.

It also bodes well to remember that Cambodia is a Buddhist country and when visiting temples, religious structures or palaces, shoulders and knees must be covered. Lightweight long skirts and light-colored, loose and long-sleeved blouses are good.


2. Mosquito Repeller

There are mosquitos at night in some places. If you are enjoying sundowners sitting outside on a verandah or heading into the jungle and similar, it is good to have this portable mosquito repeller.

Make sure you’ve liberally applied repellent before you go out, or covered up completely as mozzies love the dusk. It’s really worth paying attention to this as living with itchy mozzie bites can be miserable – prevention is most definitely better than cure. It can protect up to a 15-foot surrounding area.


3. First aid kit

It’s good to have first aid with you while you travel. You will feel safe and when it comes to having an emergency need, you got it in your luggage. Travel first aid is a small, well designed with plasters, disinfectant, etc means you can quickly treat cuts and scratches and stop them getting infected.

If you’re in the provinces then health care can be less than desirable, so make sure you bring a well-stocked travel first aid kit. Essentials include plasters, pain-killers, antibiotic cream, gauzes and bandages, and any prescription medicine.


4. Tissues

The ‘bum gun’ shower spray is the traditional way to get clean after using the toilet, although many establishments do provide toilet paper. However, if you’re heading out of town or getting the bus to somewhere more remote, don’t forget to take toilet roll, tissues or wet wipes with you – chances are there won’t be any in the bathroom.


5. Sunscreen

Cambodia is hot. The Cambodia sun is brutal, especially after 10am in the morning. Wear a hat and cover up when possible. Apply first thing in the morning and first thing in the afternoon. It’s good to protect your skin while you visit the Angkor Wat temple or lay down on the beach at Sihanoukville.

The merciless sun beats down relentlessly in Cambodia, making sunscreen an absolute suitcase essential. A minimum of SPF50 is recommended, and for those sun gods and goddesses out there, yes, you will still tan.


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