Markets to Visit in Phnom Penh: A Guide

by Nick & Raychel
A man grabs for vegetables at a local market in Phnom Penh, Cambodia
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Guide to Markets (Phnom Penh)

We love the markets in Phnom Penh. Think of the markets in Thailand, and then imagine everything half the price. Whether you’re a traveller looking for a funky souvenir or a new expat looking for a place to buy a shower curtain, the markets in the city have you covered.

From the outside, the markets in Phnom Penh all look somewhat similar – but they are diverse in their prices, accessibility, stock, and general vibe.

After a year of navigating our way around them, here is our guide to markets in Phnom Penh.


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Russian Market

 

What you can find: Anything from clothes, shoes, linens, fabrics, food, automotive, helmets, hammocks, souvenirs, and more.

Pros:

  • Even if you don’t speak Khmer, it is very easy to bargain at this market. We’ve started at $20 and bargained down to $2 here.
  • You can find almost anything!!
  • There are plenty of cool bars and restaurants in the area to visit before/after your shopping trip
  • Did we mention things are cheap here?

Cons:

  • This market has very narrow aisles and it gets HOT in here during the afternoon
  • If you’re staying/exploring the very popular riverside area, this area is a bit out of the way

Recommend to tourists? YES!
Recommend to expats? YES!


Central Market

 

What you can find: Same as Russian Market! Anything from clothes, shoes, linens, fabrics, food, automotive, helmets, hammocks, souvenirs, and more. Central Market also has an array of jewellery for purchase.

Pros:

  • This art deco building was built in 1937. In the shape of a dome, Central Market is open, airy (ok, in comparison to the others), historical, and more appealing to look at.
  • As the name states, Central Market is, in fact, central. You can pair a trip to this market with many other stops you’re planning to make in the city. Central Market is not far from other tourist destinations like the riverside, Independence Monument, or Wat Phnom.  
  • Again, you can find almost anything here.

Cons:

  • If you’re thinking you will get a good bargain here, think again. Central Market is arguably the most popular market in Phnom Penh and the vendors know it.
  • Central Market is partially outside, which means it can get very hot during the afternoon. Get here early before everybody else (and the heat) does.

Recommend to tourists? YES!
Recommend to expats? YES!


Night Market

 

What you can find: Clothes, shoes, street food, some jewellery, and souvenirs.

Pros:

  • If you’re looking for souvenirs and a fun thing to do in the evening, this is the place for you
  • The night market is, of course, open at night. Unlike the other markets that close around 5pm or 6pm, you can shop here after dinner time.
  • There are food stands available for you to try some funky dishes, and a Khmer-style eating area to enjoy them in (floor seating)

Cons:

  • Because there’s only really one “night market” – the lack of competition means you’re going to have a harder time bargaining here
  • The market is quite small compared to other markets in Phnom Penh, and other night markets throughout Asia
  • If you’re looking for more practical stuff, you won’t really find it here
  •  
  • The tarps hang down quite low, so if you are very tall, beware!

Recommend to tourists? Yes!
Recommend to expats? For a fun night out, yes.


Jet’s Container

 

Okay, so this is less of a “market” but we decided to add it in anyway since it is a fun thing to do at night. Technically, you can shop and eat here – so we threw it in for you.

What you can find: Some clothes, food to eat, alcohol, and live music.

Pros:

  • This is a great place to get some drinks amongst the locals on a weekend
  • You can try funky foods, listen to music, and buy a couple things while you’re at it

Cons:

  • Like we mentioned, it’s not really a market. If you’re looking for a place to shop for things you need or even get a bunch of souvenirs, this is not the place.
  • Jet’s Container is also located a bit far away from the main city areas

Recommend to tourists? If you’re looking for something to do at night!
Recommend to expats? Yes – especially if you’re sick of just going to the bar.


Orussey Market

 

What you can find: Clothes, toys, food, hammocks, sheets, practical household items, fabrics, and more.

Pros:

  • A very popular market amongst the locals, if you are an expat in Phnom Penh, you may be able to find some very practical items here
  • The central location makes it easy to access
  • If you want to see how the locals shop, this is a good place to observe that

Cons:

  • This market is difficult to navigate if you don’t speak Khmer
  • Many locals come here to buy food or items in bulk for their own businesses, so you will find it tricky to find any deals on singular items
  • If you’re looking for souvenirs or touristic items, this is not the place to visit

Recommend to tourists? No
Recommend to expats? Yes


Old Market / BKK Market / other local markets

 

What you can find: Food, some clothes, and random items.

Pros:

  • You can experience local culture
  • If you’re an expat in the city, these are great places to save on your groceries!

Cons: You won’t really find any souvenirs or funky stuff to take home if you are just traveling through Phnom Penh. Although interesting to see, these local markets can be quite small and out of the way.

Recommend to tourists? No
Recommend to expats? Yes

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