Phnom Penh’s Markets
Phnom Penh is an excellent place to buy cheap knockoff clothes and accessories, beautiful fabrics, and Cambodian souvenirs. The best market for everything is the Russian Market in the south part of town. I visited this market about 5 times and bought, among other things, $2 tshirts, $1 tanktops $4 purses, $4 skirts, $3 dresses, an $8 Central America on a Shoestring Lonely Planet, and a lovely stone statue of an Apsara dancer for $25. The Russian Market, so called because the Russians used to shop there, is also known as Psar Toul Tom Pong. Don’t confuse it with the Orussey Market, they are totally different and are quite far away from each other. Apparently back in the day the Russian Market was a place you could buy literally everything: guns, drugs, children, you name it. Now it is an innocent market full of bargains for tourists and locals alike. It gets going at around 8 in the morning and is totally closed at 6pm.
Another great market for clothes, bags and shoes is the Central Market. It’s in a large ugly yellow art deco nightmare of a building in the center of town. I bought a ton of clothes here, but be warned: you won’t find much if you don’t wear small sizes. I wear an extra small shirt in the US and I bought larges here. They do have a range of sizes for men, though. The Central Market is really big and confusing to navigate. I still have no idea exactly how much of it I saw on my 3 trips there. It also opens around 8am and starts closing between 5 and 6pm.
On the weekends you can go to the Night Market. The Night Market is fairly new and is aimed at tourists, so bargain hard for low prices. Anything you see at the Night Market can also be found at Russian Market or Central Market, often for a better price. Located on the Riverfront near Wat Phnom, The Night Market begins setup around 5pm and starts winding down at 9pm.
There are also many traditional markets which are great for buying fruit, ugly shoes, or getting your nails done for $1; assuming you can stand the overpowering fish smell! These markets are where Cambodians go to shop for themselves. They are full of excellent photo opportunities, as well as stalls selling those delicious little bananas I have become addicted to. Take a wander through at least one, but be prepared to hold your breath, the smell of meat and fish can be quite strong.