If shopping in Phnom Penh is on your list of things to do, make Central Market your first stop. From fragrant spices to antique furniture to souvenir shirts, the market offers a surprising variety of goods under its dome roof.
As the name implies, Central Market is in the heart of Cambodia’s capital city. Appreciate its convenient location, coupled with its unbeatable bargain prices. It is a favorite stop among both tourists and local residents.
Notice the massive yellow building; you can’t miss it. Completed in 1937, Central Market is a product of the era’s popular art deco style. It is in the shape of a cross, with four wings and a soaring central dome.
The types of vendors in Central Market’s wings have no apparent organization, so your best strategy is to explore them all. Traditional Cambodian souvenirs, like checkered krama scarves or brightly colored sarongs, are in abundance. Don’t be fooled by designer labels; the market thrives with counterfeit luxury items like watches and sunglasses.
The center of the market is filled with jewelry stalls. Be dazzled by the rows of glittering silver and gold accessories. Cambodian jewelry is known for its high-quality design and relatively low prices.
Satisfy your appetite on the western side of Central Market. This wing is bursting with food stalls. Try a popular Cambodian dish such as amok trey, a fish fillet covered with spices and wrapped in a banana leaf. If you want to prepare your own meal, select from the endless ingredients available here. Browse through stalls bursting with freshly caught fish, local produce and flavorful spices.
Central Market is open daily from morning until evening. Although prices are extremely reasonable, come prepared with plenty of cash and your best bargaining skills. Not only is bargaining commonplace, but vendors expect the practice and set starting prices accordingly higher.
Reach Central Market easily by foot from most places in Phnom Penh. Alternatively, arrive at the taxi station at the northwest corner of the market or the bus station at the southwest corner.