The colourful and bustling market of Phnom Penh
During the visit to Phnom Penh, one of the landmarks not to be missed if you like living a slice of Cambodian people’s daily life is the Central market, known as Phsar Thmei. The market opens from 6 am to 5 pm, and it is located in the city centre inside a big dark-yellow coloured art-deco style building built around 1937 with a shape of a cross with a central dome.
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The four wings of this gigantic yellow dome are teeming with stalls that sell goods ranging from gold and silver, antique coins, money exchange, men’s and women’s apparel, clocks, books, flowers, food, fabrics, shoes, souvenirs, fish, seafood, dessert, luggage, and countless other products. Samdach Sang street’s side is plenty of stalls selling street food and where Cambodian people crowd in the early morning to have breakfast or during the day for lunch or dinner.
Here you can try tasty local dishes like the Kyteow, white rice noodles cooked in a soup with meat or seafood, bean sprouts and lime, the Bobor (rice porridge) served with either fish, chicken, or perhaps some salted egg as well as thinly sliced ginger bean sprouts and lime, or the fried chicken or pork on rice.
The fresh food section affords a lot of great opportunities for photography enthusiasts. On the west side of the building, you’ll find colourful stalls selling vegetables, fruit, fresh and dried fish and meat of all any kind. The watch and jewellery merchants are in the market’s interior right under the big dome, and some of the gold ornament that you will find here are really unsurpassable in design and style.
The building’s wings are dedicated to electrical goods, household appliances, women’s clothing and men’s clothing. On the east side, there is an ample supply of flowers and merchants hawking everything from t-shirts to postcards and souvenirs. In the northwest corner of the market is a taxi station for cars direction Battambang, Siem Reap, Kampong Cham, Kratie and the bus station is in the southwest corner.