This is an absolute must to see.
A huge indoor market selling everything from food (expect to pay 0.50 cents for a plate of it) to cd's, clothes, wood carvings the lot.
Don't buy anything without bartering - its fun, hassle free and they love it as much as you hate it.
What to buy: From the Independence Monument head south along Norodom Blvd. Turn right at the first set of lights (Moa Tse Tung Blvd.). Go straight east (away from the river) through one set of lights (Monivong Blvd.) and then turn left at the next set of traffic lights (about 1km further down the road). Go straight for about 300m. You will see the market on the left.
Any visitor to Southeast Asia should be drawn towards the local markets. Otherwise, you’re missing a lot. Cambodia is no exception and Phnom Penh in particular had many colorful markets to check out. Even if you are too shy to shop or afraid to try the local foods, you can soak in the kaleidoscope of colors that assault you and take in a deep whiff of the strange aromas that will linger with you longer than the sights you came to see in the first place.
What to buy: I like trying local foods best but many people buy crafts or things they need for their trip there too.
What to pay: It is a bargain culture but with language barriers, this might be a problem. With food, I just pay what they motion for. Even if it's not a local price, it's always more than fair.
It is quite daunting if you get pestered by kids while visiting around the temples. Unless you are looking for something, the pestering will get on your nerves.
It is up to you whether you want to buy or not. The stuff they sell are quite cheap and a bargain.
Honestly why pay $20++ for the latest Lonely Planet guide to Cambodia at a mega faceless bookstore when you can get it cheaper at $5 and help some poor Cambodian.
There are bargains and good sourvenirs if you buy from these 'pesky' yet charming kids who by the way are very poor and desperate for your $1.
If not, perhaps you can carry a bag of sweets with you and distribute to them while not buying anything. At least, you wouldn't feel so guilty at saying 'No'.
What to buy: For general cheap sourvenirs like knock-offs on wood carvings and sandstone carvings, tee shirts, silk etc try the Russian Market in Phnom Penh.
Generally the arts&crafts items are more expensive in Siem Reap because there are just many tourists around, and most people have no clue of how much it costs really.
Just like any sizeable city in Southeast Asia, Siem Reap has a large central market that sells anything a local might need. In front of the market are rows of food stalls offering cheap local eats, as well as some miscellaneous fruit, vegetable, and snack vendors. Inside the covered market, which is really just a large warehouse, you will find different sections devoted to different types of items. There's rows for household goods, clothing and shoes, jewlery and gold, electronics, dry and bottled foods, and of course the wet market with fresh (although it may not smell like it) meats and produce. Not many tourists venture into the market, as they are too busy marvelling at the monuments of Angkor or relaxing in their luxury hotels, but here you will get a glimpse into the modern day life of the Khmer people. You may even find some cheap souvenirs to take home.
What to buy: As Cambodia does not manufacture very much, most items are imported from neighboring Thailand. Look for some of the packaged or bottled foods that are made in Cambodia.
What to pay: Much less than at any tourist souvenir store.
Around the outside of Central Market are vaious flower stalls. The aroma of all the different blooms when it mixes with the heat of the day is wonderful. Maybe not the sort of thing for tourists to buy but nevertheless, wonderful to wander amidst.
The Central Market has all sorts of goodies to buy. There is jewellery, household goods, material, souvenirs and some wonderful silverware. Be wary with the silver, its not solid so don't go polishing it too hard, you will find whats underneath.. however its all really lovely stuff.
Siem Reap has a very traditional Asian market which sells books, curios and souvenirs. There are some great buys to be had with silk hand-woven silks in the markets and of course some great silver which were my downfall. By the time I had finished with the poor girl with what I was buying I’m sure she didn’t know if she had struck a good deal or not. In know I had :-)
Local markets are a really nice experience, even if you are not gonna buy anything. Most of them are full of color and strange things, specially those of food and medicines. I like to ask the vendors about the items they are selling, they were extremely kind and explained it all to me with a smile.
But apart from the aesthetic aspect, there are many bargains to be found in those traditional markets. If you like to buy souvenirs, leave them all for the end and buy them all together, so you can get a better price for a large amount of items. Ah, and, of course, always BARGAIN for any item!!
Around the temples you will find many "2 for 1 dollar" items. Those kids selling cheap souvenirs seem to know only that english sentence, so everything they sell costs 1 dollar, and includes 2 items!!! Maybe you can bargain for 3 items, but this girl was so cute that I couldn't :-))
I bought these 2 flutes for my kids... and everyday I repent, as my ears can't stand that sound anymore, LOL LOL They are gonna "get lost" soon...
The "Russian Market" is famous for its large range of real and fake antiquities. Items which can be found there include krama, gems, jewellery, paintings, wood carvings of buddhas and apsaras, adn many more.
What to pay: BARGAIN HARD!
If you want to look pretty or just want to pamper yourself, you may want to consider paying for a manicure and pedicure.
At New World Hair Salon, the cost of manicure is USD$2 and pedicure is at the same price too.
There is also all types of hair treatments and facials available at very affordable rates.
Along the riverside, there is a row of shophouses which sell handicrafts like wood-crafted Apsaras. As Batambang is known as "Ubud of Cambodia", tourists like to purchase "big" items in Battambang to be shipped back home as decorations.
What to pay: I bought a pair of small wooden Apsaras at USD$6.
Cambodida is famous for it's cheaper labor cost, big business in making clothes. We were told my some Chinese people doing business there that the Central market is definitely a good place to get the famous brand stuff, eg, jeans, clothes. Well, it might take a while to go around, of course, your eyesight is a must as well.
What to buy:
We bought so much we felt like jack@sses, but when we got home we wished we'd bought more. The cotton scarves (kramas) are fabulous - they're cheap and can be given away as gifts or used as bandannas, belts, headbands, and table runners. Why I didn't buy a dozen is beyond me.
Another regret is not buying some rubbings from the Ankor Wat complex (shown in photo).
In the bus from Phmon Penh to Saigon, we stopped at the Mekong River in order to cross it on a ferry. While we were there stopped, a bunch of local vendors came INTO the bus offering all kind of food and drinks. There were some outside too, trying to seel by the windows, but these came in and they passed by every single seat showing you all the items they had...
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KO Road, Rottanak Commune, Battambang, Cambodia
Good for: Solo
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