Central Market - Phnom Penh, Cambodia

A Semi-Open Air, Circular Building That Has a Massive Variety of Things to Buy.

Central Market Snapshot


Located on Street 128, in the Daun Penh District, the Central Market Phom Penh is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the city. The massive building, its four wings, and its golden-yellow paint are easy to spot when walking around the capital.


The market opens from the early morning, around 6:30 AM, and closes in the early evening around 5:30 PM.

What You'll Find

What I love about this market Is the layout. Start at the center of the circlular building and window shop and spiral out to the outskirts of the market! I recommend scoping out their watches, belts, bags, electronics.

Market Video 

Cambodia Fake Market Spree!

I’m back in Phnom Penh! During my first visit here I wasn’t too impressed with the markets. But as it turned out, I didn’t go to the right one! So in this video I’m excited to be back in Phnom Penh, Cambodia at the Central Market. This market is more my style where we can bargain for the latest brands such as Louis Vuitton, Rolex, Apple (Airpods), Bose, Kanken Fjallraven, Gucci, Beats by Dre, Yeezy, Jordan, Nike, Supreme, Hublot and much more!

 Everything to Know About the Central Market in Phnom Penh

How to Get to the Central Market in Phnom Penh?

Getting to the central market is not difficult, mainly because of its popularity and the numerous transportation facilities near the marketplace. The market is at a rather central location. Around there, you’ll see the Wat Phom, the Stupe of King Ang Duong, and the Al-Serkal Mosque.

Getting Around Phnom Penh

Tuk-tuks are the easiest and cheapest to get around Phnom Penh, or if you’re up for it, rent a scooter. They’re mad cheap for the day!

view while riding around Phnom penh in a tuk tuk is the easiest way to get around and to the central market

Here are some of the ways you can get to the Central Market:

  • Bus – Line 01 and line 03 will bring you to the central market. At the end of your visit, head to the south-west wing: there you’ll find the bus station to get yourself back to your hotel.
  • Taxi – you can find a taxi stand at the northwest corner of the market.
  • Bicycle – Phom Penh’s traffic is not easy to navigate. However, it is possible to visit the city by bike, as long as you are confident enough, and if you learn to “ride with the flow.” There are several bike-sharing companies in the city that you can choose from.

Shopping at the Central Market

The Central Market is a really cool building, and I like the layout of the market itself. I recommend starting at the center of the circle and window shop and spiral out to the outskirts of the market!

Whether you are looking to find watches, electronics, watches, belts, bags/wallets, the Central Market is a good place to score a bargain. You can also find gold, silverware, souvenirs, antique coins, clothing, flowers, and plenty of food stalls selling classic local dishes.

bargaining for belts with a shopkeeper in Phnom Penh central market

You might find that some of the prices at the Central Market start out a bit higher than other parts of the city, just because it’s a tourist area. However, the shopping experience is enjoyable because the building is cleaner and more spacious than some of the more smelly and hot street markets.

And you can still score some good deals if you unlease your bargaining skills!

Where to Stay in Phnom Penh, Cambodia?

Phnom Penh is a popular spot for travelers in Southeast Asia and Cambodia, being that it’s the capital city and a lot of transportation go in and out of the city. So you can find a pretty wide variety of places to stay, whether you have a big budget or small budget.

There are a number of inexpensive hostels around town, since the area is popular with backpackers. You can actually find some pretty good ones with nice amenities and even private rooms for a good price.

If you want to spend a little more, there are a lot of cool boutique hotels that are still pretty budget-friendly and have a traditional atmosphere. Then, of course, there are the larger and more expensive hotels too. Relatively speaking, you can get a nice room in Phnom Penh much cheaper than in other big cities. 

Lastly, you can also find some pretty cool Airbnb’s around Phnom Penh as well. These are especially great if you plan to stay in the city for around a month. The monthly rates can be pretty good, and for the price, you can have an entire apartment to yourself with a kitchen and comfy furniture. Definitely a nice way to relax and fully enjoy the city.

Places to Visit in Phnom Penh & Around Cambodia

Right along the river in Phnom Penh is where most of the people seem to congregate. This is the main strip of the city and there’s much to do in the area. Then go into some sketchy back alley’s and try the small bars.

hanging out on the river promenade in phnom penh cambodia is a popular way to spend the day

Popular Sights in Phnom Penh Include:

  • The National Museum – travelers who are into culture and history will enjoy this museum as it gives you a deeper sense of understanding to the area and some really cool artifacts. You can even watch some traditional Khmer dancing.
  • The Royal Palace – built back in the 1860’s there are many golden temples and quarters you can explore.
  • The Silver Pagoda – a stunning Buddhist temple with a floor covered in 5,000 glittering silver tiles!
  • Visit the Markets – there’s more than just the Central Market in Phnom Penh. You might also want to scope out the Night Market, the Russian Market, or the Olympic Market too.

Other Destinations to Explore in Cambodia:

  • Angkor Wat – The most famous of all sights in Cambodia is probably Angkor Wat. Located north of Phnom Penh near the popular tourist town of Siem Reap. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a must for travelers in the area. Be prepared to spend a couple days here exploring at minimum.
  • Siem Reap – a bustling tourist town. Even though it’s quite busy, there are a number of things to see in town and nearby town, making it a good place to stay for a few days at least.
  • Kampot – a scenic riverside city that serves as the gateway to Bokor National Park and also the Kampot Kampong Trach caves are nearby as well.
  • Sihanoukville – a resort town on the coast with great snorkeling and other water sport opportunities.

Food in Cambodia

When traveling around Cambodia you’re bound to find some “Happy pizza” though, just don’t have a panic attack hahaha!

Cambodian Cuisine

If you are up for some local food in Cambodia, there’s a lot to be found. Cambodian cuisine is rich and diverse. Despite not being as popular in the Western World as Chinese, Thai, or Vietnamese cuisine, food in Cambodia is tasty.

Up close photo of fish amok in a leaf bowl with rice a traditional cambodian dish

The Cambodian capital is an excellent destination if you are a food lover looking to enjoy a culinary adventure. In Phnom Penh, you’ll find street food stalls almost at every corner. But you can also find food options at the Central Market too.

Here’s a list of some of the must-try dishes.

Fish Amok

You can’t leave Phnom Penh without trying the classic fish amok, prepared by cooking fish with coconut curry in banana leaves.

Grilled Pork on Skewers

You can find this street food everywhere in Phnom Penh. In the market, you’ll find two kinds of skewers, one served with pickle salad, veggies, and rice, and another one loaded with condiments. Generally, the first is a breakfast dish, while the other is more of a delicious snack on-the-go.

Lok Lak

This dish is popular all Southeast Asia, but not many know that its roots are in Vietnam. In Cambodia, this stir-fried beef meal tends to come in voluminous portions, so be prepared. You may want to opt for the traditional way of eating: wrapped in a lecture leaf.

Steamed Pork Bun

Another must-try is the classic steamed pork bun, a hard-boiled bun stuffed with eggs and pork. Despite sounding rather plain, the reality is that it tastes delicious when prepared in the right way! Don’t wait for your bun to go cold: eat it hot to enjoy it at its best.

Nom Banh Chock: Khmer Noodles

This popular breakfast food consists of rice noodles topped with a fish-based green curry with lemongrass, ginger, turmeric, and garlic.

Chrok Krao Chhnang: Out Of the Pot Soup

This soup’s name comes from its cooking technique. Contrary to most Cambodian soups, this one is made by assembling the ingredients in a large bowl, with boiling water poured over them to create a broth. The soup usually contains smoked or dried fish, hard-boiled eggs, shallots, and green tomatoes.

About the Central Market in Phnom Penh

Among the several attractions that Phnom Penh offers visitors, the Central Market is a top attraction. Also referred to as Phsa Thmei (or New Market), the building is easily recognizable from afar, with its characteristic golden yellow color and unique architecture.

Inside the central market in phnom penh cambodia with big dome behind me

The market first opened in 1937. At the time was considered one of the biggest markets in Asia. Today that is not true anymore. Still, the Central Market is a worthy stop when visiting the capital city of Cambodia. Its shape and the French architecture have remained intact over the years. Its four arms branch out into vast hallways with innumerable stalls of products of incredible assortment.

Tourists looking for souvenirs or unique products from Cambodia will find all they want in this vast market. From household items to flowers, from food stalls to clothes, the central market won’t disappoint you. Plus, it can be a nice break from the sun and the hot temperatures that are so common in the region. On top of that, it is also one of the cleanest markets in Phnom Penh.

Introduction to Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Phnom Penh is the capital of Cambodia, and it has been so since the time of French colonization of the country in the mid 19th century. The city’s official name is Krong Chaktomuk, meaning the city of four faces, possibly referring to the diverse culture and architecture that characterize it. Previously known as the Pearl of Southeast Asia, today the city is the economic, industrial, and cultural center of Cambodia.

view of the royal palace in phnom penh cambodia with ornate gold decorations and spires

The collision of ancient Khmer tradition, French colonialism, and modern technology create breathtaking contrasts between temples, classic architecture, and neoclassical palaces that are all worth visiting. Walking down the city’s streets, you’ll notice what makes the city such an attractive destination for many expats: from food delicacies to markets and a lively nightlife, as well as several cultural attractions, Phnom Penh has a lot to offer to its visitors.

The city is also rapidly developing and transforming into one of the region’s most exciting population centers. Its attractions, landmarks, restaurants, bars, and markets make it a must-see stop for whoever is planning a visit to the beautiful country of Cambodia.

Trade & Producing Goods in Cambodia

Cambodia currently follows an open market system and has experienced rapid economic progress in the last decade. The country’s largest industries are textile and tourism, and agricultural activities are the main source of income for most Cambodians, especially those living in rural areas. Trading activities and catering-related services also play a key role in the economy of Cambodia.

The country mainly exports to European countries and North America. The main export products include knit or crochet clothing and accessories, gems, precious metals, and footwear. Overall, the country’s strong competitive advantage has to do with its success in the apparel industry.

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