There is some great shopping to be had in Phnom Penh, but don’t forget to bargain in the markets or you’ll have your ‘head shaved’, local-speak for being ripped off. Most markets are open from around 6.30am to 5.30pm. Some shops keep shorter hours by opening later.
Art & Antiques
There are plenty of shops selling locally produced paintings along Ph 178, opposite the National Museum. It used to be a pretty sorry selection of the amateurish Angkor paintings seen all over the country, but now with a new generation of artists coming up, the selection is much better. It is necessary to bargain vigorously. There are also lots of reproduction cement busts of famous Angkorian sculptures available along this stretch, which would look great on the mantelpiece back home.
Tel: 217149 – Add: 47 Ph 178
If you happen to be browsing Ph 178, drop in on Reyum, a nonprofit institute of arts and culture that hosts regular exhibitions on all aspects of Cambodia. There are several boutiques and antique shops around the city, including some very expensive ones in the city’s luxury hotels.
Hanuman Fine Arts Shop
Tel 211916 – Add: 13b Ph 334
Hanuman Fine Arts Shop has a large collection of classic Buddha, old silverware and ancient textiles
Tel 215308 – Add: Sisowath Quay
This Shop has a range of Asian furniture and pottery from China and the region beyond.
Add: north of Ph 63
The dark-yellow Art Deco Par Thmei is also referred to as the Central Market, a reference to its location and size. The central domed hall resembles a Babylonian ziggurat and some claim it ranks as one of the largest domes in the world. It has four wings filled with stalls selling gold and silver jewellery, antique, coins, fake name-brand watches, clothing and other such items. For photographers, the fresh food section affords many opportunities. There are a host of good-value food stalls for a local lunch, located on the western side, which faces Monivong Blvd.
Psar Thmei is undoubtedly the best mar- ket for browsing. However, it is definitely not the best place to buy things at because it has a reputation among Cambodians for overcharging on everything.
PSAR TUOL TOM PONG
Add: South of Mao Tse Toung Blvd
More commonly referred to by foreigners as the Russian Market (it is where the Russians shopped during the 1980s) Psar Tuol Tom Pong is the best place in town for souvenir clothes shopping. It has a large range of real and fake antique, including miniature Buddha, wood carvings, betel-nut boxes, silk, silver jewllery and so on. Bargain hard as thousands of tourists pass through here each month.
Also available are inexpensive DVDs, CDs and computer programs as well as a host of other goodies. This is the one market all visitors should come to at least once during a trip to Phnom Penh.
PSAR O RUSSEI
Add: Ph 182
Not to be confused with Psar O Russei sells luxury foodstuffs, costume jewellery imported toiletries, secondhand clothes and everything else you can imagine from hundreds of stalls. The market is housed in a huge new building that looks like a shopping mall from the outside and is a real labyrinth of a place.
Also worth checking out:
Psar Olympic Items for sale include bicycle parts, clothes, electronics and assorted edibles. This is quite a modem market set in a covered location.
Psar Chaa: This is a scruffy place that deals in household goods, clothes and jewellery. There are small restaurants, food vendors and jewellerv stalls, as well as some good fresh-fruit stall outside.
Apart from the legendary Psar Tuol Tom Pong (left), which is stocked to the with silk, there are several boutiques specializing in silk furnishings and clothing:
Tel 217935 – Add 37 Ph 178
The stylish silk clothing here is popular with members of the extended royal family, and the French-Cambodian designer is rapidly gaining an international reputation.
Add: 19 Ph 360
Specializing in sumptuous home design, this is the place for hangings, bedspreads and throws.
Tags: Shopping in Phnom Penh