Central Market (Phsar Thmei), Phnom Penh

No matter what city is being visited, a trip to a central and typical marketplace offers more than just local crafts or cuisine.

It is an opportunity to soak up local culture and practices and Phsar Thmei, the Phnom Penh central market provides a close-up encounter of the best kind with the people of Cambodia.

There is almost nothing Cambodian that cannot be found in one of the four vast hallways that branch off in the shape of a cross and make up Phnom Penh central market. The aromas emanating from the western arm of this Art Deco construction that was completed in 1937 entice visitors to sample a variety of traditional dishes before, during and after their bargain hunting expeditions.

This bustling marketplace presents the widest range of local arts and crafts and unique items ranging from household goods to antique coins are available to be bartered for. Gold jewellery and the latest in electronic gadgetry share space with traditional sarongs and other diverse styles of clothing and fake name brands. With fish still jumping and fruit and vegetables wet with dew, the freshness of produce cannot be disputed.

Several means of transport provide transport to Phnom Penh central market; Tuk Tuk, Moto Dop, Taxis are also readily available, or visitors can choose Cyclo for a true Cambodian experience.