- Central Market
The unique, stunning ochre-coloured, art-deco Central Market
is definitely a Phnom Penh landmark. The structure was built
in 1937 in Art Deco style on an area that was until 1935 a
lake collecting the runoff during the rainy season. Prior to
the construction, Phnom Penh was limited to the area between
the Riverside and Norodom Boulevard. At the western side of
Norodom were some wooden farmer houses belonging to Khmer
who lived from rice cultivation in the lakes. Dredging
started in 1935 and opened the area up for expansion.
When it first opened, it was said to be the biggest market in Asia; today it still operates as a market.
The market opens from 7:00 AM till 5:00 PM.
The market is a 'must see' for tourists. Most tourists visit this market because they want to see the extensive amount of products that are offered for bargain. 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.
The large domed
building with its four wings is an amazingly cool
place to seek refuge in the middle of the day, and
is also a fascinating market to wander through. The
area directly under the huge dome is given over to
gold and watch merchants, while the wings are
dedicated to electrical goods, household appliances,
women’s clothing, and men’s clothing. Surrounding
the market walls is a ramshackle, sprawling market
area with tarpaulin sheets making a low roof.
This area is also well worth exploring, however it
is not as cool. Here you will find shoe stalls, a
meat and fish market, various insect type snacks, an
ample supply of flowers, as well as souvenir
merchants hawking everything from t-shirts and
postcards to silver curios and karmas.
The market is known as ‘Phsar Thmei’ in Khmer which actually means ‘New Market’, however
due to its location the English ‘Central Market’ has caught
The area around Phsar Thmey is
now the commercial centre of Phnom Penh. One block west of
the market is Monivong boulevard, Phnom Penh's very
busy main shopping street.
There are many markets in Phnom Penh. Notable markets are :