The Market Scene in Phnom Penh

Today I picked one of the many markets here in Phnom Penh to visit. The market today was the Russian Market. They don’t sell Russians at the market but historically it was visited by Russians here quite a bit. Each market has a specialty or two and I picked the Russian Market because I wanted to see if I could find t-shirts that would fit me so I can stop ordering them from the states. And I was successful! I picked up a shirt that says Cambodia for $5. I don’t know how long it will last but lets face it. A shirt that costs $5 can go for 6 months and that’s good enough. I’ll have gotten my money’s worth. The other thing I wanted was a small change purse type thing since I lost the money clip I bought in Saigon. I found a little purse with an elephant on it for $2 which has a zipper on the top. It will hold all my US and Cambodian money I take when I’m out for the day. I don’t carry my wallet and would never carry my passport either.

The Russian Market is also known for food stalls so you have to stop and eat. Eating is not limited so I just sat down at one place and got some Kymer noodles spiced up which were really good! There are competing places that serve the same food so you can just have your choice. I spent about $2 for this big bowl of noodles there. After eating and watching the scenes in the food court I wandered through the clothing, fabric, backpack and jewelry sections. Its amazing how markets here and in Vietnam work. A lot of travelers from different places too. One person from Australia I am gathering was not having a good day of it and complained to me about having to do yet another market.

The other things I saw in the Russian market are backpacks and purses. If you are after anything from a small daypack to a larger backpack, the Russian Market is for you. I saw several stands with a variety of backpacks. Perhaps you should not believe that these are genuine but if you pay $10 for a bag and it lasts a year it seems to me you have gotten value. I bought a genuine fake North Face Surge backpack in Saigon and it has been fine. I will probably buy more t shirts as I get rid of the ones I have and re-stock them since finally the 2XL t shirt size fits me.

Bargaining is enabled on items but seriously for the little purse I bought to hold my daily money, how would I bargain for less than $2? Would I say $1? I just cannot see doing it for things so minor in cost. A t shirt for $5 is the same. I will just pay the $5 for the shirt. But… When you get to things like backpacks and duffel bags or belts; then its time to bargain and shave some cost off.

Then there are bunches of other markets in Phnom Penh. I thought perhaps there were about 10 of them and then I saw this list. So many of them scattered throughout the city! I don’t know that I will it to all of them. I guess if one of the markets specialized in something I needed I would go. So far, I have been to two and the things I commonly want (clothing, belts, backpacks) are at the Russian Market.

Tomorrow I will go and get a haircut and then walk back. I found a barber that is highly reviewed and rated that will be a good walk back. Now its a nice and slow time in the hotel room with BBC news going and the hotel is all quiet and stuff. I’ll sit here until 6pm and then walk over to this spicy noodle place and try it.

I will also wander the neighborhoods by the hotel since its a group of interesting little streets and shops. In a week I will be at the half-way point in Phnom Penh. Next stop Sihanoukville for a month. Then Siem Reap comes with the temples that I am really wanting to see. Being there a month means no real rush to see them or to go back. Finally the second largest city has me for a month. Battambang is the last city I will see and then will head back to PP and the LaLune Hotel for a week. After that I take off for Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand! 2019 is shaping up to be an excellent year for my brand of slow travels.

Take care all. Have a great day, evening, morning. Wherever your timezone finds you.

Author: Michael Perry

I've been blogging for over 20 years and now am living in Southeast Asia. The blog is about my slow vagabonding wherever I want to go. My home base is in Cambodia but I'm rarely there.