Top 5 must visit shopping places in Phnom Penh

11 Aug

Shopping in Phnom Penh is a must indulge in activity as you get to interact with loads of locals (despite not being able to communicate with many of them it’s still fun to interact with them), shop for some innovative local stuff and get to experience another aspect of this gorgeous and vibrant city. Though there are no malls here, there are still loads of small stores, chic boutiques and in some instances loads of shops aggregated in a building. However there are some ground rules to be followed here, else you will be in danger of loosing an arm and a leg (in terms of price paid for the stuff bought) –

  1. First, never believe the first price quoted by the shop keeper. It will always be an inflated price.
  2. Second, never buy jewelry or any jewels from here (unless you recognize originals from fake) no matter how big a steal it seems. 99 out of 100 times you will be fleeced.
  3. And most importantly, Bargaining is a must (it happens even in supermarkets and shops). Practice bargaining before you set foot into these shops as at times the prices are inflated as much as double the original price.

We spent a good half a day shopping and learning more in this city. The top 5 places that are worth a visit here are –

  • Psar Tuol Tom Pong or The Russian Market – This is one big covered market with numerous shops selling everything – clothes, shoes, souvenirs, lamps, candles, food stuff, cooked food, cycle repair parts, kitchen ware, gas stoves, jewelry etc etc. This place has everything that anyone may ever need in their lives and all available under one roof. There are small areas for everything and numerous gates to enter and exit. When you get tired with the wandering then you can just head to the centre of the market, eat and restart exploring this place. We spent a nice afternoon here and shopped for loads of gifts for friends and family back at home.
Beautiful Can stuff, Russian Market, Phnom Penh

Beautiful Cane stuff

Tea sets, Russian Market, Phnom Penh

Tea sets

Hanging Tea Pots, Russian Market, Phnom Penh

Hanging Tea Pots


Lamps, Russian Market, Phnom Penh

Lamps in all colors, shapes and sizes

More Lamps, Russian Market, Phnom Penh

More Lamps

Lamp, Russian Market, Phnom Penh

Loved this lamp

  • Psar Thmei or The Central Market – This building is a large yellow dome with a unique architecture and is often claimed to be one of the largest domes in the world. There is a round hall in the centre of the dome and 4 side rectangular halls in all 4 directions. The central hall has a collection of jewelry, watches, antique coins etc whereas the rectangular halls have a large collection of clothes, shoes, cosmetics, food, toys etc. In fact there are even people sitting down on the floor in various corners and you can even get nail art done from them.
The Central Market, Phnom Penh

The Central Market

The dome of the Central Market, Phnom Penh

The beautiful dome

Shops in the Central Market, Phnom Penh

Shops in the Central Market, Phnom Penh

  • NGO Stores – Siem Reap and Phnom Penh have numerous NGO stores that support a cause and raise money by selling the stuff made by the disadvantaged or disabled artists. It also helps you shop “guilt free” as it’s after all for a cause. A lot of these products are at par with international quality and make excellent souvenirs and gift. While we liked and shopped in quite a few of such shops here, we particularly loved one of them called – Friends & Stuff. It is near the National museum and has innovative products made from recycled paper, plastics etc. You can also check them out at – Friends & Stuff.
Friends & Stuff - photo courtesy - official website

Friends & Stuff – photo courtesy – official website

Friends & Stuff products - photo courtesy - official website

Friends & Stuff products – photo courtesy – official website

Friends & Stuff products - photo courtesy - official website

Friends & Stuff products – photo courtesy – official website

  • Streets No. 178 & 240 – An absolutely must visit for all the chic boutiques selling beautiful designer dresses in silk, T-shirts, bags, shoes, jewelry, home furnishings etc etc. These designs are quite stylish and glamorous and the quality of silk is amazing. All the shops on these streets have also been built-in old French style houses so its like shopping in any foreign destination. We also came across an amazing store called “Water Lily” and everything here was made from “buttons”. It was mind-boggling to see jewelry, miniature furniture, dolls etc made from buttons of all shapes and sizes.
Boutiques in French style villas, Phnom Penh

Boutiques in French style villas

The Beautiful Store of "Buttons", Phnom Penh

The Beautiful Store of “Buttons”

  • Art on Street No 178 – One entire side of this lane is filled with shops where artists create beautiful masterpieces on canvas depicting all kinds of local village scenes, temples, buildings etc. The work of these artists is beautiful and it makes for an ideal decoration and vacation remembrance once you are back at home. There are numerous art galleries here too, but somehow I always have a softer corner for street art. 🙂
Paintings on Street No 78 - photo courtesy -, Phnom Penh

Paintings on Street No 78 – photo courtesy –

So, whenever you find yourself in Phnom Penh, take the time and indulge in some retail therapy and practice that art of bargaining… 🙂

39 Responses to “Top 5 must visit shopping places in Phnom Penh”

  1. kurt August 11, 2012 at 15:54 #

    A great city to explore!


  2. (@solobackpacker) August 11, 2012 at 18:32 #

    Hi, It seems I am following you..I also wanted to write about my days in Cambodia, but after getting so many great posts from your side..I just postponed it for sometime..U write amazing posts.


    • getsetandgo August 13, 2012 at 11:32 #

      Hey, you will not beleive that I was going to post on how to travel from Bangkok to Siem Reap by road when I came cross your post on the same topic. And hence didnt post it then but left it for a later date. Loved your detailed post on that as well and look forward to reading your other posts too. Between, you went to Cambodia recently? which places did you cover?


      • (@solobackpacker) August 13, 2012 at 21:51 #

        I went to Cambodia in March, and covered Seam Rip and Phnom Penh during the trip..Phnom Penh was not a part of my itinerary, but , I heard at Seam Reap that visa-on-arrival was not available for Indians at Poipet-Aranyaprathet Border. So, I went to Phnom Penh by bus and then flew to Bangkok airport. It was a totally crazy trip to Cambodia..and I also went to Macau and Hong Kong in the same trip.


      • getsetandgo August 14, 2012 at 12:48 #

        You know thats surprising because another Indian friend did the Siem Reap-Bangkok return trip last year through the Aran – Poipet border and got the visa. Guess that’s one of the issues of travelling in Asia where these rules just arent available as easily online. Anyways, your trip seems really crazy but I am sute these uncertainities added to the fun and you got to see Phnom Penh.


  3. friendlytm August 11, 2012 at 18:36 #

    I also had posted Cambodia 1 and 2. I wished I had taken some pictures like yours. I will work on Angkor Wat this weekend.


  4. Terri at Time To Be Inspired August 12, 2012 at 10:59 #

    I love the cane items and the tea sets. Beautiful photos loaded with such goodies!


    • getsetandgo August 13, 2012 at 11:55 #

      Thanks. We ended up shopping for so many things like this during this trip that our luggage and our hands were complaining. But that apart this place has some amazing gift ideas and stuff.


  5. Dheeraj Sharma August 12, 2012 at 13:42 #

    Aahh.. my wife would surely like to here soon. Thanks for the share…


    • getsetandgo August 13, 2012 at 11:56 #

      I am sure of that and keep a hefty budget for shopping 🙂


  6. friendlytm August 12, 2012 at 16:15 #

    Thank you for liking my Angkor Wat post. I will go back to Phnom Penh next, which will be the final chapter of my Cambodia trip.


  7. maryduranteyoutt August 13, 2012 at 02:07 #

    My husband bought me a ruby ring at the Russian Market for my birthday gift. I was ill from something I ate and had to stay at the Billyabong guest house resting. A jeweler in New York saw it and told us it was Burmese rubies, very good quality and the design was Russian filagree also of high quality. It was valued at 10x’s what he paid for it.
    Cambodia was a most wonderful vacation and our photographic prints are auctioned through Friends Without A Border which raises money for the Angkor Hospital for Children which was started by photographer Kenro Izu. Our works have raised thousands of dollars and is our way of giving back to the warm and welcoming people of Cambodia.

    Thanks for sharing your stories and photos.


    • getsetandgo August 13, 2012 at 12:17 #

      Hey thanks for vfisiting my blog. I too loved this country and esp its people and with they have endured. I also hope to be able to do something for them too someday.


  8. Nisha August 13, 2012 at 23:51 #

    You’ve written so much about Cambodia that I wonder what’ll I write now. 🙂 Still whatever written, you can read them all here
    It’s an exotic city. How many days were you there?

    BTW, there are a few malls in Phnom Penh.


    • getsetandgo August 14, 2012 at 13:00 #

      Hey, I had read your posts on indiblogger sometime back and loved all of them. I too hope to be able to experience voluntourism in these places someday, but for now I have a full time job and loans 😦
      We were in Cambodia for 6 days and visited Siem Reap and Phnom Penh. Thanks for clarifying about the malls as we didnt see any and hence didnt know about them.
      Which all places did you see in Cambodia?


  9. The items on display look irresistible and one could not get away without having some of them atleast. The photographs are awful and so is your commentary..


  10. Margaret August 16, 2012 at 10:22 #

    I would love to see the street art.


    • getsetandgo August 19, 2012 at 20:10 #

      It is beautiful. You should visit this place if you ever get a chance


  11. Penny August 20, 2012 at 01:32 #

    Love your market photos. I hope I get the chance to try your shopping tips. 🙂


    • getsetandgo August 21, 2012 at 11:03 #

      Hey, Thanks. Also shopping here is extremely recomended… 🙂


  12. Cathy G August 20, 2012 at 03:08 #

    Thank-you for a great post! The photos are all very vibrant, and the variety is wonderful!


  13. Lynne Ayers August 20, 2012 at 19:11 #

    I can’t haggle and bargain – at ALL. Some people enjoy the challenge but I just can’t seem to do it – I’m pathetic. If I want it at the price shown, then I want it. Sad I know.


    • getsetandgo August 21, 2012 at 11:21 #

      Luckily for us we are from India where we bargain for everything and at times just for the fun of it. Take on a good teacher, practice and you will be good at it in no time 🙂


  14. Bron August 24, 2012 at 12:48 #

    Those markets and shops look great but I’m the same as Lynne above – if I have to haggle for something I just don’t buy it. And the idea of having to haggle at a supermarket – what a nightmare, I’d starve! 😛


    • getsetandgo August 25, 2012 at 23:52 #

      Hahaha… The I guess the locals there will love you.


  15. artdoesmatter August 29, 2012 at 20:36 #

    Look at all those wonderful teapots and ceramics. I would be broke after one visit, seeing all of that! I’m enjoying your blog!


    • getsetandgo August 30, 2012 at 12:46 #

      Thanks. I am a living example of that… Shopped so much that I have exhausted all my savings for the next trip 🙂 But they are irresitible…


  16. kennethdrlamphierk October 15, 2012 at 08:36 #

    Reblogged this on Kenneth Lamphier Site.


  17. 3ubderabedtai1977 October 21, 2012 at 13:18 #

    Reblogged this on Rueben Reyes Blog.


  18. kimanlay March 26, 2014 at 13:20 #

    In Phnom Penh also have some place with the standard price that you can truth and the products are original like this shop :


  19. Esther April 24, 2014 at 19:07 #

    When someone writes an piece of writing he/she retains the plan of a user in his/her mind that how a user can know it.
    Therefore that’s why this article is great. Thanks!


    • getsetandgo April 26, 2014 at 10:54 #

      Thank you so much with thesekind and beautiful words…. You made my day 🙂


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