Where: Pnomn Penh, the capital city of Cambodia, southeast Asia
What’s in Store: Clothes, jewels, materials, carvings & statues
Best Buy: Silver box for Betelnut or a distinctive Bronze Bust
Where’s It At
When the Khmer Rouge took power they evacuated the city of Pnomn Penh which was deserted from 1975 to 1979. The central market was built by the French and takes place inside the sixth largest dome in the world. Phnom Penh used to be known as the Paris of the east, but now the colonial architecture is home to Cambodian customs and cuisine.
The range of products on sale in the New Market is vast – from shoes, clothes, gold and silver through to food and Cambodia’s famous rubies and sapphires. Like most world markets, be prepared to bargain your way to a purchase. You can buy cloth and have it tailored on the spot at the market.
The national souvenirs are silver boxes, often shaped as animals in which locals would store their betel (a leafy stimulant to chew, like Khat), hand woven Silk made using traditional ikat methods which are sold in the Russian Markets, carving and statues are distinctively Cambodian, including bronze busts. Gems like rubies, sapphires and emeralds are a glittering temptation on display, but beware of buying unless you know a little about their value.
Guide to Pnom Penh
A comprensive guide to the mosques, souks, citadel and attractions of the An online guide to Pnom Penh with tips on where to stay, night spots and how to make the most of your stay.
By Jess Halliday
main image: courtesy of Micheal Clarke, Flickr Creative Commons