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Souvenir Hunting + Lunch at the CENTRAL MARKET Phnom Penh

Remember this,if you go on a city tour of Phnom Penh with the Killing Fields and the Grand Palace as part of the itinerary, you have to know that the Grand Palace closes from 11am and will not be open til 2pm.

Since the Killing Fields is 15kms from downtown, our tuktuk driver advised that we go there first.It was a wrong move.He didn't mention of that the Grand Palace actually closes during lunchtime.When we got back to the city center therefore, we were for a few minutes puzzled about what to do.Good thing Katsu (our Japanese buddy) suggested that we go to the market. Perfect coz it's just nearby plus we were in the mood to look for some souvenirs and trying some local food 'market style'.

The Central Market is housed in a 1937 Art Deco Building with an 'Arab Feel'.Or maybe it was just me? It is dome-shaped with four wings.The central part is where you can buy jewelries---lots of it.The main entrance to the market is full of hawker stalls that sell shirts, accessories,postcards,household decors and the like.This is where we bought a few 'pasalubong'.The usual stuff of course ---magnetic memo holders,shirts and tank tops.

We skipped the central dome section as we were not into buying jewelries.We went to one of the arteries leading to the wet market section.This is where we scavenged for something to eat for lunch.I actually asked the guard where we could find food and this was where he pointed us.I was surprised to see dried and fresh fish/seafood and fruits instead. Katsu motioned I should have asked for restaurants rather than food. Oo nga naman.hahaha

Starving, the thought of looking for a restaurant felt like a burden.Reigning from a third world country like Cambodia proved to be an advantage.I knew that wet markets usually have sections for hawker food. "Karenderya" as we call them in the Philippines.Sure enough, there were a few!

Since Katsu and our friends are no picky eaters, we settled in one of them and ordered randomly.


We ordered
1.Porridge with Chicken (Chao Ga?)
PRICE:5,000 Riel
Very similar to aroz caldo less the ginger taste.
2.Shortcut Noodle soup with pork (Hu Tieu Cing Lon Thit Heo? )
PRICE: 5,000 Riel
Less dramatic version of Pho from Vietnam.

3.Fried noodle with chicken. (Hu tieu xao thit ga)
PRICE: 5,000 Riel
Very similar with pancit but this one has noodles and topping only combined when served.I mean, nasa ibabaw lang yung toppings tas kaw na hahalo mala halo-halo.hahaha.It has a lot of grinded peanuts too so it has a little buttery flavor.This was what I ordered for myself and for once I was nervous coz it tasted a little spoiled (panis) but I ate it anyway and di naman nasira tyan ko so I guess it really taste like that.Also tastes very similar to Pad Thai less the hot spices.

Katsu only had some sort of rice cake for lunch. Or is it rice cake? I am not sure.All I know is that it has vegetables in it and comes in two variants ---steamed and fried. Once served, they cut it into pieces and it taste bland.It will be up to the sauce to add flavor to it.


Cheap food and cheap Souvenir items? Go to the CENTRAL MARKET Phnom Penh. We bought a few shirts worth $2.5 each. A good deal compared to the Ho Chi Minh shirt I had in Ben Thanh Market  which costs $10. A ripoff!

We quickly finished our shopping and lunch, directed our tuktuk driver to take us to Katsu's hotel for checkout and went back to the Royal Palace Complex to wait for it to open.

ROYAL PALACE post coming next!!!! :)



  1. parang better version ng divisoria yan ahh! kumpleto pa,
    at sasarap din ng foods ahh


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