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.
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.
1.Porridge with Chicken (Chao Ga?)
Very similar to aroz caldo less the ginger taste.
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.
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!!!! :)