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Three Countries In Ten Days: Exploring Phnom Penh Part 1

August 4th, 2009 by

A lot of visitors of Cambodia make it a point to visit both the Killing Fields at Choeung Ek and the Tuol Sleng Genocidal Museum. These places are the closest anyone will ever get in understanding the countries and in turn appreciate what it is today. In addition to these two interesting sites, there are still quite a number of rousing attractions to see in Phnom Penh.

The Central Market


Tourists in Phnom Penh can do a lot of shopping at the Central Market. From the name itself, it is obvious that this market is located right at the center of town. It is busiest during weekends and a lot more manageable during weekdays. This market can be likened to any other public market where different goods are sold. It is divided into two sections namely the Dry Goods Section and the Wet Market. Different kinds of meat, seafood, and vegetables are sold at the Wet Section. Of course, most foreigners prefer to roam around in the other section where clothes, souvenirs, ceramics, jewelry items, and plants are sold. A number of the jewelry stalls are concentrated at the center of the market right underneath Central Market’s signature dome. Numerous jewelry items are on display including antique pieces, watches, necklaces encrusted with precious stones, gold rings, and thick bracelets. The entrance of the Central Market is usually lined with vendors selling all kinds of exotic food items such as tarantula spiders, locusts, and other kinds of insects. Foreigners who are brave enough to order a bagful and take a courageous bite comment that these insects can be quite tasty. As a matter of fact, the crunch that one can get from each bite can be quite addicting. Another food stall sells all kinds of colorful sweets that are truly a feast for the eyes. Hesitant tourists are given small portions of the sweets to try most especially if they are still deciding on which sweets to order. These sweets are affordable at only US$ 1.00 per order.

Exotic Food at Phnom Penh

Shopaholics can transfer to the Russian Market, located south of Mao Tse Toung Boulevard, after browsing through various wares at the Central Market. This market is frequented by Russians and Russian goods can be found in abundance in this place during the 1980s, thus the name. Tourists head to this famous shopping area to buy novelty items, souvenir pieces, apparel, footwear, bags, wooden products, pottery, jewelry and many others. This is also a food section where one can sit down to enjoy some tasty snacks and refreshments. There are also vendors that boast of selling original clothing items that are export overruns. Brands that are commonly sold here are GAP, Columbia, and Calvin Klein. Another item that are sold at a bargain here are backpackers that are perfect for backpacking tourists in the city. To give a clearer picture, one vendor sells two sturdy and nice looking backpacks for only US$ 15.

Sweets at Phnom Penh Markets

Aside from shopping, one of the other highly suggested stops for tourists are the orphanages. Even tuk tuk drivers who bring tourists around Phnom Penh for tours highly encourage visitors to see the children. There are laminated signs inside the tuk tuks saying “PLEASE HELP US SAVE OUR CHILDREN.” Kind hearted people visit any of the suggested orphanages and bring some sort of donation. These donations can be in the form of food items like rice, eggs or noodles. These orphanages are not in any way supported by the government but are looked after by the tourism industry. This is the reason why a visit to the different orphanages across Phnom Penh is included in the suggested tour itineraries. Each orphanage look after more than a hundred kids that consume one sack of rice per day. Without support from the government, budgeting daily expenses can be challenging or worse, impossible. The children that are taken cared of at the orphanage attend daily classes given by the volunteers and are encouraged to participate in different sports within their community to foster the values of camaraderie and sportsmanship within the community. There are also livelihood projects that are introduced to those who are 18 years old and above. With the number of kids that are being sponsored by these communities, it would be a lot of help if more tourists will find time to visit them and extend any form of help and assistance.

Phnom Penh Orphanage

A busy day spent touring Phnom Penh’s shopping areas and capping one’s day with a refreshing visit to the orphanages to see the children would surely leave anyone extremely exhausted but content. Make sure to book a room in any of the wonderful hotels in Phnom Penh like the InterContinental Hotel Phnom Penh. Get as much rest and prepare to continue your trip exploring the other sights of this remarkable capital city.

3 Responses to “Three Countries In Ten Days: Exploring Phnom Penh Part 1”

  1. Ikai Says:

    Hey the food really looks delish! And the picture of you guys with the native Cambodians is really nice. :)

  2. Kitci Wong Says:

    Hello Ikai! Yup, I miss those sweet. I only got to try one kind :( Those native Cambodians are kids from the orphanage that we got to visit. They are little angels :)

  3. THIDA LIM Says:

    Please send me some more inforation I’m interesting in going testing all thlisl food.
    Thanks Thida

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