Phnom Penh appears all fancy and modern, so the last thing you expect to see in the center of such a busy city probably is a night market. To your surprise, Phnom Penh Night market does exist, and there is only one of it in the city. Phnom Penh Night Market is more of a small and relaxing laid back market. Despite its size, Phnom Penh market offers most of the stuff you can find in the other night market in Siem Reap. What makes our little gem even more special is its location.
Phnom Penh night market is located on the riverside, which is one of the popular places amongst locals and foreigners, a place where people love to take a stroll in the relaxing evening. Visiting Phnom Penh night market in the evening, you will have a joyous time. You won’t be able to find the hassling sound of people bargaining like the fish market, Instead, your touring will be accompanied by the river breeze, the delicious food scent, lively music.
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Attractions you should visit near Phnom Penh Night Market
Phnom Penh night market located on Preah Sisowath Quay, Phnom Penh, and it opens only on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, from 5 pm until 11 pm. Wondering what you can do in this tiny night market? As mentioned, even if the size of the market itself is not big, there are many things for you to explore. A little different from Siem Reap night market where the products those vendors selling mostly are the souvenir kind of product, in Phnom Penh, they also sell local products like clothing, shoes and hats, cosmetics, daily necessities, sparkly jewelry, and cushions. However, those are not the type of goods you see they sell in souvenir stores; it is more of the clothing and products that local people use.
There are stalls, which sell souvenirs. Those souvenirs can be scarves, ornaments, sculptures, paintings, clothes, and jewelry. Some of those goods are handmade and have good quality you can’t find anywhere. Unlike the unfriendly sellers in the local market, the vendors here are mostly friendly and helpful. You will be able to get those products at an affordable price. At the end of the shopping walkway, you will find a big stage with huge speakers where singers, bands, and dancers put on a show for the night market crowds.
It is one of the charms of Phnom Penh night market. The shows and its theme varies each day, some days it can be the Cambodian traditional day where they play traditional shows, dance, and music, while on the others, they can the little modern music concert with local and foreign singers. There are also someday when they have hip-hop dance or art activities.
Another charming point of our Phnom Penh Night market is the eating area. There is a large area available with picnic mats for people to picnic in the night market though it is not in local product and souvenir stalls area, it is on the other ends next to the stage. The picnic area is surrounded by the food stalls, as people usually buy the food there and spends their relaxing time in the place. Families, groups of friends, and couples usually come there to eat and enjoy a friendly, lively and festive atmosphere, as they enjoy many tasty options of Cambodian food. As some of the bus stations are around this area, travelers love coming here to eat before leaving with their night bus.
Phnom Penh night market is probably one of the good places for you to get midnight snack. Though the food options can be a little limited, there is still enough variety for visitors. There is a range of seafood, meats, sausages, noodle dishes, tofu, and vegetables to be barbecued, fried and boiled, also a few dessert options are available. The food there tastes great and the price is affordable from under 1$, it is suitable for those who love street food.
Besides Phnom Penh night market, there are many attractions in the surrounding area that worth a visit.
Preah Sisowath Quay
As mentioned above, Phnom Penh night market situated on the Sisowath Quay, but Sisowath Quay is more than just a night market. This attraction located along the Tonle Sap River, so after leaving Phnom Penh night market, people usually take a stroll around this area or vise versa. An evening won’t be enough for you to explore the whole area; nevertheless, several hours is enough for you to stroll around this area. There are Lots of nice things to do, a nice and relaxing place to spend your evening after sightseeing all day. This might be the best place in Phnom Penh to escape crowds, noise, and the sweltering heat because you get the vast openness of the river as well as the cooling breeze.
The palm trees are beautifully decorated the place and the eye-catching sight all the boats go up and down the rivers–as well as the ferries load and unload at the south end. Opposite the promenade side of the road, within walking distance of royal place and National museum, you can choose a place from a variety of great restaurants and funky bars, sky bars with amazing architecture for you to end your day. Those places are popular amongst the tourists as it is affordable and tasty. You can also find a variety of street food along the road. If you want to experience something new, there are a plethora of cruises to choose from along the riverfront. You can instead spend your evening on the cruise, as they also offer food and drink services on the boat. Watching the sunset from the boat with a margarita is a must. It will be a good experience, and it doesn’t cost much.
This attraction is not a place for entertainment like the others we have mentioned. This attraction is an ancient pagoda, a sacred place, a combination of religion and history. It is one of Phnom Penh’s five original monasteries and an institute of Bouddhique and library. This place is also where the top monk of the nation resides. Wat Ounalom situated around the Sisowath Quay, close to the National Museum, and also on the riverfront. It was built since 1442 during the reign of Ponhea yat, and its name Ounalom means the eyebrows of the Buddha. Before 1974, the pagoda housed over 500 Buddhist monks and also the library of the Buddhist Institute. What you should not miss when visiting this pagoda is the status of Huot Ta, the fourth patriarch of Cambodia Buddhism.
He was killed during the Khmer Rouge, and his status was thrown to the river by them. Later on, it was retrieved and placed on the 2nd floor of the main building. Also, the status of a former patriarch of the Thummayuth sect, a sect belongs to the royal family, placed behind the dais. To the third floor, there is a marble Buddha of Burmese in a glass case. The significant one is behind the main building. You will an eyebrow hair of Buddha with an inscription in Pali over the entrance of a stupa, which gave the temple its name. Wat Ounalom features a pleasant ambiance for tourists to roam around. A fun place for you to explore its colorful and impressive architecture. The quiet atmosphere will surely calm your mind, plus it doesn’t require entry fee.
Din Art gallery
The number of talented artists in Cambodia has been rising recently; hence there are many places for you to check out their works. Din Art gallery is a good choice for those who like contemporary art or is looking for that special travel keepsake, a gift for someone special. The gallery is located on 136th Street above the Feel-Good-Café. It is opened an artist name Teang Borin, known as Din. He has a variety of beautiful and creative works that tackle society’s issues, however, his signatures are the elegant abstract portrayal of the graceful Apsara.
Apsara is a type of female spirit of the clouds and waters in Hindu and Buddhist culture. They figure prominently in the sculpture, dance, literature, and painting of Cambodian culture. A visit to DIM’S Gallery is like finding a jewel whether you are an art aficionado, art investor or exploring the subtler aspects of Cambodian history. Cambodian history reveals many losses in traditional culture but, the spirit, color, and subtle body movements are preserved authentically in Din’s work. Not to mention, his works are really affordable and beautiful. You won’t regret spending your time there; also you can grab a coffee downstairs.
You will definitely fall in love with Phnom Penh night market the moment you step your feet into the area. It is one of the unique markets you do not expect to spot in the center of the city. With its lively location, relaxing atmosphere, and tasty food, Phnom Penh night market has many charms to attract you. Not only the market itself, but there are also lots of things you can explore in the Phnom Penh night market’s surrounding area. Your evening spending there will definitely worth it.