If you’ve never been to an Asian traditional market, theOld Market inSiem Reap is as good introduction as any.
Here, all under one roof, is a one stop shop for tourists and localsalike.
You can find vegetables, fruits, eggs, all kinds of meats (chicken,pork, shrimps, fish, crickets, etc), food stalls, clothes, shoes,sandals, bags, silk items, souvenirs, wooden statues, Angkor Wat’simitation carvings, Angkor Wat books, jewelries, salons, barbershops,household items like soap, detergent, cooking utensils, and many others.
The food market and groceries
The food market area opens in the early morning, and is busiest duringthis time, with mostly locals who are shopping for the day ahead. Asthe hours pass by, less and less sellers remain, leaving only thosewith permanent spots to continue selling their items.
Most of them arefruit and vegetable sellers, as these items can stay fresh relativelylonger. So if you’d like to experience the traditional market at itsliveliest, come early, and you’ll be rewarded with a unique experience.
Fresh vegetables and fruits in one area
These chicken sellers will only stay until about noon
Variety of seafood
Fish of different kinds
The souvenir area
The souvenir area stays open throughout the day until about sunsettime. The hallways at Old Market are narrower than the Central Market,and so the shops are closely packed together.
They mostly sell similaritems: key chains, palm leaves fan, silk scarves, silk bags, silkmetered clothing, silk kimonos, silver jewelries, semi-precious stones,temple rubbings, wooden statues, Angkor stone carvings, and other itemswith Angkor pictures on them.
I’ve found that the prices at the Old Market are the ‘best’ amongothers. Is it because competition is fierce with so many sellersaround? Or that most items in one store are almost identical to thenext one? Perhaps.
Here, bargaining is the norm and all sellers at the market will quote aprice with room for discounts.
These hanging ornaments are rather popular
Souvenir shops seen from the main road
Jewelry sellers. Not sure if these stones are real though.
Clothings and others
The clothing and shoe area is located on the other side of the market.These items seem to be geared towards the locals. But if you ever needspare shoes or sandals, you can get those here as well.
The household items area is located deeper within the maze of themarket. The detergents, diapers, soaps, shampoos and things alike seemto apply to locals or long term visitors. Those items are available aswell at modern the mini-markets around town, but of course the pricesare slightly more.
Another interesting I saw was that some of the lady shopkeepers seem tobe enjoying pedicures, right on the floor of their shops. That was astrange sight. You’d expect that in a salon, but not in a detergentshop. I think those pedicurists must be offering some sort of mobilesalon services, because I saw at least three of them in differentplaces, seemingly pop out of nowhere, but with all the necessary toolsand equipments.
So in short…
The Old Market in Siem Reap is a tourist attraction in its own right,so make sure you visit it at least once. Most shopkeepers speakEnglish, especially those running a souvenir shop. But even then, mostbuying activities can be done easily, as they have calculators, and youcan communicate, or bargain, using that.
The narrow hallways between shops. Silk bags,pillowcases and
scarfs are the most popular items.
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Return to Siem Reap Tourism Attractions
As the base town for Angkor Wat, Siem Reap tourism is growing rapidly.See for yourself the many activities and places you can see whilestaying in Siem Reap.SiemReap: A Lovely Small Town
Siem Reap town. What is it like? It’s a small and lovely tourist town.Shopping areas? Check. Dining areas? Check. Easy transportation? Check.Long list of attractions other than the temples? Check!Return to Holiday In Angkor Wat (homepage)