If your Phnom Penh holiday feels incomplete without a healthy dose of shopping, plan a day or two of retail therapy in the vibrant Central Market, bargain hunting for brands in the Russian Market and a taste of modern Phnom Penh in the City Mall. Pick up a pair of custom-made shoes or get your clothes made-to-order. Shopping in Phnom Penh is taken to an all new level.
Beautiful silver artefacts, paintings depicting modern life in Cambodia as well as some traditional art all make wonderful souvenirs of your time here.
Below we have provided some helpful information about shopping in Phnom Penh, as well as some interesting shops to visit during you holiday. You can also check out more information about shopping in Cambodia in general in our Cambodia Shopping Guide. After a busy and exhilarating shopping trip, why not kick back, relax, and enjoy an authentic Cambodian meal at one of the many great Phnom Penh restaurants.
Today there is more to shopping in Cambodia than the artefacts and souvenir items that you normally buy. Contemporary Cambodian artists are emerging with their unique art, which is definitely worth buying. Phnom Penh and Siem Reap also have great boutiques and galleries, which showcase the best in Southeast Asian art, art deco furniture, home décor, and fashion in Khmer silk. You can visit the boutiques on Street 240, the riverfront, Boeung Keng Kang 1 and Art Street to have a look at these emerging trends in Cambodia.
Handmade products, especially art and handicrafts, are worth picking up on your holiday here. Shoes are well crafted and silk is generally of good quality, so you could pick out some nice scarves or other silk products as gifts for friends and family back home.
As a treat to yourself, why not get some custom-made clothes tailored just for you? Or visit a local boutique and pick something typically Cambodian off the rack. If you love collecting shoes, then get a pair made for you by a local store in 3-4 days. Other top notch buys include silverware and Buddha figures.
There are quite a few stores in Phnom Penh selling handicrafts, silk, carvings, jewelry, leather bags, greeting cards and various other items whose proceeds go directly to assisting disadvantaged Cambodians including land mine and polio victims, the disabled and poor women. If you want to shop and also contribute to a good cause, some stores to try are NCDP Handicrafts and Wat Than Handicrafts on Norodom Blvd, Colours of Cambodia and Rajana.
Phnom Penh is a shopper’s delight when it comes to buying Cambodian silk, both as yards of material or crafted into dresses, sarongs, scarves and handicrafts. Cambodian silk is a prized possession if you love silk. The silk is hand spun after dyeing it by the traditional ‘ikat’ method.
Phnom Penh also offers a wide range of carvings in Buddhist, Hindu and Angkorian themes, and made in stone, brass and wood. Apart from all this, there is something that is unique to Cambodia and a must buy – ‘Krama,’ a checked scarf that is a traditional Khmer piece of clothing made both in cotton and silk.
Phnom Penh's famous New Market or Psar Thmei, better known as the Central Market, is a large covered marketplace close to the riverfront Sisowath Quay where you can buy anything under the sun! From bright sprays of fresh flowers to watches, sunglasses and even videogames, you will find stalls peddling all kinds of goods. Set in an Art Deco building from the 1930s a visit here can make for an interesting day of shopping in Phnom Penh.
The Russian Market in Phnom Penh or Psar Toul Tom Poung is the place to head to for authentic designer and branded goods at heavily discounted prices. Since a number of brands from the west source their garments and accessories here, products that do not meet their stringent quality norms (a faulty label, a slightly lighter or darker shade of dye than the designer wanted and other such 'defects') are sold here at low prices.
To support the local heritage and culture, try and buy products from shops displaying the Heritage Friendly Business Logo. These outlets and manufacturers are doing their bit to keep traditional arts and handicrafts alive so Cambodia's legacy is carried forward for future generations.
You can pay for most things in Cambodian Riel or lower denomination US dollar notes. ATMs accepting international cards are also present and some dispense dollars. You could also convert your money to local currency at authorised money changers. Travellers' cheques are extremely hard to encash even at banks, so avoid taking any valued higher than 100 USD.