Phnom Penh has several large traditional markets selling all kinds of goodies and its advantage over supermarkets? you can also haggle to get a good bargain. As an expat, I’m more used to supermarkets and it took sometime for me to brave these traditional markets on my own. I first got hooked with the Russian Market (Tuol Tompoung Market), then I began exploring other big markets.
One of my all time favorite Phnom Penh Markets is the O’Russey Market. It’s a six-story building, market stalls are on the first three floors, and on the surrounding streets. O’Russey Markets is a well-known wholesale market for food ingredients, seafoods,textiles, and clothing. You can also find some gardening items, mechanical tools, and electronics. Toys and food stuff you usually see being retailed in small stores across Phnom Penh are usually bought from here in bulk.
Be forewarned, this market is huge, and the pathways in between stalls are very narrow so be prepared to squeeze your way in. I always make sure I’m in my best (Divisoria-Manila like) mood whenever I venture to this market. It also helps if you can take walks for extended periods of time as there are limited resting areas around the market so best prepare with a bottle of water, and something to wipe the sweat off your face. And do be careful also with your valuables.
The first floor contains mostly food items, goods for reselling, electronics, gardening supplies. But what interests me the most about this market is the upper floors. The second/third floor houses wholesalers of books and other school materials, clothing, accessories. You can also find textiles, tailoring supplies, ready-made clothing, tailoring shops and some hair and nail salons.
The best part for me is the second-hand clothing/shoe/bags/home items. We Filipinos call this UK or ukay-ukay and this is where you can find designer items @ bargain prices not to mention unique pieces. O’Russey’s Ukay-Ukay/Second Hand stores holds a lot of great finds. I found some cute bags and shoes here but what I really really love are the curtains I discovered here. Second-hand shopping can be a bit difficult and only for those who has the gumption to sort though all the piles, but its very rewarding too..Try it for once and you’ll get hooked and one place to start your ukay-ukay hunting is the O’Russey Market.
I found this really interesting video on YouTube featuring O’Russey Market and the surrounding streets. Video courtesy of MSA Production
O’Russey Market on Google Maps