"There’s no better way to get a real sense of place than by visiting a local market; take a trip to Kandal and immerse yourself in the
colours, textures, smells and tastes of Cambodia. From fresh veggies stacked high to jewel-like displays of local fruits (many of which are unrecognizable to westerners) to the large selection of fresh seafood, fish and meat—some of which is still moving—the market can be almost overwhelming to the senses. Fight the slightly claustrophobic feeling and slowly wander the stalls. The men and women who wait patiently for customers will often let you sample fruits and veggies; taste something that looks unfamiliar. You may be rewarded by the sweet flesh of the lychee, but it’s advisable to avoid the big, green spiny fruits—both jackfruit and durian have a smell that’s hard for visitors to stomach."
Kandal Market is an authentic, local market which is located in the
centre of Phnom Penh. It's just off the riverfront. There are many ways to get into these markets with a main entrance on Street 13. The Kandal Market is Phnom Penh’s biggest local market.
On sunny days, the Kandal Market is the best place to buy fresh vegetables and fruits in the morning. The name Psar Kandal means “Market in the Middle” or "Central Market". Although you must not confuse it with the modern Central Market. It’s more like a morning wet market and you’ll see there plenty of local housewives (and husbands), with their shopping baskets filled with vegetables and seafood. There is a lot happening. Expect to be jostled and bumped as you explore market. The walkways can be small and narrow, but you’ll be able to find food and clothes further in. However the majority of the stalls sell fresh food for the locals. This sprawling bazaar is always alive, specially early morning. Due to its location on lower ground in Phnom Penh, it can get into a real bad flood if there’s heavy rain.
The Kandal Market doesn't look like much from the outside, but when you get further in it is relatively fresh and clean. Even though the walkways are narrow and small. The Market is filled with goods like clothes,
jewellery, shoes and bags. The majority of the products, which are sold, is fresh food for the local people.
The Kandal Market stretches for two blocks. A narrow alley divides it into two areas: an indoor and an outdoor area. You must not expect to find kitschy souvenirs at the Kandal Market. Instead, shop as a local would shop. Come in the early morning to the market and mingle among Cambodians, who buy their fresh daily groceries.
At the beginning of the market vendors sell freshly picked fruits and vegetables. Wooden tables toward the
centre of the market display a wide variety of meat and fish. Most of the seafood is sold alive, so that customers have the freshest food available.
The covered central area is then household goods and clothes along with an inordinate number of hairdressers and gold stalls. The food offered at the Psar Kandal is mainly geared as take-away, but a few vendors offer plastic chairs and folding tables. This is not a gourmet area, but you can get impressions on Khmer staple foods. Toddlers garments are sold half price here, than what you pay in Russian Market. It's very inexpensive. Also inexpensive are the classic Khmer headscarves in comparison with the shops at the Norodom Boulevard. They sell the cheapest booze in town.
You will not see many tourists walking around here but it really is a fantastic market and definitely something to see.
You must spend some time by walking along the stalls, vendors showing their wares and immersing yourself in the sights and smells of this authentic Cambodian experience. Psar Kandal gives you a wonderful insight into local Cambodia, with all the sights, smells and chaos that go along with it. It's made worse by locals riding their motos through those same little walkways. This is only possible in Cambodia!
Although foods are the most important products sold at Kandal Market, you can also look for other miscellaneous items you may want or need, ranging from clothing to electronics. The Market is open from early morning until late evening but some of the stalls inside the market close at 5-6pm.
Location of Kandal Market (Phsar Kandal):
Kandal Market (Phsar Kandal) is located on Street 13 (Preah Ang Eng).