"This morning he took us to Psar Toul Tom Pong which is more commonly known, amongst tourists anyway, as the Russian Market because it is where the Russians used to shop during the 1980s. The market is absolutely packed with merchandise of every kind imaginable. From food to cosmetics, from clothing to hardware - it can be found at the Russian Market. We are glad we went in the morning as everything is so tightly packed in that it would have been unbearable by the afternoon when it was a few degrees warmer."
The Russian Market (Psar Toul Tom Poung in Khmer), in the southern part of Cambodia’s
capital city, got its name from its popularity among Russian expatriates in the 1980s.
It is of far less architectural interest than the Central Market but has a larger, more varied selection of souvenirs, curios and silks. Like the Central Market, there are several jewellers
and gold-sellers. But the Russian market offers you more.
It has many things of interest to many people. Inside you can find, all manner of hardware goods, drinks and cooked food, antique furniture,
traditional carvings and handicraft, hand-woven silk, music, DVD and computer CDs, silverware, gems, books and maps, backpacks and bags and shoes and clothing.
Most of the DVD vendors are located on the south side near the southeast corner of the market. Most of what the visitor might want is in the same general area on
the south side but the rest of the market is well worth exploring. Food and drink stands in the middle of the market for hygienically adventurous visitors.
Some shoes and clothing originate as out-takes from various garment factories. Hence some top labels can be found at very reasonable prices.
Many local artisans use the market as an outlet to the touristmarket. You can find the new traditional handicrafts interspersed with older genuine antique carvings.
The newer wooden carvings may tend to split once they are taken to a less humid climate. Most retailers will repair these items in the first year
after purchase if you have made an agreement during bargaining.
It's best visited in the early morning or mid-afternoon as the heat during the middle of the day under the tin roof is oppressive. After spending a couple of hours haggling you
may be in need of liquid refreshments and a quick snack. Located close to the Russian Market are two very good cafés which you may want to try – Jars of Clay, and Café Yejj, both of which are training facilities for under privileged young adults.