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Russian Market in Phnom Penh: Comprehensive Guide on Psar Tuol Tom Pong

Russian Market, also known as Psar Tuol Tom Pong (ផ្សារទួលទំពូង), is one of the top spots to check out in Phnom Penh. Produce, crafts, clothes - this Market has everything under the sun. And the best part is everything is super affordable!

Besides, Tuol TomPong Market is more than just a place to buy things.

Taking a walk around the numerous stalls at the Russian Market provides visitors with the unique opportunity to observe daily Cambodian customs and commerce firsthand. Interacting with vendors and observing trade give insights into cultural practices and ways of life.

Here's the full rundown on exploring this iconic place.

Where Is the Russian Market? Location of Russian Market in Phnom Penh

● Address: Street 163, Corner Of Street 444, Phnom Penh [Tuo Tom Pong Market]
● Opening Hours: Daily from 06:00 to 16:30

The Russian Market, or Psar Tuol Tom Pong, is conveniently located within a 20-minute reach from the city center, near the crossroads of Monivong Boulevard and Mao Tse Tung streets.

The market spans several city blocks around the intersection of 108 Street and 16 Avenue. It does not have defined boundaries, but the main areas of activity are concentrated within this junction.

The nearby Starbridge Hotel, situated right at the crossroads, makes for an easy landmark to get to the market. Parking is available on surrounding streets, though spots can fill up quickly, so get there early.

the-entrance-of-the-russian-market-phnom-penh
The entrance of the Russian Market, Phnom Penh

Why Is It Called the Russian Market? Origin of the Market Name

The market is known as "Russian" to foreigners, but locals call it Psar Tuol Tom Pong. And how did it get this unusual name? Well, in the 1980s, the market saw an influx of Soviet goods and products from Eastern Europe. These arrived after Cambodia's ties strengthened with the Soviet Union and other communist states. Items for sale included:

● Clothes
● Housewares
● Electronics, and more.

These items had labels on them printed in Russian, Polish, German, and other European languages. This gave visitors the impression the market mainly dealt with Russian and Eastern European items. Over time, the name "Russian Market" stuck for foreigners even as the Soviet goods disappeared.

While the name no longer directly reflects the merchandise, it has become firmly established among tourists and expats. So, in summary, the market's label arises from its history as a seller of Soviet and Eastern bloc goods decades ago.

What Can I Shop in Russian Market Phnom Penh? Detailed Area Map of the Russian Market

The Russian Market offers an enormous variety of products across its multi-block spread. With thousands of vendors under one roof, you could spend hours exploring everything for sale. The market is generally divided into the following main shopping zones:

1. Clothing & Accessories: Stalls packed with low-cost Western brands, local fashions, hats, bags, and more.
2. Housewares: Kitchenware, furnishings, textiles, home décor of all kinds.
3. Electronics: Kiosks selling phones, laptops, and cameras at discount prices. Buyer beware of counterfeits.
4. Fresh Food: Butcher shops, fruit stalls, open-air kitchens selling snacks and drinks.
5. Handicrafts: Woodcarvings, lacquerware, stone and silver figurines, silk scarves.
6. Herbs & Remedies: Traditional Khmer medicines, spices, and teas from around Asia.

Here's a simple map to help you find these zones:
● Clothes/accessories - Ground floor
● Street food vendors - Ground floor outer edges
● Fresh produce - 2nd floor
● Housewares/handicrafts - 2nd floor
● Furniture/larger items - 3rd floor

The layout occasionally shifts as vendors come and go, but this provides an idea of where major product zones can generally be found. No matter what you're looking for, you'll likely find it somewhere in the iconic Russian Market. Bring small bills, a reusable bag, and your bargaining skills!

various-fabrics-in-russian-market-phnom-penh
Various fabrics in Russian Market, Phnom Penh

What Products Are Cheap in Phnom Penh Russian Market?

Looking for bargains? The Russian Market in Phnom Penh is a bargain hunter's paradise!

From clothes and accessories to housewares and handicrafts, you'll find plenty of dirt-cheap goods at this iconic indoor market. Shoppers come from all over seeking great deals, and the Russian Market certainly delivers on affordability. With minimal overhead costs, vendors are able to offer impressive discounts every day. Here are some of the best deals:

● Clothing is one of the best bargains. Outfits from top Western brands can be 1/3 of home prices. Local clothes run from $2-10.
● Electronics like phones, tablets, and power banks are surprisingly cheap considering they work fine. Shop around different stalls for the lowest prices.
● Housewares like bed linens, curtains, dishes start at a few dollars. Furniture prices are also very reasonable compared to other cities.
● Fresh produce is significantly cheaper than grocery stores. Buy fruit, veggies and meat in bulk to save more.
● Local handicrafts make for unique souvenirs. Woodcarvings, jewelry, sculptures typically cost $5-30 depending on size and materials.
● Herbal remedies, teas and seasoning blends offer good value. Even imported items are affordable here.

With its competitive market environment, the Russian Market consistently delivers bargains that let you stretch your travel budget further. Be sure to check different vendors for the ultimate deals. Some negotiating may lower prices even more!

How to Get to the Russian Market in Phnom Penh?

Getting to the busy Russian Market is simple no matter how you get around Phnom Penh. Several transportation options provide easy access to this shopping hotspot.

● Public Buses: Buses #3 and #5 run regular routes along Monivong Blvd, both passing right by the market. The fare is around 1500 riel.
● Tuk-Tuk or Moto: Negotiate a rate with a tuk-tuk or moto driver for a few dollars each way. They can drop you near the Starbridge Hotel intersection.
● Bike or Walk: The market is only 2-3km northwest of central Phnom Penh. Biking takes 20-30 minutes along Monivong Blvd. Or allow 45min-1hr for a leisurely walk.
● Rideshare: Use apps like Grab to hail a taxi or car ride for a somewhat higher but still low fixed rate. Quick and convenient during busy times.
● Drive: Parking spots can be found on streets surrounding the market, typically costing $2-4 per day.

Have the driver drop you near 108 St and 16 Ave so you’re right in the thick of the stalls and shops. Be sure to budget some extra time in case of traffic delays or finding parking. Russian Market is very accessible from anywhere in the city, no matter how you get there.

take-a-fun-tuk-tuk-journey-in-phnom-penh
Take a fun tuk tuk journey in Phnom Penh

Which Is Better, the Central Market or the Russian Market in Phnom Penh?

Choosing between Central Market and Russian Market in Phnom Penh is like picking between two distinct flavors of the city’s cultural diversity.

Here’s a snapshot to help you decide:
● Size: The Russian Market covers a much larger area over several blocks compared to the more consolidated Central Market.
● Atmosphere: The Russian Market feels more lively and cramped with merchants yelling. Central Market has a calmer atmosphere.
● Variety: You'll find a wider selection of goods in the Russian Market, from clothes to homewares to electronics. Central Market focuses more on fresh produce and meats.
● Prices: In general, prices tend to be marginally lower in the Russian Market due to heavy competition between vendors.
● Location: The Central Market lies within the city center, while the Russian Market is on the northwest outskirts near Monivong Blvd.

Your choice depends on:
● Comfort: Central Market’s open design provides a more comfortable shopping environment.
● Adventure: If you’re up for a dive into the deep end of local culture, Russian Market’s tight walkways are filled with surprises.

In essence, if you prefer a leisurely stroll in a historic setting, Central Market is your go-to. For those who seek an authentic, up-close experience of Phnom Penh’s hustle and bustle, the Russian Market awaits. Both markets offer a wide variety of sights, sounds, and opportunities. The choice ultimately hinges on the type of experience you’re looking to have.

central-market-phsar-thmei-in-phnom-penh
Central Market Phsar Thmei in Phnom Penh

What Should I Notice When Going to the Russian Market in Phnom Penh?

The Russian Market is a vibrant and exciting place to shop but there are a few things visitors should be aware of:

● Crowds: Expect large crowds as you navigate the narrow walkways between stalls. Go early on weekends or late afternoon for smaller swarms.
● Prices: Vendors may initially quote inflated prices, so be prepared to bargain politely for a better deal.
● Safety: Keep an eye on your belongings and avoid bringing expensive-looking cameras/phones. Only carry some cash and valuables.
● Transport: Decide in advance how you plan to get back, as departing the market during busy periods can be difficult.
● Hygiene: Avoid street food that has been sitting for a while or seems unhygienic.
● Sun Protection: Wear sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat as there is limited shade between stalls. Stay hydrated too.

Being aware of these potential issues will help ensure a smooth, safe shopping trip and let you fully enjoy exploring this famed Cambodian bazaar.

Conclusion

The Russian Market in Phnom Penh gives a real look at how Cambodian people live and is also a great place to find good deals. However, here getting around the stalls and haggling in a foreign language can be difficult for foreigners.

That's why partnering with a knowledgeable guide from us can transform your visit into an unforgettable experience! Our expert guides not only provide valuable insights into the market's history and offerings but also assist in overcoming language barriers, ensuring you capture the essence of this exciting marketplace. Get in touch with us today for more information.

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