A Food & Travel Blog

Psar Leu Market, Siem Reap

11/07/2016 | By

Lose a morning at the sprawling Psar Leu market in Siem Reap – an exciting spot for a truly authentic look at local daily life.

psar leu market flower seller

These blue flowers are used in cooking and tea.

A visit to local markets when travelling is one of the best ways to gain insight to everyday life, and nothing is more lively and vibrant than Asian markets. While in Siem Reap I spent a morning at Psar Leu market, the city’s largest.

psar leu market entrance

Heading into the Psar Leu market.

Siem Reap is dotted with markets and most visitors would be familiar with the Old Market, in the centre of town, but the sprawling Psar Leu market, on Road 6, is the the place I’d recommend for a truly authentic local experience.

psar leu market fish

 

psar leu market waffle seller

The waffle lady

Asian markets can be confronting places for some of us (vegan readers might prefer to go and make a cup of tea), but I find the sights, sounds and smells utterly fascinating.

psar leu market chicken vendor

The chicken lady getting down to the business end of things.

psar leu market local produce

Psar Leu market doesn’t attract many tourists and you won’t be hassled by touts here, but it is a vast place, with narrow lanes full of foot traffic as well as bikes and scooters, so visitors need to take care not to get run down – or lost.

psar leu market, dried fish

psar leu market, dried, preserved fish

Small fish, dried together on sticks.

You can buy absolutely anything you might need here – fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, fish, the funky local staple condiment called prahok which is used in many dishes, fantastic street food, kitchen ware, clothing and accessories. You can get your hair done, have your teeth attended to and it you happen to need a pigs head, well …

psar leu market, pigs head

I was fortunate enough to visit Psar Leu market with Khmer-speakers and a local chef, which made the experience much more accessible, but don’t let the language bar put you off. The vendors, like every Cambodian I came across, are helpful, friendly and charming. Try your luck asking questions and sample some of the ready to eat treats.

psar leu market beef butchers

All the beef in the market is sold by these lovely ladies.

psar leu market, jackfruit seller

The jackfruit lady.

psar leu market shopper

Just be polite and respectful of them and their other customers. Remember, this is a functioning market, not a tourist site, and the hard-working locals have things to do and places to be.

psar leu market, resting vendor

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  1. Liz Posmyk (Good Things)
    11/07/2016

    Wow, great photos, Amanda. I have not been to Asia, yet, but thank you for taking me on a tour!

  2. Miss Food Fairy
    11/07/2016

    WOW, you’ve got some beautiful & colourful photos Amanda, I look forward to getting there one day 🙂

  3. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella
    11/07/2016

    Real non touristy markets can be confronting (actually tourist markets can be) but I love watching a slice of their lives. The last one we went to had people cutting their toenails, sorting their vegetables and chatting. It felt really nice and real.

  4. Tania| My Kitchen Stories
    18/07/2016

    I just love Cambodians. These photos are amazingly clear and have captured the Cambodia I love to bits. What a great trip, Amanda