A visit to Psar Krom, Siem Reap

There’s an ongoing joke in this household that no visit to Siem Reap is complete without a visit to Psar Krom. World renowned temples? Been there, done that. Floating villages? The Tonlé Sap is just a glorified pond. Happy Ranching, quad biking, microlighting? Pshhh. Adventure is for losers. Psar Krom is where it’s at.

Of course, you’re unlikely to ever see a tourist near Psar Krom, because Psar Krom looks like this:

It’s a dusty, scrappy, thronging labyrinth of a market. In my opinion it’s the best place in town to see the fantastic produce Cambodia has to offer, and to experience food shopping the way locals do. Much more airy than Psar Chas or Psar Leu, Psar Krom has whole sections in the semi-open. Admittedly, my standards are lax to say the least, but it’s also relatively clean, and if you go early enough you may not even notice the smell of the lively fish section: baskets of fresh fish, most still wriggling and alive, deftly dispatched and cleaned by the vendors before they can make a jump for it.

It’s also an excellent place to observe the very best of Cambodian pyjama fashion:

Although you should be prepared to be pushed and shoved around by the crowd, it’s a pretty friendly market, with no hard sell. Look out for fresh spice mixes for soups and curries, chunks of orange pumpkin, sticky doughnuts coated in caramel, large vats of fresh palm sugar, and delicious smoked sausages hanging from the rafters. There’s a dried fish vendor for all your breakfast needs. The waffle stand, if it’s open, is particularly worth the detour, because there is nothing more satisfying than a Cambodian waffle straight from the wood-fired iron. To find it, just follow the delicious smell.

Before you go, take a minute to look up a the old metal structure, with holes like stars shining through the cobwebs. It’s really quite beautiful. In your face, Ta Prohm.

Where: Psar Krom Road, Siem Reap.

Tip: Go early, most of the action will be done by 11 am.

2 Responses to “A visit to Psar Krom, Siem Reap”
  1. Alison Cross says:

    You won’t get much of a meal out of those ducklings! It looks a fab market – but I’d be scared witless there. I can barely cope with the John Lewis sale.

    Yes, I love that structure.

    What are those lovely-looking sticky things. Please don’t say duckings….


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