The 5 reasons we love the Phnom Penh Russian Market (Toul Tom Poung)
Nestled in a grid between Streets 440 and 450, Russian Market—known as Phsar Toul Tom Poung in Khmer—is bordered on all sides by apartments, restaurants, phone shops, and pervasive tuk tuks. The fact that this square market is not as centrally located as some of the other markets in Phnom Penh makes it a more genuine Cambodian experience.
2. SENSES ENGAGED.
Entering on the north end at Street 440 puts your eyes (and nose) up close and personal with raw meats and seafood dangling from rafters, as well as a prism of fresh fruits and vegetables like cherry tomatoes, zucchini, apples, mangoes, and vibrant tropical melons.
3. MAKE YOUR OWN FASHION.
Visitors interested in custom apparel frequent Russian Market for the largest selection of fabrics under one roof, most notably patterned silks and kramas. Tailors' stalls aren't too far from the fabric, which makes it convenient for shoppers to have garments made and ready to pick up a few days later.
4. ENTERTAINMENT HAVEN.
Souvenirs, silks, and staples for your next meal are up for bartering at Russian Market, but the majority of shoppers flock to Phsar Toul Tom Poung to nab a new movie or find ways to catch up on their favorite television shows as English-language DVDs and CDs are some of the biggest sellers. These commonly visited booths are found in scattered stalls toward the southern end of the square. If you don't see what you're looking for, stall vendors will tirelessly dig through their collections until you get the DVDs you desire.
5. LATE(R) HOURS.
The market's operating hours are daily from 0700 till 1700, but if you're unable to make it during the day, the north end of the market stays open after the rest of the market closes. Fish, fruits, vegetables, bread, and roasting meats lit by overhead lamps are ripe and ready for negotiation.
Other Cambodian markets may be bigger in area, more heavily occupied, and more visually intriguing, but Russian Market's authenticity and opportunity for haggling makes it a credible Cambodian landmark.