Kandal Market is a quintessentially Khmer Market located in the centre of Phnom Penh, close to the Royal Palace, the Riverside and some of the more saucy nightlife of the capital city.
Kandal Market/Phsar Kandal (ផ្សារកណ្ដាល) is located on 1074 and literally means “central market”. Slightly confusing as this is not Central Market – that is a whole other place. It is also not so far from the night market, which is also worth a visit.
You can read bout Street 130 here
From the outside Kandal Market does not look all that special, but if you are prepared to venture inside there is a whole labyrinth of weird stores, hawkers, bartering, and pickpockets with the confines of the place.
What can you get at Kandal Market Phnom Penh?
You can buy everything from stuff for your home, bags, shoes, wallets, electronics and second hand clothes, but the primary function of Kandal Market is to provide fresh food to the local populace.
This is fresh food heaven, with all manor of fruits, vegetables, spices, and meats. In fact excluding expensive foreign type products there is very little that cannot be purchased as Kandal Market, with most Khmer using it to get all their essentially foodstuffs.
Is Kandal Market open during Covid-19?
There is a Kandal Market Association, with people either owning their plots, or renting from the association. On April 20th 2021 Kandal Market was forced to close due to the Covid-19 outbreak in Cambodia – quite understandable when you consider just how cramped the place can get.
They were allowed to reopen at the end of May, with the Khmer Times stating that all vendors now had to not only be tested, but also be vaccinated against Covid-19.
To read about getting vaccinated in Cambodia click here .
So, long story short Kandal Market is now not only open, but providing you wear a mask a safe place to shop during Covid-19.
Kandal Market’s limited opening leaves its vendors struggling – so this is a good time to go and support the local economy.
What time does Kandal Market Phnom Penh open?
The market opens early morning from about 6 am and stays open until around 6-7 pm, although some come earlier and some stay later. Many of the vendors sleep here, and there are security guards present at night.
Can Barang shop at Kandal Market Phnom Penh?
This will depend quite how adventurous the barang in question is! But this is not a place to bring dollars, expect to pay by ABA pay, or expect the locals to speak English. You will either need some Khmer skills, a Cambodian friend to help you, or pen and paper to write down numbers!
To read about how Cambodian money works click here .
What can’t you get Kandal Market?
Kandal Market is where you get the essentials rather than the luxuries of life. For western style shopping head to AEON, SuperDooper, or even your local Kiwi Mart if you cannot survive without a Cherry Coke and a Mars Bar.
To read about Cherry Coke in Cambodia click here .
Dangers and Annoyances
This is a crowded place, so there are often pickpockets. Also when it gets late enough thieves will be as brazen as to run past and literally take your phone from your hand. Getting your phone stolen in Phnom Penh is not fun, but sadly far too common.
To read about getting your phone stolen in Phnom Penh click here .
Street Food Kandal Market Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh has the best street food in Cambodia and this area has the best street food in Phnom Penh.
To read about the best street food in Phnom Penh click here .
The main street that runs parallel to Kandal Market is essentially street food heaven and runs almost the entire length of the riverside from Kandal Market to Phnom Penh Night Market, which you can read about here .
You will find everything from Vietnamese street food, to Khmer beef and some of the finest and cheapest Cambodian oysters you can get in the capital.
To read about Khmer oysters click here .
There are also a number of fine street food havens within the market as well, so if you are prepared to venture into the enclosed area of Kandal Market you will find all manor of goodies, such as my own particular laborite Cambodian Fried Noodles.
You can read about Cambodian Fried Noodles here .
And that is the Kandal Market Phnom Penh Guide – not a tourist attraction, but a great place to soak up local atmosphere and get cheap fresh Khmer foods.