Phsar Leu, Siem Reap
Morning crowd at Phsar Leu
Phsar Leu, or the upper market, is definitely the place to go to in order for you to truly connect with the local culture. Due to the rarity of having tourists around, the vendors here speak little to no English.
Phsar Leu is said to be the biggest and the most authentic market in Siem Reap. If you are planning on visiting, ditch the idea of souvenir-hunting and focus solely on appreciating and immersing yourself in the Cambodian daily lifestyle instead. After all, the market is four times bigger than Old Market, so it will take plenty of time and effort to find what you want here.
How to Get to Phsar Leu
- Rent a tuk-tuk and pay around $6 two-way + waiting time
- Ride a bicycle. Go onto Sivatha Road from the Old Market and then onto the National Highway 6 (in the direction of Phnom Penh). The journey will take you about 15-20 minutes.
If you are planning to cycle there, this is National Highway 6. Yeap, it's not for the faint-hearted
Airy, and so much space. A pleasant change from the congested old market
The highlight of my trip to Phsar Leu was definitely the food!
"Food and experience before judgement," I told myself, as I proceeded to the next food cart to browse other options.
How could you say no to that?!
Keep in mind that the people here cannot speak English, so make sure you bring along enough Riels (unlike the Old Market, things here are much cheaper and are sold in the local currency). Payment is made easy when you let them pick out the notes themselves, but do use your head and see if you are being charged reasonably (4500 riels = $1, go figure)
Just like the Old Market, Phsar Leu has an interior section too
It has everything
People-watching is a joy here
I would totally recommend a brief stop at Phsar Leu for anyone who is traveling to Siem Reap. The atmosphere is notably different, and people are just so nice and friendly. Those smiles, those endless beams from lit up faces will just turn you tender and warm.
It would be a loss to skip this great destination.
The journey back into town was equally as pleasant...
...You just need to make sure that are able to handle all those smiles.