Phsar Leu, Siem Reap

things to do in 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.

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If you are planning to cycle there, this is National Highway 6. Yeap, it's not for the faint-hearted


Once you've arrived at your destination, politely ask any of the vendor if they could look after the bicycle for you because there isn't any place to lock it to. I tried paying the girl who helped me but she wouldn't accept my money so I got her some sweet snacks instead. (Not everyone wants your money here; Some are genuinely kind)


food to try in siem reap
Phsar Leu Siem Reap

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!


Being the foodie that I am, I wanted so badly to try as much local food as I could. When I was there, I must have gotten more than ten different types of snacks and people would just keep staring at me. I completely understand how much the Cambodians value moderation, and I must have looked so obnoxious and repugnant in their eyes.

"Food and experience before judgement," I told myself, as I proceeded to the next food cart to browse other options.


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How could you say no to that?!


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....and that!


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things to do in siem reap

AND THAT!


things to do in siem reap

AND 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)


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Just like the Old Market, Phsar Leu has an interior section too


Phsar Leu Siem Reap
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food to try in siem reap
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what to eat in siem reap

It has everything


Phsar Leu Siem Reap

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.


what to see in siem reap
what to see in siem reap

The journey back into town was equally as pleasant...


what to eat in siem reap

...You just need to make sure that are able to handle all those smiles.

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