Phnom Penh and the Spiders from Phsars

December 12, 2013 by | Filed Under: Cambodia, News

Central market in Phnom Penh

In the early morning, Phnom Penh’s Central Market – or Phsar Tmai as the locals call it – is a coming and going of local sellers and buyers of all kinds. It is exactly here where we start our food walking tour. The phsar, (from “bazaar”), is housed in a beautiful Art-Deco building and is the most spacious and cleanest market in the capital.

Here we will find a vast selection of items ranging from fresh food to clothes to souvenirs, handicraft, handmade silk, bags and much more. We enjoy a satisfying breakfast at a local coffee shop around the Central Market. We recommend the norm bon churk (noodle with fish soup or chicken curry) or nom pain (chicken curry with French baguette).

Cambodia has arguably the most diverse range of foods in the region. It’s colorful past has left the country with a fusion of ancient, colonial and modern flavors and traditions.

Our knowledgeable guide will inform us about Cambodia’s rich culture, people’s lives and the traditional Khmer food while walking inside the Central Market. Most of the items on sale are from Cambodia although some vegetables are imported from Thailand and Vietnam. We enter a new hall where the die-hards in our party can try deep fried insects and spiders. Aping (fried spiders) are considered a specialty in central Cambodia and travelers will be able to sample one of these creatures! Wash it down with the surprisingly refreshing teuk ampil – a popular Khmer drink consisting of sugar cane juice.

While walking around we’ll sample a range of local Cambodian snacks like mi char (fried noodle), sach kor ang (BBQ beef) with papaya salad, and nom krok (small traditional snacks made from rice and coconut juice cooked in a clay pan). There are many more local delicacies that we can try, so an empty stomach is certainly required at the start of this outing.

When we’ve all done our food tasting, we walk the vibrant streets of Phnom Penh – past houses, shops and some of the capital’s stunning colonial buildings. We reach the Kandal Market where a large selection of fresh fruit is traded. Try some of the exotic and unusual ones such as durian, mangosteen (the queen of fruits) and jackfruit.

From here we take a short drive to visit Kingdom Breweries. We learn about the process that goes in to producing the beer while walking around the premises. The walk leads us to a lounge overlooking the Tonle Sap River. Here, naturally, we can try a few of the beverages. Cheers Cambodia!

The Phnom Penh food walking tour typically takes place between 8 am until 3 pm, Khiri Travel Cambodia can adjust the program to traveler’s wishes. For more information and bookings, please contact sales.cambodia@khiri.com.