Delights of the Siem Reap Night Markets

“This good size for you” said the smiling lady in the market as I handed over a few dollars for a pair of elephant trousers (the standard loose cotton trousers of Asia). I had found a pair I liked the colour of, and with no changing room available thought they looked about right; they were meant to be loose, so an exact fit wasn’t necessary. It was only when I got back to the hotel and tried them on that I realised that, while I could get into them, they were only a good size for me if I didn’t move, eat or breathe. Ah! Well aware of the clothing sizing differences between Asia and the western world, I had asked for a large size but obviously I had underestimated the enormity of the difference. Clearly, in the name of comfort, what my average-sized western bum required in Cambodian sized ‘loose’ trousers was extra large…

Clothes on sale in Siem Reap Night Markets, Cambodia

The Siem Reap Night Markets are a great place to get a few inexpensive pieces of clothing (just remember to check the sizes!) but there are also a whole host of other shopping opportunities.

Stuffed crocodile, anyone? Siem Reap Night Markets, Cambodia

The market stalls are stuffed with trinkets, jewellery, luggage, bags, statues and handicrafts. It makes the markets a wonderful place to pick up a few unique souvenirs for friends.

Siem Reap Night Markets, Cambodia

Bargaining is expected and entered into in good spirits. As a general rule whatever price was asked I would start by offering half the amount and stallholders would generally meet me somewhere in the middle. Prices were inexpensive so I wasn’t inclined to bargain hard, but there were a few vendors asking inflated prices, so it is worth asking a few people their suggested prices for things before committing to make a purchase by entering into bartering.

Fresh seafood on sale at the Siem Reap night market, Cambodia

Being so hot by day, Siem Reap locals can also buy their groceries at the night markets. There are stalls selling fresh vegetables, seafood and meat, some looking more savoury than others. Street vendors sell fruit, drinks and snacks (deep fried spider, anyone?) from carts too.

The bustling market scene in Siem Reap is not what people visit the town for; that honour goes to the nearby incredible Angkor Wat Temple complex. However, Siem Reap has a thriving night market scene, which I really enjoyed exploring and would definitely recommend.

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