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I finally made it to the adventure of a lifetime and now I'm a citizen of the World. Indy author, blogger, in love with being an author - Mom of two grown children and widow of the most wonderful man to ever live - Devon "Pete" Hall.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Phnom Penh’s Great Art Deco Market

The lovely ceiling at the Central Market.
The Central Market in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, was built in 1932 and has retained its Art Deco architecture and feel. Actually, it reminded me of Grand Central Station in New York City to some degree.

The Central Market frontage
The layout is very logical with the central domed area being “jewelry land” and the four arms of the market each comprising a different product area, such as home goods, clothing, ladies clothing and needs (such as manicures and pedicures), and then odds and ends such as luggage and toiletries, etc.

Lovely silver purses and teapots
It was hard to walk through the jewelry area without stopping, in fact, I succumbed three times buying gifts for others and a smoking hot pair of earrings for myself.  But the kicker was all the glitter. Those who know me know I LOVE a store in the States called Charming Charlie’s, which specializes in ladies accessories, especially bling! Well, this market has no shortage of bling. My gaze kept being caught by sparkle!

I felt very comfortable in this market and the prices were about 50% less than I’m used to in California, so it was a very nice experience. 

Outside the market
On the drive over, my tuk-tuk driver took me through some of the
The jewelry cases.
back streets, which was a bit of an eye-opener. Coming into Phnom Penh from the airport I was astounded by its modernity, relatively courteous traffic and cleanliness. The older streets house a very poverty-stricken population and literally thousands of tuk-tuk drivers struggling to catch a potential passenger’s attention. Happily, it has not reached the level of squalor – nowhere near – I saw in Manila, so it wasn’t a shock, just a reality check.

A nice street in the "hood."
Again pretty good street
I also asked my driver to take me to the U.S. Embassy, thinking I could just stroll in and have a little walkabout. Seriously. Sometimes I amaze myself. I did get in the front door, mostly because the Cambodian security guard couldn't understand what I wanted. The very nice guard inside calmly explained that I either needed an emergency or an appointment. Who knew? Probably every other reasonable person on earth. But I did manage to see my embassy and take a picture from across the street. This picture doesn't reflect how big, modern and basically awesome the compound is but I thought my U.S. readers would enjoy this little glimpse. 
My discreet shot of the US Embassy in Cambodia

So, I've already visited the Royal Palace and will be posting on that one next. Keep coming back because I have lots more planned for Cambodia.


  1. They wouldn't let you have a walkabout the embassy? I call that a serious lack of hospitality! :-)

    1. Right?! I could tell the embassy guard was trying hard not to laugh at me...