Unlike neighbours Thailand, Vietnam, and even Laos – as well as many other countries in the region – Cambodia did not have any after-hours trading centres to offer shopaholics a nocturnal fix until early 2007.
The scene changed with the opening of the Angkor Night Market in Siem Reap. Ten years on, and you can still peruse more than 200 Khmer-style huts built from natural materials and stocked with traditional Cambodian handmade products, including clothing, silks, art, jewelry, wood and stone carvings and other handicrafts – often produced by orphans and handicapped people who are allocated stalls at a discounted price.
Opposite the original night market is Noon Night Market, boasting around 100 stalls selling handicrafts and souvenirs from 12 noon til 12 midnight.
Over on the east bank of the Siem Reap River, opposite the Old Market, you’ll find Siem Reap Art Center Market, with its range of clothing, accessories, silk products, handicrafts and artwork, toys, and decorations. Traditional Apsara dance is performed nightly from 8pm. The market is open daily from 8am-10pm, but be aware many stalls tend to close around 5pm.
A little further up the river and inside the King’s Road Angkor complex, the Made in Cambodia Market is a unique showcase for a multitude of beautifully crafted, locally produced products presented with the aim of creating more jobs for Cambodians. It opens from noon til 10pm, and you might even catch some acrobatics from visiting Phare Cambodian Circus performers.
BB Angkor Market runs until 10pm, perfect for those that can’t stumble further than the end of Pub Street.
Of course, bargaining is an essential skill, and a great way to mingle with the locals. Good English is generally spoken throughout the markets, so get verbose with your haggles! And you’ll discover plenty of bars and restaurants to help replenish your energy levels and you enjoy the bustling vibes, as well as some massage and even tattoo parlours.