Traditional and photogenic
Published/Last edited or updated: 4th November, 2016
Phsar Krom is, for us, Kompong Chhnang's clear highlight. This bustling riverside market ticks all the boxes: it's vibrant, colourful, photogenic and of course traditional. Found along the Tonle Sap waterfront, half on dry land and half on water, it is to our knowledge unique in Cambodia (at least, for its size). If you ignore the motors of the larger craft and traders yakking away on mobile phones, it’s a scene that hasn’t changed in a long, long time.
Heading down the causeway known as Phsar Krom Road, the market area is divided into sections. Passing by the small covered Kompong Chhnang Market to your left, street stalls selling fruit, vegetables and household goods line the right side of the road. Where it meets the riverfront, benches set up under shady rain trees create a popular hang-out spot for locals and you’ll find a bunch of snacks and drinks stalls. To your left, along the wide, paved ‘promenade’ is the main wet produce market right by the water. In dry season, this is set up on the muddy, litter strewn riverbank while as the waters rise the stalls move up the bank until, by the end of the rainy season, the market is located on the promenade itself. The market building is a roofed bamboo structure with vendors selling their produce from bamboo platforms on the ground. It’s about as traditional as you get and identical to market scene bas reliefs you’ll find at Bayon temple, for instance.
Boats unload produce directly into the market or up conveyor belts into waiting trucks and pick-ups on the riverfront road. Watermelons, sweet corn, pumpkins and sacks of rice flow in one direction while cases of beer, jerry cans of petrol and mountains of pre-packaged snacks flow in the other. At the far end of the market steps lead down, past more market stalls, to a floating metal pontoon which serves as the main jetty for smaller passenger and cargo boats. Past this is an astonishing three-storey bamboo structure -- much of which is under water during certain months -- which seems to serve as a depot for timber and bamboo brought in from ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 500 words.)
Based in Chiang Mai, Mark Ord has been travelling Southeast Asia for over two decades and first crossed paths with Travelfish on Ko Lipe in the early 1990s.
These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.
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