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soloflightEd

Learned the art of haggling in the night markets in Siem Reap. Only a couple of hours after arriving at the Bousavy Guesthouse, we proceeded to the downtown area to have dinner and dropped by the Angkor Night Market which was a playful sight to behold. So many goods being sold and at cheap prices too.

Me: How much is shirt?
Vendor: 12 dollars.
Me: Last price?
Vendor: 10 dollars.
Me: Never mind.
Vendor: Ok, how much you want?
Me: I pay 6 dollars.
Vendor: No, I give you 8. I no profit if I give you 6 dollars.
Me: Ok, thank you. I come back, I come back. *walks away*
Vendor: Ok ok! I give you 6!

…and so the item was bought. This is usually the scene whenever attendants manning their booths would catch you fancying their merchandise.

angkor night market
Angkor night Market in Siem Reap, Cambodia

At first, you’ll probably get confused on why they have so many labels for their markets. Angkor Night Market, Siem Reap Night Market, Noon-Night Market, Central Market, Old Public Market etc. They have so many names for every area of their markets but all of which usually carry and sell the same stuff.

night market angkor
colorful corners and goods in Cambodia

Earrings, bangles, Buddha statues, scarves, dresses, knock-off bags and shirts and other useful and decorative items. Prices vary as they are dependent on your haggling skills. After a series of purchases, you’ll get the hang of haggling for these merchandise to get a good price.

Note: Cambodians use Riel as their currency but during transactions, vendors quote prices in US Dollars. I guess it’s because of the number of tourists that go to the country. They will still accept either of the denominations but most of them prefer dollars as it’s more convenient too.

1 USD = 4000 Cambodian Riel/Khmer Riel

DSC_8520
people flocking at night

If you have to buy souvenirs for loved ones, this is where you need to buy them as the prices are cheap but are of good quality (most of the items anyway).

But there was a point that got me upset when one of the vendors of scarves I fancied didn’t give in to my request. I ended up walking away. From then on, I realized I was such a cheapskate that I never thought about the money that these Khmer people make. It made me understand that I was too selfish in hording all the goods and squeezed whatever I could just to get a good bargain. I should learn to also be generous especially when the prices are reasonable enough.

angkor night market goods
jewelry, figurines, scarves, Lonely Planet books, paintings, dresses, statues

Massage shops are also abound. Rates would go as low as 1 USD. After a day of walking at the various temples, one would usually want to hire their spa services and you wouldn’t even mind the price considering how affordable they are.

cambodia massage
massage by the street

Aside from the massage places in Cambodia, food stalls are also aplenty. I especially like those selling banana waffles and banana pancakes. It’s a nice treat to have something to munch while you check out the products being sold.

banana pancake
banana pancakes

Spending time in these night markets was mostly fun because of how alive the night was and you just want to buy stuff which you don’t really need. Good thing I stuck to the things that people asked me to buy for them. I satisfied my cravings for purchasing items without sacrificing my budget as I hardly had some for shopping.

Here’s a couple of comprehensive guides about Siem Reap:

Check out my other adventures here:


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soloflightEd.com is a travel blog by Edcel Suyo. He enjoys performing headstands and crazy stunts during his trips in the Philippines, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. Now based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and working to earn a living, he takes time to enjoy the city and travel during weekends.
For updates, Like his page on Facebook or Follow him on Twitter.
For questions, advertising, and other concerns, shoot an email to ed@soloflighted.com.


11 comments… add one
  • I love night markets, well all markets in general πŸ™‚ This is where you get to mingle with as many locals and tourists. The chaos is just entertaining for me. The street food is also a delight. (I could eat 3 servings of those pancakes!)

  • kaka-miss yan! when I was there last summer, my nakilala akong 2 Pinay moms na based sa Cambodia, tas niyaya nila ako mag-shopping, ayun sobrang galeng tumawad kaya super nakamura tlga ako. πŸ™‚ maganda nga mga items jan, ang artsy.  anung binili mu para sa sarili mu? hehe asteeg din mga shirts jan, ang mura. 

  • wow! ang galing tumawad… hehehe!!! go go go!!!

  • sa angkor wat bar, Pinay yung nagwowork na bartender.

    Agree! In Cambodia lang yata medyo na-konsyensa ako na tumatawad pa ako. Imagine how hard life is for Khmers. I hired a motorbike around for $1, sa sobrang awa ko kasi ang layo na nga ng pinuntahan, pinahintay ko pa at madaling araw na. nag-tip ako $2. Di mo mapapalitan yung ngiti. One of my most memorable experiences in Cambodia.

  • Omygosh me and my friends loved that banana crepe too! We bought every night with the same guy. He's stationed in front of the sidewalk foodcourt near pub street.

    Yes, deals can mostly be made using dollars so what happens, yung mga riel na nakukuha namin serves as pangbayad sa mga butal, such as $1 and 1,000 riel. πŸ™‚

  • Edcel

    @lakwatsera de primera: haha, the markets are so alive there. i wouldn't mind not sleeping just to go through all the good finds there. I like it there in Siem Reap because it's not as chaotic as the Chatuchak market in Bangkok. those pancakes are really delicious! πŸ˜€

    @thepinaysolobackpacker: gael, i think i just bought a shirt with a buddha print for about 1.5 USD from 3 USD. hehe. didn't really bother buying a lot for myself there πŸ˜€

    @pinoy adventurista: you'll also learn to haggle once you're there mervin!

    @pinoyboy: will check that out next time I visit! in my case, di ko talaga pinalampas, next time na ako babawi sa Cambodia. I'll be more generous πŸ˜€

    @maryelogs: galeng! I miss the pancakes already! onga, the riel wasn't really of good use to us there. πŸ˜€

  • that's a great argue in bargaining….Banana cake is very common in Thailand too. How I wish I could visit Cambodia next year or this year.

  • Edcel

    @Eric: you should visit Cambodia! really worth it! πŸ˜€

  • nice one Ed, super helpful. Galing nating mga Pinoy sa tawaran, minsan feeling ko ang price na bigay nila satin eh pang mga puti pero at least kahit papaano eh nakakatulong na rin tayo sa kanila πŸ™‚

  • soloflightEd

    @liza: haha. yeah. thanks for dropping by liza!

  • fran

    hahaha thanks for the tip..$6 for a t shirt in cambodia..awesome bargaining skills ! LOL

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