There are two interesting markets in Siem Reap that you should visit while you are here, the Psar Chas (Old Market) and the Psar Leu (big central market).
The Psar Chas is where most visitors head for their elephant pants. Go straight to the center of the market to absorb the sights, sounds and smells of the fresh food section and small wet market. Don’t go there at noon, as the permanent vendors and shop owners spend couple hours napping after their lunch.
The Psar Leu sells everything imaginable and is a local market for foodie. If you want to see a real Cambodian market, this is the place, and Psar Leu is a big market so expect to be here a while. The interior of the market sells colorful clothes, gold stalls, and so on, while the outside has vegetables, fruit, chickens, meat, fish, rice, baguettes, and lots more. The market is a very interesting way to spend an hour or two in the early morning, shoppers and stallholders are friendly.
Though Cambodian cuisine may not have the international profile like other cuisines in the region, exploring traditional Cambodian cuisine is one of my favorite things to do in Siem Reap. Because if you love food you will love a Khmer cooking class experience, which showcases the flavors and techniques of the Khmer’s 3000-year-old cuisine.
Begin with a tour of the local market escorted by the chef, who will show you famous Khmer food, culture and superstitions relating to food. Pick fruits, vegetables, fish, the multi-color spices and herbs for the dishes that you will practice later. Then enjoy a cooking demonstration of the dishes that you will prepare.
Enjoy hands-on cooking under the instruction of a professional Cambodian chef, learn about the local ingredients and age-old cooking traditions in Cambodia. Feast on your prepared meal with fellow travelers, then take recipes of your new-found skills home to friends and family.