Central Market is the iconic French designed art deco market hall at the end of Street 63. The market benefitted from a major renovation just a few years ago and the structure is really quite impressive, especially the main central dome from which the four arms radiate out.
This is still a fully functioning market serving throngs of people a day but it is very touristy and this fact has driven the prices of some things too high for many locals, the market is a must see destination for the visitors to Phnom Penh and is a great market to visit if you only plan to see one or two. When you live here you do tend to go to different markets to buy different things but Psah Thmey has a little of everything in a much nicer shell, perfect for tourism.
There is one area of the market however to which I am a regular visitor and that is the food hall. This part is largely filled with local diners while there are of course a fair number of tourists milling around, this is after all Central Market, the food being grilled here is very good. Especially the seafood and this is one of my favorite places to grab a seafood barbecue. You simply wander between the stalls, choose what you want and grab one of the metal tables, perching yourself on the tiny plastic seats and wait for the food to come. Don’t expect this option to be cheap, for two you will pay anything between $10-$20 depending on choices, some of the large squid are $7 themselves, but they are fantastically fresh and bursting with flavour.
if you fancy some of the more unusual Cambodian dishes, like the fried spiders, they are not far away either. I probably wouldn’t go for the spiders here(again) but if you don’t have the time to search them out elsewhere then sure, go for it.
To summarise, yes of course you must see this market, it has a little of everything, just don’t forget to grab some grilled fish while you are there, you won’t regret it.