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Had your fill of the markets? Couldn't face the possibility of haggling over one more dollar?

By: Expat Advisory Posted: January-01-2006 in
Expat Advisory

Ready to kill the next vendor who says "Sir, you buy trouser"? That's okay, we've all been there, too, and help is at hand. If you're in desperate need of a shot of crass western consumerism, try one of these places.

To appropriate an Americanism, the 600 lb gorilla of malls in Phnom Penh is Sorya. Found on 63 just, to use another Americanism, spitting distance from the New Market, Sorya has everything a self-respecting mall should have; a supermarket (in this case Lucky's), several fast-food outlets (Lucky 7, BB World, the Pizza Company), department stores, a cinema (top floor), a food court (also top floor) and a load of specialty shops. (Throw in a Border's and it would be just about perfect).

Added to all this are magnificent views of the rooftops of Daun Penh and what were just about Phnom Penh's first escalators. Which led to hilarious scenes of trepidation as crowds of adult Khmers saw them for the first time and stared in fascinated horror.

Coming bock down the scale is Sydney. Found on Kampuchea Krom, Sydney (the mall, not the city) is your standard proto-mall. Two levels that consist of the largest supermarket in town (it feels like a Campbells Cash and Carry) and food court/specialty shops/ children's play zone. This last item seems to have become de rigueur as Big A, Pencil and Lucky Olympic all have one as well. Sydney has perhaps the most imaginatively titled fast-food joint of all: McKing Burger.

Located near Wat Botum and opposite the Cambodiana is Pencil's shopping mall. The original Pencil is a supermarket-cum-department store on 214. The new one has a much larger supermarket as well as a host of specialty shops. It also has acres of parking, just don't drive down the street by mistake during peak hour, you might as well park deliberately because you won't be going anywhere for a while.

The most imaginatively (if not appropriately) named store in town is the BS Department Store. All I'll say is that while the name by be unfortunate, it isn't an accurate description.

Parkway Centre is on Mao Tse Tung. Parking front and rear, a Lucky Burger, a supermarket, clothing, camera and sunglasses shops, net cafes, a bowling alley, a health club with a swimming pool and a driving range on the roof complete this picture.

The newest kid on the bock is definitely Paragon, just half a block form the Pencil on 214 in one direction and the Royal Palace in the other. Like all the others, paragon has a food court (at time of writing not yet fully tenanted) where you have to purchase coupons to redeem for food, a supermarket (which covers most of the ground floor) and wonder of incongruous wonder, a furniture shop displaying US$3,000 lounge suites (I guess their market research identified more rich Khmers than I know). It also has traditional (in the west, at any rate) covered parking under the building itself.

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