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  • Writer's pictureKirk

Open Food Markets of Cambodia


Going to the market? Do you like to eat fresh foods? Well, things are done a little differently around these parts. This is a familiar scene throughout much of Asia. These open markets as you see here.



Now these are not necessarily just food markets as typically many different goods are sold. But I've found that they tend to group things together in the markets like this. Clothing might be in one area and food in another. It's very common to see the same booths selling the same goods side by side.


My trip to the markets in Cambodia starts with a walk through the congested streets. An interesting but not necessarily a fun experience;



In the evenings these places could get quite crowded, but during the heat of the day there was little activity. I think a lot of people in these areas eat fresh food each day as they likely may not have refrigeration. So they buy just enough for the evening meal and leave.



But, I must admit that these places did not seem too appetizing to me. All the meats and fishes were just laid out in the open for inspection. There was really no protection for the meat at all. And it would stay there for hours during the heat of the day. Not only was it not refrigerated, but it wasn't protected in any way from other elements, like people handling it, or sneezing on it, or flies landing on it, which was a common practice.


This is just not what I'm accustomed to. But it is what they are accustomed to and obviously it works for them. I say that without knowledge, of course. Maybe it doesn't work as well for them because perhaps the disease rate is much higher there.



The other thing that got to me about this area was the smell. This is an odoriferous area. And the odor is not a good one. At least not to me. It just smelled like old decaying meat to me, even though I saw no evidence of decay on any of the the meat that I inspected.



It's funny, because I often eat the street foods in these areas. It's almost certain that the meats they buy that they cook on the streets are the same meats that they buy in these markets. So, although I say I would never buy any of the meats in these markets, I'm likely eating them on a daily basis. They're probably the same meats at the serving table at the hotel breakfast where I'm staying.





The vendors sit at their kiosk all day long. Many times they have their young children with them because they don't have a babysitter. They have little protection from the heat, and often completely cover their limbs to avoid sun exposure. This cannot be a comfortable life.



This is a big part of life in Cambodia and in neighboring countries. They try to eek out a living by selling what goods they can catch or grow. But farm life is not an easy life, and neither is being a vendor of their goods.


I just wanted to give you a little flavor of life in Cambodia

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Roger Wells
Roger Wells
Jul 04
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

It would take me a while to get use to buying my food this way. It is so different than the way I am use to. I am sure once I got hungry enough I would just have to suck it up and do it. 👍

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Kirk
Kirk
Jul 05
Replying to

Not for me either unless I don’t know it

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Mike Wells
Mike Wells
Jul 03
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

This is there life and do what they have to do to survive. I would be very hesitant to purchase the fish or meats that were not refrigerated. If the goods were not purchased that day what happens to them just bring them back next day.

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Kirk
Kirk
Jul 03
Replying to

I don’t know. Maybe that is yesterday’s fish.

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