Central Market

Image of the front of Central Market in Phnom Penh

Central Market is located in Cambodia’s capital city, Phnom Penh. The market opened in 1937 and at the time it was the biggest market in the whole of Asia. Anybody who has visited Cambodia recently will know it is still a very vibrant market. Between 2009 and 2011, it was subject to a $4.2 million renovation project funded by the French Development Agency.

History of Central Market

According to the original architectural plans, Central Market was started in August 1935 and was completed in June 1937. Louis Chauchon was the French architect who designed it and later the construction works were supervised by French architects Jean Desbois and Wladimir Kandaouroff.

The beautiful Art Deco building has been a Phnom Penh landmark since its completion. The market was originally built on the site of an old lake that was drained for the project. The many entrances of the market are full of vendors selling souvenirs, t-shirts, jewellery and postcards.

During the Franco-Thai war, the market was heavily bombed by Thai aircraft which caused significant damage, and it was subsequently closed. After the end of the second world war, the market was rebuilt to its original plans that we see today.

In a recent statement, The Ministry of Tourism in Cambodia has announced that more than 120,000 tourists visited central market during the first seven months of this year. Despite Central market’s prime location in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. It is built in the style of a French colonial-style building and for many years it has attracted international tourists where they come to buy souvenirs, handicrafts and sample the huge variety of food stalls and restaurants.
Central Market was built in 1935 during the colonial period in a French Art Deco style.

The domed yellow structure has four wings covered by the dome in the centre. In these four wings and around the outer perimeter are almost all items one can think of including electronics, clothing, watches, luggage, shoes, fresh food and jewellery.

Central Market Today

Products ranging from genuine brands to locally produced handicrafts and everything in between! In the first 7 months of 2017, there were 128,416 international visitors to the Central Market, including 63,168 from Vietnam, 33,883 from China, 27,483 from Europe, 1,532 from Malaysia, 737 from Thailand, 1,306 from Japan, 45 people from Korea and 262 from Lao tourists, compared with 120,534 in the same period of 2016. An increase of 7,882 people, a percentage increase of 6.5%.

According to Tith Chantha, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Tourism, who recently attended a consultative workshop between producers and suppliers of Khmer products on August 17th. According to the subsequent report, the average money spent for a tourist staying in Cambodia for 1 week is $700.

He added that the tourism industry has contributed significantly to the production and supply of products such as rice, vegetables, fish, meat, souvenirs, and other services. In 2016, Cambodia received 5.011.712 international tourists, generating incomes of about 3.5 billion US dollars.

“Although today is not Saturday or Sunday, international tourists have come in,” said Mrs Wong Dany, Governor of Central Market. Visiting Central Market today, there is a noticeable increase in vendors and shoppers. One of the reasons for this is because of the increased security guards and sanitation at the market.

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