New Night Market to Attract Tourists, Move Local Crafts

The Phnom Penh Municipality on Novmber 9 was to begin the two-week trial of a night market, which is to offer Cambodian crafts makers a venue to sell their goods and may be continued permanently if it proves to be a success, officials said.

“We’ll start tonight and see if it works well,” Deputy Governor Mann Chhoeun said on November 9, adding that the market would initially be open between 5 pm and midnight everyday until Nov 25.

The 100-stall market is located on the popular riverfront in front of Wat Ounalom, he said.

“Our purpose in opening a night market is to encourage producers to have more creative ideas and to provide a market for their products,” Mann Chhoeun said

In the capital, there were too few places for painters and crafts makers from the countryside to sell their goods to tourists, he added.

Son Kuon Thor, deputy chairman of the Supreme National Economic Council, said he had rented 50 booths at the market for the sale of handicrafts, which are made by members of a craft association he presides over.

The night market will help link provincial crafts makers to markets in the capital and encourage people in rural areas to engage in trade, he said.

Selling locally-produced goods will also help stem the flight of tourist dollars due to the consumption of imports, he added.

“I think that with the night market’s cash flow from foreign tourists there won’t be any leakage,” Son Kuon Thor said.

Tourism Minister Thong Khon said the market was also intended to provide a relaxing environment for visitors.

“The night market is poverty reduction through tourism,” he said, adding that officials were basing the market concept on successful experiences by authorities in Thailand.

Market vendor Kieng Sabay, director of the Rajana crafts association, said the vendors would serve a niche market. “This is the right place to sell the right product,” he said.

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