Phnom Penh Municipality plans to open its first full-service night markets to serve tourists and locals who like to shop and eat in the late evening, said Municipal Cabinet Chief Mann Chhoeun.
The markets, the first two of which will open near Phsar Chas and in front of the Royal Palace, will offer fruits, food and other goods that are suitable for roadside selling, Mann Chhoeun added.
“It is useful for Cambodian people to have more markets at night because now more tourists are coming to visit,” he said.
The number of tourists visiting Cambodia has increased to 900,000 in 2004, a 40 percent increase from the previous year, Thong Khon, Tourism Ministry secretary of state, said on Tuesday.
That number is projected to increase by a further 25 percent in 2005.
“We want our town to be a nice and clean place to attract tourists,” Thong Kong said.
“We want the town to have an entertaining [place] to serve them at night,” he added
For years, individual stall holders have stayed open at night to sell noodle soup, porridge and fruit juice along Kampuchea Krom Boulevard and Monivong Boulevard.
The new markets will be bigger and have better security, municipal officials said.
“Security is better right now because our police are more strict,” Heng Pov, Phnom Penh Municipality police chief, said on Tuesday. “Police have been deployed every place to protect people’s safety, especially at tourist [venues].”
The municipality has authorized local officials to scout locations for the new markets, as well as to determine what kind of food and goods would sell.
Water, electricity and sanitation systems will be provided at the market sites, Mann Chhoeun said.
“When more tourists come to Cambodia, our people make good money,” he said. “It is time for people to make money and [be] happy.”