Angkor Night Market, after seven years operated, is closing its doors and moving to a new location just up the road. Managing director Lim Nam, who also oversees King’s Road Angkor, says the new night market will be improved, with fewer stalls but a more select choice, and improved fire safety precautions.
It will move to its new premises in October, opening in time for the high season.
“The rental contract has come to an end. It’s become too expensive and so we decided to close it and move our tenants to another location nearby,” says Lim. “The ambience of the market will remain the same. We will keep Angkor Night Market’s identity. We will use the same design and architect team, although it will no longer have a straw roof because that is now prohibited in the city due to fire hazards.”
However, the design team will stick with the same ‘natural’ concept, constructing the roof out of bamboo and metal which Lim says will be more rainproof.
“The roof will be designed using raw materials, there will be trees and the ambience will still be relaxed,” says Lim. “Our original concept was a real market, a place where people can go to enjoy walking around, even if they don’t buy anything.
“We will still have the ambient lighting and a lot of outdoor space, but some of it will be covered so when it’s raining you can go inside. Along the alley leading to the market we will build small shops where sellers can hang small products like jewellery and key-rings – so the poor people can afford to rent from us as these spaces are cheaper.”
Due to space restrictions, the new market will only have 150 stalls as opposed to the original 200, but Lim says he will make a careful selection ensuring that stalls aren’t doubling up on the same items, and cutting down on certain products already ubiquitous in Siem Reap.
The Island Bar, weaving shop and massage stalls will remain, while the food court will be replaced by restaurants. There will also now be more advanced fire-fighting equipment, he says, including a pump machine and auto-pump fire hose.
“The market’s going to be smaller but I can say that it will be better, it’s a step forward,” says Lim. “It’s a chance for me to rearrange and do a selection process, so I will have real local products, like Ratanakiri coffee, Kampot pepper, all those things. I want to make tourists aware of Cambodian products.”