Phnom Penh’s Central Market: The Biggest Market in Asia - KNT Diary

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Saturday, February 2, 2019

Phnom Penh’s Central Market: The Biggest Market in Asia



It is located in Cambodia's capital city, Phnom Penh. When it first opened in 1937, it was said to be the biggest market in Asia; today it still operates as a market. From 2009 to 2011, it underwent a US$4.2 million renovation funded by the French Development Agency. The unique Art Deco building is a Phnom Penh landmark.

Before 1935, the area was a lake that received runoff during the rainy season. The lake was drained and construction began in 1935. Since its completion in 1937, wet season flooding around the market has remained a problem and is vestigial evidence of the old lake.

The entrance to the market is lined with souvenir merchants hawking everything from T-shirts and postcards to silver curios and kramas. Inside is a dazzling display of jewels and gold. Electronic goods, stationery, secondhand clothes and flowers are also sold.

During the Franco-Thai war the market was bombed heavily by Thai aircraft, causing heavy damage, and it had to be temporarily closed. After the end of World War II the market was rebuilt in the modern style.

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