A hidden architect behind the iconic CENTRAL MARKET in Phnom Penh.

What makes the central market of Phnom Penh so famous?

Occasionally, it gets lucky. Cambodia opened its doors to tourism in the early 1990s. The seller in this market has seen a flood of foreign tourists looking for souvenirs, spices, books, and daily necessities. Their focus shifted from selling daily products to selling products for tourism. Because tourism paid them high prices, this market sells their products at higher prices than other markets in Phnom Penh. The habits of clients have changed the way Central Market used to be. This market took 20 years to be recognized as one of the must-see places in Phnom Penh for foreign tourists after the Royal Palace. 

An overview of the architecture.

The architecture isn’t really important to the locals, not because it’s bad. There’s just something about the way locals see things. While Cambodians don’t pay attention to details like westerners, this market had an extraordinary architecture landscape. When you walk into the middle odioum, you can’t help but look up to see how far the cell is. Is it possible for the ceiling to stand so high for so long? It is the result of the work of an italian architect Jean Desbois and a french architect Louis Chauchon. In 1931, it opened. What is the reason for the high ceilings? In this case, the city’s climate has been taken into account. The market activities are held in the daytime while the temperature outside is about 40 to 50 degrees. Because no cooling system is available during that period, the best way to cool down the building is to create a way for as much wind to blow inside as possible. The next time you look up, you’ll notice all the windows that let air circulate easily. 

The renovation process

One of the most recent renovations took almost 3 years to complete in 2009. The time it takes to renovate is longer than the time it takes to build. It’s because this area is so busy, and sellers still need to perform their activities during renovations. In Cambodia, it is one of the cleanest outdoor markets.


In Cambodia, it is the most visited market.

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