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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Party scene shutdown for Norodom Sihanouk's funeral

Party scene shutdown for Norodom Sihanouk's funeral

Venues will not be allowed to play music, people will be forbidden to dance, and no alcohol will be poured during King Father Norodom’s funeral from February 1-4, according to a government’s directive.

The four-day mourning period has been decreed a public holiday, which will result in loss of business for nightclubs, karaoke bars, shops on Norodom Boulevard and along the riverside in Phnom Penh.

An employee of a nightclub, who asked not to be named, estimated revenue losses of about $15,000 for closing during the four-day funeral of the former King Sihanouk.

Doung Komsan, manager of the Champs Elysees Hotel with KTV, said yesterday: “The cremation of the King Father will affect our business, but we have to follow the [directive]. However, it is only a small price to pay to honour his achievements. We have only this one opportunity to show our respect for the King Father.”

However, most shops, bars and nightclubs in the provinces will do business as usual.

“Tourists don’t need to worry as temples, restaurants, bars, shops and even some banks in Siem Reap will remain open during that time,” tour guide and member of the Khmer Angkor Tour Guide Association Bun Thin said yesterday.

Meanwhile, banks, public institutions and embassies will be closed during the long weekend.

“All banks will be closed from Friday to Monday according to the directive of the government, but our customers can still access their bank accounts via mobile phone and ATMs. I think that our customers understand this,” In Channy, chief executive and president of Acleda Bank and president of the International Business Chamber, told the Post.

In contrast, most of the supermarkets, including Lucky and Pencil Supermarket, small shops and markets will open during the weekend.

Pencil Supermarket will only close its branch on the riverside and the branch’s access on Norodom Boulevard.

According to Rainer Deyhle, president of the Foreign Business Owners Association, “the cremation will not essentially affect foreign businesses in the country as guesthouses and bars, but traffic in Phnom Penh will cause lots of inconveniences.”

According to the Cambodian government, about 1.5 million people will be in the capital to witness the proceedings.

Massive congestion in Phnom Penh is to be expected that would financially benefit tuk-tuk drivers and motodops.

Many tuk-tuk and motodops have been busier than usual during the three-month period preceding the funeral of the late King Father, said Vorn Pao, president of the Independent Democracy of Informal Economy Association.

He expects there will be even more work during the funeral.

But Vorn Pao added: “We always get punished from the traffic police, even if we only stop to let the client out. Even though we will be busier, we do not think we will see a higher profit.”

However, drivers would not earn much more than 20,000 to 30,000 riel  ($5 to $7.50) per day during this time in the city, as more traffic jams and the complicated traffic regulations from the police would eat up a lot of petrol.

 

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah Thust at sarah.thust@phnompenhpost.com
 

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