Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - On the move: Big plans for Shinta Mani artisan market




On the move: Big plans for Shinta Mani artisan market

The market regularly features live traditional performances. Photo supplied
The market regularly features live traditional performances. Photo supplied

On the move: Big plans for Shinta Mani artisan market

Siem Reap’s Made in Cambodia artisan market pitched its tents for the last time yesterday on the grounds of the Shinta Mani hotel. The market, which hosted 53 stalls, will reopen with expanded hours, events and vendors at Kings Road Angkor at the end of July.

Organisers say the market had outgrown the site at Shinta Mani and the move may be a boon for the local craft sellers, who offer a large variety of Khmer traditional handicrafts (from jewellery and fabrics to “artisan” liqueur) – often with original or contemporary designs not found at the old market.

“Shinta Mani has other plans for the land, but Kings Road is a very central location and they are very keen, hoping to make it something big,” said Christian de Boer, a former Shinta Mani general manager who headed up the initiative.

While plans have not been finalised, the relocated Made in Cambodia Market will likely remain open seven days a week, feature live demonstrations, play host to a variety of performances, and have room for a dozen additional vendors.

The decision to move the market came with a shift in management at the Shinta Mani hotel, where it opened for the first time over three years ago. It has since expanded from a once-a-month operation to a thrice-weekly one.

According to Jason Friedman, the hotel’s new general manager, there was little room for the market to grow on the hotel grounds.

“We decided that to preserve the integrity of the brand, it was time to find a new location for the market,” he explained.

Vendors are excited about being able to trade five days a week. Photo supplied
Vendors are excited about being able to trade five days a week. Photo supplied

Kings Road Angkor, which is located closer to Siem Reap’s town centre than Shinta Mani, offers an opportunity for new space and new customers, according to Oun Savann, the Made in Cambodia market’s manager. “Due to its enormously central location and walking distance, we hope to attract a brand new type of guest,” he said this week.

Savann added that if all follows the tentative plan, most of the market’s vendors should be open from noon to 10pm daily, compared to three days a week on the hotel grounds.

He also hopes to expand the range of traditional Khmer performance. The market’s final edition at Shinta Mani yesterday featured circus performers, songs, traditional dance and bokator.

For longstanding vendors, the change signals a new commitment to the market’s original vision. “The main point of [the market] was to provide jobs for Khmer people,” said Madeline Green, who runs a handmade jewellery business with a stall at the market, Ammo Jewellery.

“A lot of the store holders can’t afford to rent a shop in town, and it’s difficult to get a foot in the door with retailers, but they have really high standards.”

“I think it’s good for very small Khmer businesses to be recognised under such a big brand,” Green added. “And some of us have said that Kings Road, it’s lucky to have us.”

The Made in Cambodia Market will reopen at its new location, Kings Road Angkor, corner of Seven Makara and Achar Sva Street, on July 23.

MOST VIEWED

  • Without shoes or a helmet, a young cyclist steals the show

    Pech Theara gripped the curved handlebars of his rusty old bike, planted his bare feet on its pedals and stormed as fast as he could towards the finish line. The odds were against him as the 13-year-old faced off against kids with nicer bikes at

  • Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville expressway on schedule

    The construction of the more than $1.9 billion Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway has not been delayed despite the Covid-19 pandemic, with more than 26 per cent of the project completed and expected to finish in about two years, according to Ministry of Public Works and Transport secretary of

  • Singapore group seeks $14M in damages from PPSP over ‘breach of contract’

    Singapore-based Asiatic Group (Holdings) Ltd is seeking a minimum of $14.4 million relief from Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX)-listed Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone Plc (PPSP) for allegedly breaching a power plant joint venture (JV) agreement. Asiatic Group’s wholly-owned Colben System Pte Ltd and 95 per

  • Over 110 garment factories close

    A government official said on November 22 that at least 110 garment factories had closed in the first nine months of the year and left more than 55,000 workers without jobs – but union leaders worry those numbers could be much higher. Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training undersecretary

  • PM dispels lockdown rumours, gifts masks

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on November 12 denied rumours that he will lock down the country in response to increased Covid-19 fears, referring to them as propaganda aimed at destabilising the country. In a Facebook post, he said some people had spread rumours that the government

  • SilkAir adds flight to Phnom Penh schedule

    Silkair (Singapore) Pte Ltd is increasing its flight frequency between Phnom Penh and Singapore with a third weekly flight on Saturdays, according to Cambodia Airports’ Facebook page. The other flights offered are on Tuesdays and Sundays, with an estimated Phnom Penh arrival time at 5:35pm