Photo by: Kyle Sherer
Lim Nam, director of Angkor Night Market.
FIRST, there was the battle of the night markets and now there's the battle of the night market bars.
The original Angkor Night Market has been surrounded by new markets, mainly the Noon-Night Market and more recently, the Crocodile Night Bazaar.
Each of the new markets has also opened a bar to rival the Angkor Night Market's legendary Island Bar - the Noon-Night Market has the Lunar Bar, and the Crocodile Night Bazaar has the Crocodile Bar.
This has prompted Lim Nam, the proprietor of the Angkor Night Market, to bring forward the planned opening of his second bar to complement his Island Bar.
The style of architecture of the new bar, to be called Brick House, is a fusion of Cambodian and colonial, set in garden surrounds.
The plan is to finish construction of this bar and have it open by the end of the month at the latest.
The bar will have a sports theme, featuring a large screen plasma TV, billiard table and dart boards for patrons.
Meanwhile, the Charming City Night Market, on the road to Angkor Wat, is setting up and it claims it will soon have several bars.
At the moment it only hosts a few shops, but the manager, Mr Vannak, told the Post that a Thai businessman has been discussing renting the entire market to turn it into a "walking street".
The businessman's decision is reportedly pending.
But this surge in night markets has taken a toll on existing day markets, especially the sprawling Phsar Kandal that has mostly been a financial dud.
Reports about closure of a large part of this market have been circulating for the last months, and now market shop owners facing Samdech Tep Vong Street have been told to vacate by February 25.
Toby Crowder, owner of Tutti Frutti jewellery shop, said he has no choice but to pack up and leave Siem Reap after the closure was confirmed by his landlord.
"I'm not happy about it," he said.
"I would at least like to be compensated, but it's not gonna happen. There's a woman a couple of shops up who just opened and now she's probably going to have to close too."