Business is Booming Around Russian Market
Until fairly recently the area around Russian Market in Phnom Penh was just that, known to expats and tourists as being attached to one of the capital’s most famous markets and precious little else. Many couldn’t even have told you the local name for the area, Toul Tom Poung, despite it having a wat and high and primary schools that share the same name.
During the past few years this once outlying area has been quietly but steadily growing in popularity as a place to live, eat, shop, and even do business. Once the province of NGOs, a few cafes and sundry beer gardens, Toul Tom Poung is now home to a thriving community of bars, restaurants, cafes, shops, hotels and pleasant residential properties. Even the eponymous market at the heart of the area has had a facelift, replacing some of its traditional booths with glass fronted, air-conditioned units. Despite all this innovation and renovation the neighbourhood retains a distinctly Cambodian feel.
Many of Toul Tom Poung’s new businesses are start-up ventures, giving it an edgy, up-and-coming vibe. It is a suburb to rival favourite expat haunt Boeung Keng Kang 1 (BKK1) but low rise and with lower rents. This atmosphere has given rise to the Toul Tom Poung East Small Business Association (TTPE SBA), a forum where small businesses can share, connect and collaborate. Through supportive networks and shared values, they are working together through community driven initiatives to promote Toul Tom Poung as a key destination in Phnom Penh and to create a community that is pleasurable to walk around.
The TTPE SBA has created a map of the neighbourhood, to introduce themselves and showcase its myriad attractions, offering locals, expats and tourists alike an alternative to the usual haunts of riverside and BKK1. This enterprising group has also organised a street fair where local businesses will showcase their wares in pleasant conditions just a few minutes from the city centre.
There will be live music from neighbourhood musicians DJ Brendan from Long After Dark and Acoustic Jazz duo Mary & Takeshi with their jazz, bosa nova and blues stylings as well as food and drink from local venues, children’s activities, including a climbing wall, and much more.
It will take place on Sunday, Jan. 15 at the corner of streets 123 and 454, outside Alchemy Gastropub between 4pm and 8pm.