As temperatures fell below 20 degrees Celcius, Cambodian markets last week overflowed with shoppers looking to buy up warm-weather clothing to protect themselves from the unusually mild weather.
Vendors in Phnom Penh’s Central Market said demand for thick sweaters had risen dramatically.
Hout Kim Hoen, 55, said she had made more sales this year than in any year previously, attributing the rush to the “very cold weather”.
Em Dan, 34, agreed that the weather was colder than usual. “This year is strange because normally it was not as cold as now. We could just wear a normal long-sleeved shirts. Even at Central Market, there are many people from everywhere this year coming to buy sweaters.”
Chhim Chreb, a Phnom Penh resident, purchased eight sweaters at the market on Thursday. She said it was the first time she had ever bought one, but that she had been to the market twice already that week to buy warm clothing.
“Today is very strange, stranger than other years because they were not as cold,” she said.
Den, the clothes seller, said this is the first year market sellers had stocked up on sweaters. “It’s only this year. Sellers here all started to sell sweaters,” he said.
On December 20, Prime Minister Hun Sen warned Cambodians of the impending chill, urging them to invest in warm attire. Wearing a new sweater himself, Hun Sen said, “Now sweaters are very popular. But there are only a few days left until it will be less cold.”
The government’s meteorology department said the cold snap is expected to ease this week following a period of rainfall.
Chan Yutha, Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology spokesman, said, "Based on our experience, it is colder than the past years. But as we are in the windy season, the cold weather will continue."