The Chinese House

chinese house phnom penh

Built in the beginning of the 20th century by a Mr. Tan (presumably Chen 陳 in Mandarin) as his Phnom Penh home.

Mr. Tan was a Hokkien Chinese among the early emigrants to Cambodia and evidently a successful businessman having amassed a great amount of capital through trading like many of his Chinese compatriots did.

Mr. Tan’s taste in architecture set him on top of the Phnom Penh dignitary society in that he was the first man in Phnom Penh to have brought about the meet of the East and the West. And the result was a true beauty beyond the reach of any contemporary works.

The site was within the then European Quarter, and the facade mostly European.

the chinese house phnom penh

But elements of a Chinese country house were seen in various aspects in the interior.

the chinese house phnom penh

Over Cambodia’s turbulent modern history, the Tan family had for some time lost ownership of the house, and it wasn’t until recent years did a great-grand daughter of the first Mr. Tan acquire it back.

The house now is in fine shape and hosting a boutique restaurant whose cuisine is not Chinese at all.

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