If you are driving from Siem Reab to Poipet on your way back to Bangkok, you keep your eyes peeled for the little roadside stops where locals sell sugar apples (Anona squamosa Linn.).
The fruit has sweet white segmented flesh (somewhat like jackfruit) wrapped around black seeds.
What to pay: 100 riel (US$0.02) will get you two pieces of sugar apples.
This is a little but nice Bags and Accessories shop. Specialized in rice bags. They claim that they pay their workers fairly. Therefore the bags are a bit more expensive than on the markets and a bit nicer done (motives in front and so on)
What to pay: 10$ and up
Artisans d' Angkor Shop Siem Reap Town
The Wood and Stone Carving centre is in Siem Reap town 200 metres off Sivatha.
After you have finished the free tour, (which you are not obligated to do) the highlight (for me) was going into the showroom and seeing the beautiful products on sale.
The shop is a showcase of wood and stone carvings, silk products, magnificient bas-reliefs plus much more. There is absolutely no pressure to buy.
Products are not cheap in these shops, but then again they are not rubbish souvenirs mass produced for tourists. You are paying for quality products.
I purchased a natural sandstone Head of Pranhaparamita which sits in a black stand. She is exquisite (and very heavy) and cost US$59
The shop is fantastic and there were so many beautiful things I would like to buy. Maybe next time??
Artisan's d'Angkor National Silk Centre Shop
This shop is mainly silk products eg ready to wear men's and women's clothing, fashion accessories, cushions, krama's, silk bedding etc.
There is also a small collection of sculptures and statues.
Of course in that small selection I managed to find 2 items I just had to have.
I bought the Head of Buddha (Lacquer ware & Gilded) on a black base which cost US$69 and also the Head of King Jayavarman V11 (Lacquer ware) on a black base which cost US$59.
Opening Hours 7.30am - 6.00pm
After you have finished your tour and shopping at the Artisans d'Angkor National Silk Centre step outside to their outdoor Cafe and have something to eat or a nice cold drink.
One thing you should not be without in Siem Reap is Dawn Rooney's book called "Angkor An Introduction to the Temples".
Make sure its the fourth edition or later and not an earlier one.
This book is fantastic, loads of info on the temples and how long you will need to see each one, maps, photos and suggested orders to see various temples.
You can buy the book from any of the street book stalls or from book shops.
We paid $4 for our copy in a book shop and it is far better quality than some we have bought from the street sellers.
Located in the heart of Siem Reap, the Angkor Night Market opens in the afternoon until late at night.
The markets are surrounded by a beautiful Balinese garden and the entertainment area is a little haven for relaxing from all your shopping.
Typical items for sale here are, souvenirs, handicrafts, clothes, Asian and international food, drinks, books, DVDs, electronics, jewelry, art plus much more.
The Angkor Night Markets are in the Old Market area.
Psar Chaa is a great indoor market where you can find lots of bargains and, after you've shopped to your heart's content, you can also purchase extra luggage to bring your bargains home in!!!
What to buy: Anything and everything from local craftwork to luggage to bring it all home in.
What to pay: Bartering will get you some real bargains here.
There are many small local shops in Old Market area. You can buy souvenirs, clothes, bags, books and many more. If you are brave enough, you can take a stroll in wet market which I also did. Travel book copies are very cheap here. If you want to save some money, you can start from travel books. T-shirts, bags and local souvenirs are also very cheap. Instead of getting ripped from touristic shops, do your shopping here.
What to buy: Souvenirs, travel books, clothes
What to pay: It all depends on your bargaining skills.
As a general comment on souvenir shopping: The best quality Artisan Angkor school shop but the best price old maket.
What to buy: Artisan D'angkor has great stone carvings, clothing, books, scarves for warm or cold weather and various nick nacks at fixed price
The Old Market has anything and everything which you need to negotiate the most agreeable price. .
I found the Centre Market the best place to browse for souvenirs and handicrafts while in Siem Reap. Bargain hard for items like silk blouses, cushion covers, bags, t'shirts, etc, etc. There are many stalls here with persistent stall holders. You can definitely pick up a bargain!!
What to buy: Silk blouses, bags, T'shirts, silk cushion covers, etc, etc.
What to pay: Bargain hard. I usually half the quoted price and work my way up slowly!
ARTISANS D' ANGKOR IS THE PLACE TO GO TO BUY A TRULY UNIQUE PIECE OF KHMER ART.
BEFORE GOING TO CAMBODIA I HAD HEARD A LOT ABOUT ARTISANS AND WAS VERY KEEN TO GO THERE AND SEE THE CRAFTSMEN FOR MYSELF AND HOPEFULLY GET TO BUY SOMETHING THAT WOULD FOREVER REMIND ME OF CAMBODIA AND ITS PEOPLE.
ARTISANS D' ANGKOR WAS SET UP IN 1998 WITH HELP AND FINANCIAL SUPPORT FROM THE EUROPEAN UNION UNDER THE REPLC PROGRAMME (PROGRAMME FOR RURAL EDUCATION)
THIS PROGRAMME WAS TO HELP YOUNG CAMBODIANS WITH HANDICRAFT SKILLS FIND WORK AND ALSO HELP KEEP ALIVE AND PROMOTE THE KHMER CULTURAL IDENTITY.
YOU ONLY HAVE TO LOOK AT THE CARVINGS IN AND AROUND THE STUNNING TEMPLES OF ANGKOR TO REALISE THE SKILLS OF THE KHMER PEOPLE.
IN 2003 ARTISANS D' ANGKOR BECAME A LIMITED COMPANY & IS NOW COMPLETELY SELF FINANCING AND INDEPENDENT.. IT NOW EMPLOYS 1,000 PEOPLE.
ITS SHOP "LES CHANTIERS ECOLES" IN DOWNTOWN SIEM REAP IS THE PLACE TO GO AND BUY A UNIQUE PIECE OF KHMER ART.. INSIDE THE SHOP YOU WILL FIND MANY BEAUTIFUL ITEMS SUCH AS STONE AND WOOD CARVINGS..THESE ARE STUNNING REPRODUCTIONS OF ANGKORIAN STATUES AND BAS-RELIEFS...ALSO FOR SALE ARE ITEMS IN LACQUERING - GILDING AND SILK PAINTING. YOU CAN ALSO TAKE A FREE GUIDED TOUR AROUND THE WORKSHOP AND SEE THE CRAFTSMEN HARD AT WORK PRODUCING THESE WORKS OF ART.
TOURS ARE AVAILABLE IN KHMER-ENGLISH-FRENCH-GERMAN-SPANISH-JAPANESE & CHINESE.
AFTER A LOT OF LOOKING AROUND I BOUGHT A LOVELY STONE CARVING DEPICTING THE FACE OF BAYON..IT IS QUITE HEAVY BUT THE STAFF MADE SURE IT WAS WELL WRAPPED UP READY FOR ITS LONG JOURNEY HOME.. IT'S GREAT TO BRING HOME SOMETHING THAT HAS BEEN MADE BY THE HANDS OF A LOCAL CRAFTSMAN AND IS NOT MASS PRODUCED...EACH PIECE TAKES A LONG TIME TO MAKE, AND NO TWO PIECES ARE THE SAME..SO WHEN YOU DO BUY ONE YOU ARE NOT ONLY GETTING SOMETHING TRULY UNIQUE..YOU ARE ALSO HELPING TO KEEP ALIVE CAMBODIAN CULTURE.
"LES CHANTIERS ECOLES" IS OPEN FROM 7.30 AM - 5.30PM. [ YOU CAN SHOP UNTIL 6.30PM]
THERE IS ALSO A SHOP OPPOSITE ANGKOR WAT.
AND AT SIEM REAP AIRPORT.
What to buy: STONE AND WOOD CARVINGS
LACQUERED ITEMS AND SILK PAINTINGS
What to pay: MY STONE CARVING COST $75.00
In my opinion, this is a place like a bazar, where you can find almost everything to buy as a souvenir. Certainly you have to bargain!
What to buy: It's especially a good place to buy some clothes.
What to pay: Well, you have to bargain!
This group trains locals in many traditional Cambodian art forms - stone carving, silk painting, woodworking, etc. Over 1000 people employed, and you can visit their workshops. Was very interesting to walk through. Wide selection of gifts in the store, and they accept credit cards.
What to pay: There is no negotiating here.
In general, we found more things to see at the central market. It is very big. Depending on which type of souvenir you are looking for take time to look around and compare vendors as prices vary sometimes- a lot.
The Night market has a better "atmosphere" and is enclosed in a limited area. And the vendors are competitive. But not pushy. It just felt more relaxing maybe because it was smaller in size. Our Tuk-Tuk driver said most locals go to the night market because the prices are lower to begin with.
Old Market was interesting, with fruit stands and vegetables and fish, all very fresh. And also souvenir stands...
Visit both and also the Old market if you have the time...it's fun to have a look.
What to buy: Scarves of all kinds and material.
Frog instrument made of wood, makes a croaking sound when you rub the back with a wooden stick. We bought 4 of them at Central Market...FYI big one cost 5$
Elephant bags for kids-3-4$
Although the list says it opens from 4pm till midnight; most shops in there actually open mcuh later. Best time to go would be after dinner, around 7pm. Not a lot of shops, but because these are really geared towards tourists, the prices are slightly higher, but the quality's better and you can find stuff here you will not find elsewhere.
What to buy: For unique t-shirts, check out Angkor Naga. The tops have tribal/tattooish designs by the store owner. Also look out for other t-shirts which feature stylished deisgn of the angkor monuments instead of the usual reprints of the pics.
Bags as well, silk bags - expensive compared to normal shops, but unique and good quality.
What to pay: I paid US$11 for a small silk dinner bag, and $14 for a cambodia traditional design tote. Angkor Naga t-shirts cost about $7 a piece.
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