What to buy:
Buying local crafts/souvenir items should not be missed! Don' t forget to ask for a huge discount! Don't be afraid to ask up to 80% discount!!! Believe me...it is just a matter of gutts!!!
1. Native sleepers - selling price - US $ 4.00 -
but I got it for US $ 2.50
2. Sarong - US $ 2.00 for 1 pc. but I got it for US 3.00 for 2 pieces
3. Key Chains (stone) -US $ 1for 1 pc. but I got it for US $ 2 for 6 pcs.
What to pay: 1. native sleepers - US $ 2.50
2. sarong - (2 pcs) - US $ 3.00
3. key chains (6pcs) - US 2.00
Various souvenir items/local crafts can be chosen in this Bazar/Market and it is cheaper compared to items being sold inside the temples.
And don't forget my first rule - don't ever be shy to ask for a HUGE DISCOUNT, otherwise you will lose a lot of money!
What to buy: 1. Chopsticks (1 set) - selling price - US$ 2.00 -
I bought this for US$ 1.00.
2. Small Hindu/Buddha Images - US$ 1.00 per pc. -
I bought it for US$ 1.00 for 2pcs.
3. Traditional Cambodian Costume:
a) awacha (shirt) - US$ 5.00 - got this for US$ 3.00
b) kochew (trouser) - US$ 5.00 - got this for US $3.00
What to pay: Jan. 4, 2004
1. Chopsticks - (5 sets) - US$ 5.00
2. Small Hindu/Buddha Images - 4pcs - US$ 2.00
3. Traditional Cambodian Costume:
a) awacha (shirt) - US$ 3.00
b) kochew (trouser) -US $3.00
What to buy:
Our driver took us to the silk farm, which we found very educational and developed a complete respect for the patience and perfectionism of the artisans. However, he also told us that many of the industries are European controlled, and profits are also largely directed in that way. We asked if there were any locally controlled silk industries, and he took us to a great shop in the town - not sure of location, as too blinded by the array of beautiful raw silk colours to choose from! It was terrific, and there was such a range, and at excellent prices.
I found it a shame to see such a display of wealth in Siem Reap, in the form of opulent hotels, sitting in a country town, against such local poverty. A bottle of water from the side of the road cost around US$1, and the basic wage for adults is about US$10! Man and woman cannot live on this, when the local prices are generally very high. I am sure that the locals get different prices, and shop in different places - and, heaven forbid, do not buy water. I am also sure that the European hotels bring a lot of employment to the town. I'd be happy if I thought that some of the profits stayed in the 4th poorest country in the world.
You can find any souvenir items here from home deco, small trinkets, god figurine
(Ganesha, Buddha etc), scarfs, clothing, t-shirts etc.
Bought a few scarfs back for only USD2/PC..
Depending on the base price offered, bargain starting from 50 to 60%...( some shop owners will give the look that means,"are you out of your mind"?) but guess what?But there's no harm trying...
What to pay: SHOPPING STORY:
I am fond of the Lord Ganesha ( God with Human Body & Elephant Head in Hinduism) and wanted to bring back some small cute figurines...One shop quoted me USD$3.80/figurine...I almost "collapsed" when I heard the amount she was charging for a 2cm tall, bronze coated figurine...I
I didn't bother bargaining as the base price was too high...
Managed to get 6 figurines at USD2.00 at another shop...( She started of with USD1.00 per figurine..) Phew...Lord Ganesha better be proud of me... : )
Now He is sitting proudly in my hall display cabinet alongside other Ganeshas'...
The shop offers a wide range of local crafts such as Cambodian silk, clay images, silver betel cases, yellow and white gold hand-made jewelries, etc. They have a better pricing too as compared to the big shops along the highway.
What to buy: I love the jewelries here. Most are handcrafted and unique in style. There are wide range of gems to choose from....ruby, emerald, onyx, jade, etc.
But please note that I could not vouch for the authenticity of these gems.
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.
This is the place to get that local vibe...very colorful, down to earth and full of charm. A must visit if you really want to see the real Cambodian way of life. But of course as a tourist one may expect to be treated as one...read "over-priced"! Be ready to haggle and be generous with that smile (usually comes with "no thank you").
What to buy: Local crafts, antiques, pirated copies of travel books and DVDs, clothes, toys...almost anything!
What to pay: Expect to get 25 up to 75% discount...depends on your haggling skills.
When we were at Angkor Wat we checked out some of the souvenir stalls, but we found little choice at expensive prices. The large shops on the road to Angkor Wat are very expensive - probably because of the number of staff.
I asked one local lady at Angkor Wat where the best place was to get souvenirs. She advised me that I should go to the market in town. She was dead right, they have a much better choice, but you still have to bargain hard to get a decent price and you will have to run the gauntlet of beggars to get inside.
We bought a lovely bronze hand for US$7.00 and some clay tablets for around $4.00 each.
There are some lovely hardcover books available too, but I missed getting them because the beggars were mobbing me and I had to get out of there. They were much cheaper than the ones I had seen elsewhere.
The souvenir shops on the way to the temples are extremely expensive. We really did find better choices and prices at the markets in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh and the National Museum in Phnom Penh.
Artisans d' Angkor has a few shops, selling traditional crafts rooted in the Khmer cultural heritage. The products are made in the Artisans d'Angkor workshops or in the villages all over the country.
I visited the shop in Siem Reap in a nice green garden after I had visited the nearby workshops of stone and woodcarving and lacquer and sandstone gilding of the Chantiers-Ecoles de Formation Professionel.
I was surprised about the warm-coloured and elegant atmosphere of the shop and the quality of the products. Except wood and stone carving, lacquering and gilding crafts there is also a huge collection of silk products from the National Silk Center in Puok like scarfs, home accessoires and fashioned clothes.
What to buy: Because I had to travel further afterwards I bought only some small light-weight things like a colourful scarf and a monk bag of silk, a bowl lacquered in black and gold and a few warm coloured and nicily designed bamboo fans. But if you have the intention to buy a huge statue, the products can be shipped all over the world.
What to buy: You can easily pick up slide and print film in Siem Reap. There are many shops to choose from. And they are easy to find. You will have to bargain though. Even in a shop that looks like you wouldn't need to. Especially if you're buying any quantity. You can sure eat up alot of film in Cambodia!!
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$
The Angkor Night Market is open daily from 4 p.m. till midnight. It has about 80 different stalls which include some food stalls/court. There's live painting and a massage salon too.
What to buy: handicrafts, souvenirs, clothes and a lot more. I looked for silk clothes and bags.
What to pay: Just bargain ;-)
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.
In every country or town I like to stroll at the markets to feel the atmosphere and catch some flavour of the daily life. This market, the Psar Chaa, was my first market in Cambodia and as every market I enjoyed the liveliness and the abundance of products. Name it and you can buy it here.
Except experiencing the atmosphere, I also end up mostly with buying something. This can be local food, fruit, another local product, batteries, an umbrella or any other thing I´m looking for at that moment.
What to buy: At the Psar Chaa I was looking for a taylor to repair my favourite trouser. Only in a few minutes it was fixed. And the costs.... about one euro including the change. We bought also a shirt and trouser for 10 and 15 euro and looked for batteries.
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??
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