TOURIST AREAS: BUY BOOKS
If you like to read more about Cambodia and the regional countries it is easy to find books that have been copied page by page using a photocopier. Children will approach you at Pub Street in Siem Reap, or by the river in Phnim Penh and will try sell the books for a few dollars.
...: Support the little roadside shops when you can.
Along the roads of Cambodia you see many little shops in small wooden houses.
Most of them sell dinks that they have in a cooler, but from time to time you also see other things for sale.
if you are driving along the cambodian roads then why not stop at one of these places and buy your drink instead of buying it all at big places in the city.
A can of coke is a can of coke and if you buy it from these little places then you help a local low income family with todays finances.
These little shops are mostly run by the mother in the family as the families live in the house that is the shop and she tries to make a little extra income there while her husband is out fishing or in the rice fields.
this is one place where buying 2 cans of coke can really make a positive difference for a family, so do that please.Related to:
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
Les Artisans d'Angkor: Reproduction Angkor Art that benefits young Khmers
Les Artisans d'Angkor is a craft school in Siem Reap that trains young rural Khmers in the ancient Angkor-era skills of stone carving, wood carving, lacquer, and silk weaving. Funded largely by European donors, the goal of the school is to encourage a revival in these traditional crafts while at the same time creating a generation of self-supporting skilled craftsmen. Most of the work produced is in reproductions of classic Angkor-era art, including stone elephants, wooden apsaras, silk clothing, and lacquer dishes displaying scenes taken from temple bas reliefs.
Upon visiting the school, you will be given a brief tour through the various workshops where you will see the young craftsmen and their teachers hard at work. Then you can browse the showroom which contains many fine pieces created by these talented students. Tours are available in English, French, German, Japanese, Thai, Chinese and Khmer, daily from 7:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Crafts from Les Artisans d'Angkor can also be purchased from their duty-free shops in the Siem Reap and Phnom Penh airports.
What to buy: Hand-carved stone animals (elephants, turtles, etc.), stone plaques with relief carvings, wooden statues or relief plaques, laquer dishes and bowls, silk clothing.
What to pay: More expensive than most souvenir shops in town, but good quality. Most importantly, it is non-profit and supports a good cause.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
Samatoa Silk Shop: Tailor Made Silk Clothing
In the main shop located in front of the provincial hospital, a large range of nice silk clothing available ''made to measure'' in 24h. You can also come with your own model or drawing for tailor made.
Samatoa do their own quality silk in the village and tailor the clothes in Siem Reap. They support fairtrade and their way to process natural silk seems totally ecological.
A second shop newly opened is located in the ground floor of Lucky Mall and proposes a collection of silk handbags, scarves, purses...
What to buy: Tailor Made silk dress
What to pay: 80-180 USDRelated to:
- Women's Travel
- Luxury Travel
- Business Travel
Russian Market: Why Russian
You can almost everything here at a very cheap price. Do some bargain. But don't rely on your Cambodian guide to bargain for you because they simply wouldn't do that. Why? I think because Cambodian is a very proud people. The don't beg and they don't bargain....hmmm.... But personlly you can do it yourself. The shopper are friendly.
What to buy: Opss refer above
What to pay: Everything is in USD. But with USD 50 be prepared to bring back lot of clothes.
various: Cambodian shopping
Silk can be found in cheap or expensive forms. Tablecloths, cushion covers, purses (as low as $5 as high as $30 or $40).
Raw silk blouses and shirts at Russian market for $6 each (maybe less) -
Also wrap around skirts, great looking, long, design on the bottom.
Wonderful pieces of silk with ikat, you can tie it like a sarong. All the same items were in the market at Angkor Wat.
Then, also at the high end, there are artisan shops - as in a workshop you can visit in Angkor Wat. Or at Khmer Attitude - fancy shop
What to buy: I really liked the silk blouses with long belled sleeves and wrap around, so they are snug at the waist. These were expensive at Khmer Attitude and well-made. They had cute silk purses
plain brigh colors, $30, but I bought cheap ones for $6 in the covered market.
Pepper - Definitely! Ground or whole. It is not expensive.
A kind of balm like tiger balm for sore muscles -
Also there are very cute pictures in a stylized, brightly colored, child's perspective. Seem perfect for people with smaller children.Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Arts and Culture
Samatoa Silk Shop: Tailor Made clothing in Siem Reap
Samatoa is a community group that specialises in producing silk clothing. Their desire from the start has been to re-introduce the unique quality of natural Cambodian silk using the knowledge of skilled weavers and tailors.
I found the shop wonderfull and the service of tailor-made highly professional.
What to buy: Natural Silk Clothing
Natural Silk Fabrics
Natural Silk accessories (silk scarves, silk handbags....)
What to pay: from 20 to 200$
things carved in stone.
Between Phnom Penh and Siem Riep, about an hour before you get to siem riep you have a small village where the inhabitants have specialised in carving things in stones.
It's really an odd sight coming through this little village where you have large newly made buddah staues sitting all over and dozens of guys working on new ones.
The big statues are mostly sold to wealthy cambodians and to temples, but they do carve smaller things too that you can carry as a tourist and the prices are very resonable.
I bought myself a freshly made little elephant statue for 5 dollars the last time i was there.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
YI SOPHY Khmer Silk: Authentic Khmer Silk
Store No. 983,984,985,986 in the Russian Market in Phnom Penh. Outstanding prices on silk by the meter. Much cheaper than in Siem Reap. Go check it out for youself!
What to pay: You wouldn't believe me if I told you...Related to:
Shopping in PP
Phsar Tmey aka Central Market. Its a nice shopping place but ccan be a little to hot and humid in there. I cant stand to shop for more than 30 minutes inside there. Shop owners call for you too look at their stuff its worse when they know you are a cambodian traveller. Phsar Tmey has travel books such as Lonley Planet for $5. You can find many khmer art, flags and souveniers. Whne you go inside you can find electronics accesories such as batterys, cassetes and dvds. Also They have lots of stalls that sells jewlerrys. I bought a camera stand from there, a luggage bag, a cambodia flag, 2 pair of jeans and 2 shirts. I think it costed me under $35.
Phsar Orusey on the oustide has fruits and vegetables and food. When you go inside you have plenty of household items such as pots and pans, towels and kitchen appliances. Upstairs has jewlerrys and clothes. My uncle has a shop up there he sells cargo shorts and random shirts. My mom and dad spent close to $100 on "kroma" or cotton scarf.
Phsar Soriya is the most modern mall in Phnom Penh. Its a 4 or 5 floor building to go along with escaltors for every floor. They have electronic shops with plasma tv and HD camcorders, nice designer clothes and shoes. Also they have a burger king look a like inside and a food court that looks like north america. This is the shop for the rich :). I spent close to $150 bucks at this mall on DVDs, Jeans and shirts.
What to buy: Most of the markets sell the same stuff. It is very organzied liek one section will sell only clothes, one section will sell only jewlerys, once part will sell only electronics. This is also the same way for the street shops. If you want to get your pictures printed you will have 5 stores that can do that for you, all side by side. Or if you want a DVD player or TV, a street will have 10 shops side by side that will have what you need. Its very neat.
What to pay: All items adn products at there shops and markets are negotiable. But remember when bartering with them try to put yourself in their shoes when 50 cents to us is nothing but a lot to them. Try to be generous and help them out they have kids to feed. But bartering is fun....hehe
as we went there on a chinese new year day, the inner market was closed. what were opened were the fake CD shops. my advice is to buy your dvds from those shops. they are of very good quality. none of the shows i bought screwed up on me, and all are of "real" quality. the only grouse is that some of the subtitles can be .... very, very wrong. pay something like 6/7 for 11usd.
What to pay: the more you buy the more you can slash
central market: central market at pp
good selection of things. fake stuff, fake clothes. polos like ralph. pay 3.50 for a polo. of course if you are white/caucasian, expect to pay more. most of the stallowners are of chinese descent, so they claimed they gave me a good price. if you can speak mandarin/one of the many dialects, the most common being teochew, use it here.
What to buy: i bought "ralph" polos in every single colour for my boyfriend. also a pair of cargo shorts for 5usd. remember to bargain hard. i also bought a wild boar tooth for 4usd and some girly clothes for myself for less than 6usd apiece.
Fresh crisp US $1.00 bills
Just a tip to those traveling to Cambodia. Its somewhat inconvenient but worth the effort to convert the majority of your spending/shopping cash into crisp USA one dollar bills. Especially when shopping in the market places. A cambodian shop keeper will return your torn or worn bills, they won't accept them!!! And if you pay in larger demoninations, you will get all your change in Khmer money, not us dollars.
Very, very few areas accept credit cards, they are ok in larger hotel and airport areas but most places don't accept them.
What to buy: The cambodian silks in the markets....scarfs.....throws.....shirts....skirts all continue to be excellent bargains. The "new" market has good deals on electronics. Beware of voltage though, made sure its voltage compatable to the area you live in. Cambodian electric outlets are 220.Related to:
- Women's Travel
- Budget Travel
Khmer scarfs (krama), to die for!!!
What to buy: Khmer scarfs (krama) are definitely worth buying. All my girl friends love me for it. Every krama is unique by it own color & design.
Wait until they find out the price themselves.
Goods are mostly transact in US Dollars and it's up to your bagain power to secure the best deal.
What to pay: $$$ ....Can't fill this column, else they will find out.Related to:
- Budget Travel
Old and Central Markets: Markets
I went to Old Market and Central Market. Both are within walking distance (15 to 20 minutes i think). Recommend that you visit Old Market first. Scan the goods that you are interested in and tour the colourful and bustling wet market. The shops at Old Market seemed to be charging higher prices than Central Market cos there are more tourists there. Vendors at Central Market are more willing to lower the prices for you due to poor business.
There are also street vendors (adults and kids) selling books and postcards.
What to buy: Things to buy include:
- paintings of Buddhas and Wats (US$25 depending on the size and skills involved)
- Clay cups/bowls/coasters
- Clay/Wooden/Stone Buddha heads (US$8)
- shawls (~US$3 each)
- Cambodia silk
- t-shirts (~US$1.50 each)
- magnets (3 for US$1)
- silk pouches and bags (US$3 or 4 each)
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