Any visitor to Southeast Asia should be drawn towards the local markets. Otherwise, you’re missing a lot. Cambodia is no exception and Phnom Penh in particular had many colorful markets to check out. Even if you are too shy to shop or afraid to try the local foods, you can soak in the kaleidoscope of colors that assault you and take in a deep whiff of the strange aromas that will linger with you longer than the sights you came to see in the first place.
What to buy: I like trying local foods best but many people buy crafts or things they need for their trip there too.
What to pay: It is a bargain culture but with language barriers, this might be a problem. With food, I just pay what they motion for. Even if it's not a local price, it's always more than fair.
If you want to look pretty or just want to pamper yourself, you may want to consider paying for a manicure and pedicure.
At New World Hair Salon, the cost of manicure is USD$2 and pedicure is at the same price too.
There is also all types of hair treatments and facials available at very affordable rates.
The "Russian Market" is famous for its large range of real and fake antiquities. Items which can be found there include krama, gems, jewellery, paintings, wood carvings of buddhas and apsaras, adn many more.
What to pay: BARGAIN HARD!
Along the riverside, there is a row of shophouses which sell handicrafts like wood-crafted Apsaras. As Batambang is known as "Ubud of Cambodia", tourists like to purchase "big" items in Battambang to be shipped back home as decorations.
What to pay: I bought a pair of small wooden Apsaras at USD$6.
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.
In the bus from Phmon Penh to Saigon, we stopped at the Mekong River in order to cross it on a ferry. While we were there stopped, a bunch of local vendors came INTO the bus offering all kind of food and drinks. There were some outside too, trying to seel by the windows, but these came in and they passed by every single seat showing you all the items they had...
Around the temples you will find many "2 for 1 dollar" items. Those kids selling cheap souvenirs seem to know only that english sentence, so everything they sell costs 1 dollar, and includes 2 items!!! Maybe you can bargain for 3 items, but this girl was so cute that I couldn't :-))
I bought these 2 flutes for my kids... and everyday I repent, as my ears can't stand that sound anymore, LOL LOL They are gonna "get lost" soon...
Local markets are a really nice experience, even if you are not gonna buy anything. Most of them are full of color and strange things, specially those of food and medicines. I like to ask the vendors about the items they are selling, they were extremely kind and explained it all to me with a smile.
But apart from the aesthetic aspect, there are many bargains to be found in those traditional markets. If you like to buy souvenirs, leave them all for the end and buy them all together, so you can get a better price for a large amount of items. Ah, and, of course, always BARGAIN for any item!!
We wandered the market for about 2 hours and were amazed by the range of goods offered. The stall holders were pleasant, lots of Hallo's but not pushy.
The gold and jewellery sections were just amazing and the posse of children we had collected were not allowed in there!
What to buy: We bought Krama and T-shirts for a couple of dollars each. The quality was good and they had European sizes.
What to pay: Barter but not too much. The prices are low anyway so why argue over a few pence.
Swarms of children will rush to you everytime you step into a tourist spot.... It may seem irritating at times, but these children are only trying to help their family to earn some extra monies...
The prices are bargainable but more often than not, they're only slightly pricier than those sold in markets outside...
I regretted not buying much from the cute adorable children thinking that there will always be more in the next temple....
However, a word of caution tho... once you're seen to be succumbing to their sales pitch, be prepared to feel the guilt and indecision on whom to buy it from...
What to buy: scarves
even books etc
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.
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.
Siem Reap has a very traditional Asian market which sells books, curios and souvenirs. There are some great buys to be had with silk hand-woven silks in the markets and of course some great silver which were my downfall. By the time I had finished with the poor girl with what I was buying I’m sure she didn’t know if she had struck a good deal or not. In know I had :-)
The Central Market has all sorts of goodies to buy. There is jewellery, household goods, material, souvenirs and some wonderful silverware. Be wary with the silver, its not solid so don't go polishing it too hard, you will find whats underneath.. however its all really lovely stuff.
Around the outside of Central Market are vaious flower stalls. The aroma of all the different blooms when it mixes with the heat of the day is wonderful. Maybe not the sort of thing for tourists to buy but nevertheless, wonderful to wander amidst.
Raffles Hotel Le Royal is the premier hotel in Phnom Penh. The hotel was first established in 1929...more
The hotel is simply splendid. The spa is the ideal manner for relaxing after a long sightseeing of...more
KO Road, Rottanak Commune, Battambang, Cambodia
Good for: Solo
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