What to buy in Cambodia - Shopping tips


What to buy in Cambodia - Shopping tips

The markets in Cambodia are always a great source of souvenirs. There are three main local markets, and many other, smaller local markets scattered though out the city. In addition to the traditional local markets where people can buy everything needed for daily life, there are now several shopping malls, supermarkets, mini marts, silk shops, souvenir shops, boutique shops, art galleries, and shops and stores of every size and description.

Try the Central Market, in Phnom Penh, which is well worth a visit as it sells clothes, gifts and jewellery. Gems are a particularly good buy but only spend large amounts if you know a bit about what you are buying. The Russian Market (Psar Toul Tom Poung) is crammed with stalls holding a vast selection of bargain souvenirs including clothing, silverware, jewellery, silk, bags, DVDs, CDs and ceramics, as is the Old Market in Siem Reap.

What to Buy in Cambodia

Khmer Silk

The soft and beautifully designed Khmer silk is sold like hot cakes across the country. There are two kinds of Khmer silks: the old silk made years ago and the new silk produced in nowadays. They share the same quality but not the price.

T-shirts

Of course this item is the favorite souvenirs in any tourist destination. Bringing home a t-shirt featuring the famous Angkor Wat or other Khmer symbols is kind of cool. Price ranges from $2~5 depending on the quality and where you get.

Paintings

Cambodia has never lack outstanding artists. You don’t have to go to galleries to get great paintings because the one you find in the streets is also a stunning work. It’s also good to support the local artists who don’t have the privilege of specific galleries.

Handicraft, Statues and Gemstones

The Cambodians are endowed with genuine skill of making handicraft and the ancient traditions were handed down from generation to generation. Delicate carvings, Buddha statues bas-reliefs (just as those you find at the enclosure of Banteay Srei) are available in both Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.

Most retail shops both large and small accept credit cards now. Prices are in US Dollars, and there are now ATMs in many locations across the city dispensing US dollars. It is best to exchange money at banks, especially large amounts but after banking hours, you can change money at moneychangers. Traveller's cheques can be exchanged at banks, although there is a fee. In most shops where prices are marked, you cannot bargain. But at the local markets, and at some smaller shops, you can bargain the price. Always be very careful when purchasing expensive jewellery and gemstones.

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