Siem Reap

/ Shopping in Siem Reap

Since tourism boost local welfare, so don’t be surprised if the prices in Siem Reap are higher compared to other cities in the kingdom. Like elsewhere in Cambodia, bargaining in Siem Reap’s shops is essential. Keep American dollars or Thai Baht in your pocket, as these two currencies are favored by the local merchant over the country’s own currency Cambodian Riel.

Just remember this every time you travel to Cambodia (and elsewhere in Asia): Smile is not only your good luck charm, it’s the best bargain trick to offer to the locals merchants as a sign of gratitude and camaraderie.

Two main shopping areas in Siem Reaps are the Phsar Chas (Old Market) and Siem Reap Night Market. The two traditional markets is home to hundreds of shops that offer local handicrafts, like handmade silk, silver jewels and silverwares, woven rattan baskets, and colorful Krama (Khmer scarf).

You can also buy gold Khmer jewels, adorned with semi precious stones such as rubies, sapphires and emeralds.

In Siem Reap, you might be offered some antiques statue or relics. Be careful with this sort of offers, because you might be encouraging the act of temple looting by Cambodian tomb raiders. Sale and export of antiques are strictly forbidden under The Cambodia Antiquities Law. The black market demand still exists despite the efforts of local government with the help from UNESCO.

Great places to find special Cambodian crafts

Rajana and Sao Mao shops located in the Old Market area offered extensive collection of Khmer handicrafts, including those made by the Cambodian hill tribesmen.

Krama, the Cambodian prized fabric used as scarf, tool to climb trees, hammock for babies, and table linen, can be found literally everywhere. The woven fabric, dyed in various colors is a part of Cambodian life. It’s definitely a must have for first time travelers to this amazing country.

If you want one of a kind souvenirs try to visit Hagar Design, an outlet located somewhere in Phsar Chas managed by an NGO, offering hand woven silk bags, wallets and more.