The town of Siem Reap is a shopaholics' dream, particularly for Cambodian silks and other textiles. Handicrafts, contemporary art, carvings, decorative items for the home, silver items, traditional stone carvings and lacquerware, incense, candles, souvenirs and clothes are also a great deal.
With its markets, boutiques, shopping centers, traditional craft centers, silk carpet specialists, design shops and malls, there is always somewhere nearby where you can indulge yourself.
From the smart boutiques in the luxury hotels and resorts to the open-air covered markets all over town, the variety and choice of items will astonish you. For more basic shopping needs, convenience stores and supermarkets are located all over town.
For a slice of Cambodian life while you shop, Siem Reap's open-air covered markets are a must. The Old Market in the French Quarter is best for curios and souvenirs. The New Market on Airport Road is where the locals shop for food and general needs. For the real Cambodia, visit Phsar Leu Thom Market. The Angkor Night Market in the heart of town is great for just about everything.
Ankor Shopping Center is an internationally flavoured, two-storey mall opposite the Royal Gardens selling ready made and custom gold jewelry, a wide selection of silks, traditional crafts, silver and food. On the third floor, there is a Hong Kong-style Chinese restaurant and bar.
Located 16kms west of Siem Reap, the Silk Center is a fascinating mix of silk farm and shop where visitors can see the entire process from silkworm to finished product, including mulberry bushes, silkworm breeding, spinning, dyeing and looming. On site, the Artisan d'Angkor shop has lovely silk clothing.
This unique showroom stocks good quality traditional Khmer handicrafts such as lacquerware, carvings and inlaid marble paintings as well as examples from Southeast and South Asia. Located on the Angkor Wat road, it also features silk carpets from Kashmir.
The studio of interior designer and artist Jean-Pierre Obriot is at his Sivatha Road gallery, featuring contemporary Cambodian art based on Buddhist spirituality together with exclusively designed home decor products.
American photographer John McDermott, whose famous photos of Angkor Wat are in Cambodia's National Museum, recently opened his second gallery in Siem Reap. Red Gallery is stylish and small, featuring paintings, photos and sculptures from local artists.
If you're fascinated by Khmer dance and drama, this gallery is for you. It offers traditionally made and authentic theatrical headgear and masks, with each example unique and beautifully crafted.
In the Old Market area you will find Rehab Craft, a non-profit NGO whose products, including silks, textiles, basketware, silver, woodcarving and soft furnishings, are all made by the disabled. Revenue from sales is reinvested in training and employment programs.
This workshop and its retail outlet on Airport Road specialises in natural soaps, moisturising creams, candles and balms, all deliciously scented using all-natural ingredients such as flowers, herbs and spices. Even the packaging is hand-made from sugar-palm leaves.
Located in the center of town on Sivatha Road is this newly opened Western-style mall comprising a department store, a supermarket, a pharmacy, various other small stores and a burger bar. Lucky Mall has a Lucky Burgers outlet on the second floor.
A number of boutiques are located in the town center near the Old Market, specialising in original clothing designs made up in silk and other natural fibres. From skirts, shirts and dresses to shawls, all colorful and well-finished, unique styles are easy to find.
Bargain, bargain, bargain! Even if the result is only a small discount, the bargaining process can be a lot of fun. The majority of outlets will allow bargaining, and it's essential in the markets. If you're looking to buy jewelry, be very careful unless you or someone you know are knowledgeable about gold and precious stones. Always try on clothes, as sizes you are familiar with in your home country may be slightly different in Cambodia.
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