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Shopping in Cambodia


Cambodian markets are heavy with potential souvenirs, ranging from silks, textiles and statues to carvings, silverware and Buddhist artworks. Unique to Cambodia is the omnipresent krama (a unisex checked scarf usually made of cotton), while silk can be bought either by the length, or in the form of scarves and other garments. Jewellery, ceramics, clothing, CDs and DVDs are widespread in city markets (try Phnom Penh Central Market as a starting point) – go prepared to haggle.

When shopping be sure to look for businesses that display the Heritage Friendly Business Logo. Heritage Watch has launched a campaign that aims to encourage support for Cambodia's arts, culture, heritage and development. Businesses that are giving back to the community are certified as Heritage Friendly by the independent organisation and permitted to display either a gold or silver Heritage Friendly logo.

Shopping hours are generally 8 am to 8 pm daily.

Phnom Penh

Shopping in Phnom Penh is now quite diverse, and you can find most anything you want or need to buy. 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.

The Central Market shouldn't be missed, but the Russian Market (between Street 440 and 450) in the far south of town is where the real deal on souvenirs can be had. It takes hard haggling to get the good deals on items like opium paraphernalia, carvings and ceramics. Given Cambodia's large garment industry for export, it is no surprise that some goods "fall off the back of the truck" in transit and end up here. It's a good place to buy brand names at a fraction of their normal retail price.

The new night market in Phnom Penh, located on the riverfront, is definitely targeted at visitors. It has a wide selection of all the usual tourist items including handicrafts, silks, art, T-shirts, curios, knick-knacks and souvenirs. While it is an open market like a local market, it has a bit more of a relaxed and festive atmosphere than a typical local market. The night market is a different addition to Phnom Penh’s shopping scene.

Shops and galleries are growing in ever-increasing numbers in the developing capital. All along Street 178, interesting little outlets are springing up and include a few affordable silk dealers like Sayon Silkworks, just west of the National Museum on Street 178. Asasax Art Gallery (No. 192 Street 178) features unique local works. Silk & Pepper (No. 33Eo Street178) has some great silk accessories and kimonos. Take a stroll along Street 240, which is home to a fantastic café culture and a few antiques shops and boutiques like Bliss (No. 29 Street 240), which sells some unique beaded and embroidered cushions and quilts; or Le Lezard Bleu (No. 61 Street 240), which features traditional and contemporary artwork and top-notch framing.

Bazar (28 Sihanouk Boulevard) near the Independence Monument has a small but refined collection of Asian antiques and furniture.

For upscale, original clothing look no further than Ambre (No. 37 Street 178). This two-story store carries the whimsical, beautifully cut designs of Cambodian-born, France-raised Romyda Keth. Keth has a love affair with jersey and often layers clothing with funky embroidery or gorgeous swaths of organza.

For CDs, MP3 recordings, DVDs and cool T-shirts and hip-hop fashions, stop by the Boom Boom Room (Street 93) in the backpacker area near Boeung Kak Lake or at their new location just across from the Golden Gate Hotel (No. 1C Street 278).

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