Shopping in Siem Reap
As elsewhere in Cambodia, US dollars, and to a lesser extent, Thai baht are preferred over Cambodian riel except for the very smallest purchase. Using riel for small purchases can be better than using dollars as retailers tend to round up USD prices.
The Heritage Watch non-profit organisation supports business that promote Cambodia's arts, culture, heritage and development. Certified businesses display either a gold or silver Heritage Friendly logo.
International ATMs in Siem Reap are plentiful and most banks will do cash advances from credit cards.
Arts and crafts
- Artisans d'Angkor, Stung Thmey St, . 07:30-17:30. A workshop in the city centre. Showcases traditional Cambodian handicrafts such as wood and stone carving, lacquering, gilding and silk painting. Visitors are conducted on a free guided tour where they can see the craftsmen in action. The boutiques display the many items produced. Tours available in Khmer, English, French, German, Spanish, Japanese and Chinese.
- Bloom Bags (Corner of St 7 & Hospital St). Sturdily made totes, messenger and laptop bags made from recycled fish feed sacks. Though you can buy cheaper knock-offs from the market, these are genuine and you can be assured that your money is going to the women who made your bag.
- Khmer Ceramics & Fine Arts Centre, Vithey Charles De Gaulle, Khum Slorkram (On the road to the temples; 30 m after the traffic light when coming from Siem Reap), . 08:00-19:30. Glazed stoneware bowls, plates, teapots and decorative objects made with traditional Khmer ceramic techniques.
- McDermott Gallery, FCC Building, Pokambor Ave, .Daily, 10:00-22:00. Elegant, friendly gallery with photographs of Angkor by John McDermott, called "the Ansel Adams of Angkor" by the New York Times. Also McDermott Gallery 2, on the passage between Pub St and the Old Market with world class photography of Asia by several different artists. Art buffs will want to pick up a copy of ArtVenues, a free guide to the galleries of Siem Reap.
- Samatoa, 98 Pithnu St (in front of the provincial hospital-Old Market area / Lucky Mall Siem Reap), , e-mail: [email protected].08:00-22:00. Specialises in Cambodian natural silk products. Samatoa encourages fair-trade. From USD50.
- Theam's House Gallery, Veal Village, Khum Kokchak, .Daily, 08:00-19:00. Exhibits paintings and art created by the artist-designer Theam Lim, who has studied at Ecole Boulle and Ecole Supérieure des Beaux-Arts. Theam's House Gallery and atelier are located in the house of the artist, built by himself, inspired by Khmer rural architecture, surrounded by a luxurious and tropical garden.
- Georges Infused. Alcohol made in Siem Reap, composed of 10 flavours, inspired by Cambodian fruits and taste. It can be found at Georges Rhumerie restaurant for a free tasting during the day, and also at night. The packaging comes in 2 forms, one normal composed of cardboard, making it legit for the picky custom agent, and the other one more traditional, best for a gift, made by villagers around Siem Reap.
- Sombai Infused Cambodian Liqueur Shop & Workshop, 176 Sombai Road, Salakamreuk Village (Head to ISSR and Quad Adventure Cambodia, pass by the police station turn left just after the bridge. Straight over 200 meters to a lovely traditional wooden house behind a red wall and a black gate), +352 63 555 02 80 (Khmer) +352 63 555 02 80 (Khmer), e-mail:[email protected]. 9AM-7PM. This shop is the factory outlet of the locally-produced infused liqueur called Sombai. The beverage comes in nicely hand-painted bottles. The shop offers free tasting and a general presentation of the brand. Also available: a range of non-alcoholic products that also come in hand-painted bottles and jars. It is highly recommended to book in advance.
- Angkor Trade Centre (St 9 and Pokambor Ave). The mall, Cambodian-style. A reasonably extensive selection of packaged food, drinks whitening deodorant, imported alcohol and the familiar feeling of shopping in air conditioned comfort.
- Central Market (Sivutha Blvd and Achamean St). Eclectic collection of clothes and trinkets. Bargain. Most stalls carry the same selection so you can shop around and find the cheapest price.
- Psar Chas (Old Market) (St 9 and Hospital Rd). A range of knick-knacks and tourist junk. Some items purport to be antique, but they probably aren't. If so, most likely it has been stolen.
- D's Books, 82 Hospital St (A few doors north of Street 7). An extensive selection of poorly organised novels to exchange for the one you just finished reading. Generally the books here are in better condition than other places in town, though many new books are simply pirated photocopies that they sell for USD6. A few shelves of books in languages other than English can be found.Most novels USD7.
- iOne (Apple Authorized Reseller), 1776 Silvatha Blvd (Near KFC), . 09:00-19:00. Cambodia is possibly the cheapest place to buy a Macbook or iPod. Prices are in US dollars at same prices as in other countries, but there is no added tax.
- Lex Roulor Tattoo Shop, In the X Bar, at the end of Pub St, . 10:00-18:30. Lex Roulor's Tattoo Shop Siem Reap features a French artist with a personal and professional approach to each project. European hygiene standards. Interesting combination of Western old school style and traditional Khmer designs.
FLIGHTS & HOTELS
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