Travel / Travel: Siem Reap, Cambodia

Shopping in Siem Reap

If hunting for local goods and crafts is your thing, then Siem Reap is one of the best cities for you to go to for some retail therapy. Siem Reap is famous for its exceptional temples, and shopping appears to be as unique as its historical spots. With merchandise dedicated to local crafts, produce and merchandise, shopping is also like an exhaustive look at the local culture and yesteryears of this part of Cambodia.

Many stores offer not only beautiful locally made products, but value-for-money merchandise as well. Siem Reap establishments accept both Cambodian Riel and US Dollars. Though paying in dollars may be a bit discommoding as most of the time, sellers convert the change to Riel. You may insist in getting dollars as change, but sometimes US dollars is not available in small denominations in many stores. If you pay in US Dollars, it’s good to sum up your bill to the nearest 10, for most of stores have USD10 bills available.

Here’s a guide to four places where you can buy local products and merchandise at pretty attractive, competitive prices.

1.Night Markets
There are a few night markets situated near the famous party lane –Pub Street. There’s the Angkor Night Market, Noon Night Market and Siem Reap Night Market. These markets are open from late afternoon to late night, mostly from 4:00PM to 12:00Midnight. Offering souvenir items to one-of-a-kind goods, these retail venues are flocked mostly by tourists buying some mementos from Siem Reap back home. You can also find ‘branded products’ from China on display. Though many of the products are already priced attractively, it wouldn’t hurt to bargain! 😉 Local delicacies are also available along the stretch of the night markets.

2. Old Market (Psar Chas)
The oldest Khmer market in Siem Reap is an open market where you can find the locals buying fresh produce. Souvenir items like silk products, local ready-to-wear clothes, jewelry, carvings, shoes, coffee and more are available at the market entrance. Put to use your bargaining skills here, and haggle hard as sellers tend to put a higher price tag on their merchandise for tourists. Haggle as much as 50% from their suggested price.

3. Kandal Village Cambodia
The whole stretch of Hap Guan Street is a fair-trade lane of cafes and retail stores that offers locally made, high quality products and goods. Kandal Village gives you a peak of the local brands and high quality Cambodian craftsmanship. Tags here are fixed, so no need to bargain.

4. Temple Sellers
Buying six magnets for only Php100 (USD2.00) is a steal! And yes you can get that bargain deal nowhere else in Siem Reap but from temple sellers only. We met a bunch of multilingual kids selling souvenirs on our way inside Ta Prohm Temple. These kids go to school half the day and spend the rest of the afternoon vending souvenirs at temples, from ref magnets to keychains, from silk to wood carvings. They’ll surely be grateful if you support and buy products from them. Aspiring artists selling sketches of Khmer temples and scenes can also spotted at Ta Prohm.

Experience the local lifestyle through shopping at these venues. Purchase local products and sample local delicacies and bring something from Siem Reap with you back home.

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