Shopping in Siem Reap is a real delight, especially when you can pick up T-shirts for just $1–2! But it’s great to shop ethically and to buy locally sourced products, so I love going beyond the night market! Here’s my guide to shopping in Siem Reap including markets, malls and fashion outlets.
Introduction to Shopping in Siem Reap
Siem Reap can be crazy and chaotic — lets face it, the roads were never built for this many tourists and expats. However, it certainly makes a great place to shop!
Shopping in Siem Reap — Getting Around by Tuk Tuk
There are a few tips for shopping in Siem Reap. First of all download the GRAB app on your phone so that you can order Tuk-tuks and know exactly what you should pay for them.
Top Travel Tip — Download the GRAB App for Tuk-Tuks
Get used to Cambodian Money for Shopping in Siem Reap
Next, get used to the money. Now, the weirdest thing I found about travelling in Cambodia was the use of two currencies — the Cambodian Riel and the unofficial currency of the USD$. Now, most people will shop in USD$ and use their Riels for small local purchases like Tuk-tuks. If that wasn’t strange enough, prepare yourself for using both currencies in one transaction! If your change is less than a dollar, you will receive your change in Riels. As it’s 4000 Cambodian Riels to the Dollar, if you were getting $2.50 in change you would receive $2 plus 2000 Riels (because $1 is 4000 and therefore half a dollar is 2000 Riels!) It sounds so weird and takes some getting used to at first, but it’s actually surprising how quickly you get the hang of it!
Make sure that you do understand the money system before you start shopping though, as foreigners who don’t understand it are a big target for getting short changed in Cambodia. It happened to us at the airport shop and we were too tired to notice, but later realised we were down $2.
Remember — $1 = 4000 Cambodian Riels!
Shopping in Siem Reap — Haggling!
The final thing to get used to in Cambodia is the haggling! In department stores and supermarkets the price will be clearly displayed and non-negotiable, but on the markets expect to barter. It’s a good idea to ask locals how much they would pay for the item that you want to buy before you start shopping in Siem Reap. This gives you a ball park figure. But remember to never lose your cool or get angry — this is not the Cambodian way!
Shopping in Siem Reap — Siem Reap Markets
Angkor Night Market
Angkor Night Market, just off Sivatha Boulevard in Siem Reap, comprises of around 200 bamboo huts which sell a large range of clothing by non-governmental societies and local communities and handicrafts. Founded in 2007 to preserve traditional Khmer handicrafts and improve the lives of Khmer people, this outdoor market offers one-of-a-kind goods such as silk paintings, shadow puppets, handbags made from recycled materials, as well as intricate stone carvings embellished in silver or brass. Set within a landscaped garden in downtown Siem Reap, Angkor Night Market is also ideal for enjoying local delicacies and cheap booze as well as live music performances until late.
Location: Off Sivatha Boulevard, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Open: Daily from 4pm to midnight
Old Market (Phsar Chas)
The Old Market, as the name implies, is the oldest Khmer market in Siem Reap, where locals can shop for household items and fresh produce in the early morning. Also known as Phsar Chas, travellers can also find vendors selling inexpensive souvenirs such as clothes, jewellery, and shoes, most of which are located nearby the market entrance. If you’re here on an empty stomach, make a beeline for the centre of Old Market to sample authentic Cambodian soups, rice dishes, baguettes, spiced frogs, dried fish, and pork sausages.
Location: Psar Chas Road, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Open: Daily from 7am to 8pm
Made in Cambodia Market
Top of my list for shopping in Siem Reap is the Made in Cambodia Market, which brings the most exciting illustrations of craftsmanship in Cambodia today. Internationally recognised designers and artisans participate, including Rehash Trash, Saomao, Friends International and many more. Shoppers can purchase fine quality artisan products and luxury goods, and in doing so support a new generation of talented craftspeople, through development of skills and direct income.
Regular artists workshops and live entertainment add to the interactive and vibrant atmosphere here, where the range of restaurants, cafés and boutique shopping options makes it a one-stop leisure and shopping destination.
The Made in Cambodia Market offers a wide range of live performances, tasty local food, and Cambodian souvenirs by renowned local artisans. Held every Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday, this cool and vibrant outdoor market takes place in front of Shinta Mani Resort Siem Reap. Goods sold at Made in Cambodia Market are pricier compared to most markets in Siem Reap, but the uniqueness and quality of clothes, cosmetics, jewellery, paintings, and toys are well worth the splurge. Highly recommended is the Sombai rice spirits, which is infused with mangoes, cinnamon, star anise, and red chillies.
Location: Street 27, Achar Sva St, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
Open: Daily from 12pm to 10pm
Angkor Handicraft Association
Angkor Handicraft Association is highly recommended for those looking to see local artisans working on their products. Visitors may learn about Khmer traditional crafting and even try to participate in interesting workshops. The fair-trade market houses 20 stalls selling authentic handwoven silk, silverware, stone and bronze statues, paintings, and bags. Best of all, 100% of profits are given back to the artisans and their families as well as the local community. Situated within Traing Village, Angkor Handicraft Association also hosts 12 types of activities which are suitable for all ages, like palm leaf weaving, coconut carving and flute making classes.
Location: Traing Village, Road 60, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Open: Daily from 9am to 7pm
Shopping in Siem Reap Noon Night Market
Noon Night Market has a wide range of fair-trade handicrafts and souvenirs, with 10% of the profits getting earmarked for funding a local orphanage. Situated between Angkor Night Market and Sivutha Boulevard, the walkways are fitted with fans and numerous silk lamps to try to combat the scorching heat while authentic Khmer delicacies such as Lok Lak (My favourite!), Fish Amok and spring rolls are available at Bistro Khmer Restaurant. After a couple of hours of exploring Noon Night Market, visitors may enjoy imported beers and cocktails at the bar or relax and unwind with a Khmer-style massage.
Location: Vithey Charles de Gaulle, Khum Slorkram, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Open: Daily from midday to midnight
Phsar Leu Thom Thmey
Referred to by the locals as Phsar Leu, this is Siem Reap’s largest market, and the most authentic. Located slightly out of town on National Road 6, locals flock here daily to bag the best bargains. Local completely to the core, it is a maze of stalls selling flapping fish and seafood, raw meats, phones, household items and clothes. While prices are definitely cheaper here, expect very little English to be spoken.
Location: National Route 6 | 13. 359840, 103. 874842, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Open: Daily from midday to midnight
Shopping in Siem Reap — Galleries, Malls and Fashion
Theams House Gallery
Theam’s House Gallery and stimulating tropical garden make this a trip to remember, while the workshop lets visitors observe the artists creating Lacquer ware paintings or stones and wood sculptures. With atleast 10 years of experience as the artistic director of Artisans d’Angkor, Lim Muy Theam, a Cambodian who studied at one of the most prestigious art and design schools in France, began to start his own project. He trained a team of local artistes and reconnected them with Cambodia’s creative past, giving the works of art authentic ancestral flair.
The opening hours are 8am — 6pm every day
T Galleria by DFS Angkor
T Galleria by DFS Angkor is the biggest duty-free luxury department store in Cambodia, with atleast 170 brands across 86,000 square feet. Discerning shoppers can browse accessories and fashion, watches and jewellery, spirits and wines, and beauty and fragrances brands as well as a selection of locally hand-crafted artisan products. Brands include Cartier, Bulgari and Tiffany & Co, Bottega Veneta, Fendi, Burberry Gucci and Saint Laurent. Customers can be tempted by over 30 beauty and fragrances brands such as Dior, Estée Lauder, and Giorgio Armani. Remember that you will need to show your passport and a valid travel document (international flight ticket valid 14 days prior to departure) in order to shop.
The Opening Hours are 9am — 10pm every day
Soieries du Mékong
Discover Soieries du Mékong’s amazing hand-woven products in their boutique store in energetic Siem Reap’s Kandal Village. Designed in a Parisian studio, exquisite scarves and accessories are then expertly woven in silk, in alluring colours, by a team of over 50 weavers and seamstresses. See the painstakingly delicate work firsthand by visiting their busy workshop, in the north west Cambodian district of Banteay Chhmar. This project ensures an improved standard of living for over 300 people in the district, including over 100 children now attending school. You can admire and purchase their original creations on their website as well.
The opening hours are 9.30am — 6.30pm every day.
Maison Sirivan Concept Store
In her workshop and studio, French-Cambodian fashion designer Sirivan Chak-Dumas designs exotic and elegant men’s and women’s clothes and accessories. Situated conveniently in Kandal Village, the store has 95 sqm dedicated purely to fashion, mainly made in Siem Reap in their workshop, or by other local partners in Cambodia. Sirivan’s incredible ultramodern brand Biniky Chic Nomad is ideal for the fashionable traveller trying to find a limited-edition piece for their wardrobe. The store happily delivers to your hotel or your home in town.
The opening hours are 9am — 7pm every day
Saarti is a cool eco-lifestyle brand, dedicated to using the best quality natural, ethically sourced items and authorising local communities through fair-trade employment. Customers searching out unique gifts will love the soy candles, chemical free body products, bamboo straws, up-cycled glass bottles, locally made soft furnishings, handmade soap, reed diffusers, natural bugspray and perfumes, all hand crafted in Siem Reap. Holiday makers will love their travel sized range of face products and deliciously fragrant reed diffusers, so that you can take the scents of Cambodia home with you. The collection includes 100% natural Pure Essentials Oils as well as the Saarti signature range of hand poured Blessing Bowl Candles.
The opening hours are Thurs — Tue: 10am — 6pm, Wed: closed
Angkor Fashion Plaza
This common retail address in Siem Reap provides an array of fashion brands, for women, men and children, all under one roof. Situated along the river, its deliberate position in the city makes shopping here for quality accessories and apparel truly convenient. At outlet prices, shoppers may indulge in brands such as DACLO, Columbia, Under Armour, Polo and Ralph Lauren. Angkor Fashion Plaza accepts Pi Pay, WeChat Pay and ALIPAY.
The opening hours are 9am — 10pm every day.
Smateria was established by two Italian friends in 2006. Both of them believed that “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure”. Whether it is their ‘Net Bags’ made from rolls of discarded protection nets from construction sites or funky bags and wallets made from recycled moto seats, the innovation will delight you. A team of 20 craftspeople transform thrown-away plastic bags into desirable accessories. Smateria outsources a lot of the handiwork to the family members of their staff. Free training is offered to the family members and sewing machines are provided on an interest-free rent to own agreement.
The opening hours are Mon — Fri: 9am — 8pm, Sat — Sun: 9am — 6pm
Artisans d’Angkor is a social Cambodian business, made to recuperate cultural heritage while also helping the rural young people to find employment close to their homes. Take a free guided tour where master artisans will show you the secrets of stone and wood carving, gilding, ceramics, lacquering, silver plating and silk painting. Find a wide collection of handmade clothing and home furnishing fitted to contemporary lifestyles. Artisans d’Angkor strives to offer good working conditions and social advantages to its employees. It has a total of 48 workshops operating in 12 sites situated in Siem Reap province and it provides employment to at least 1100 people, including around 800 artisans.
The opening hours are 7.30am — 6.30pm every day
Bambou Indochine is a clothing brand inspired by Cambodia’s natural beauty, for men, women and children. Choose from 100% cotton t-shirts, polo shirts as well as Dry-fit, silk and bamboo fibre, a naturally absorbent and soft, comfortable fabric, ideal for wearing in Cambodia’s tropical climate. Bambou Indochine’s goal was to bring original designs and international quality to the souvenir t-shirt and resort-wear market for locals and tourists alike. Children will also adore the colourful fabrics, be sure to try the gecko design for a brilliant reminder of Cambodia.
The opening hours are 10am — 9pm every day
Renowned designer Eric Raisina brings an exclusive cocktail of influences to his couture. Born in Madagascar, resident in Cambodia and partly educated in France, he provides a striking collection of accessories and clothing. Ask some the staff for a tour of the workshop upstairs to see where his amazing, original designs are created. In his Couture House at Charles De Gaulles Street in Siem Reap, discover his daring collection of silk clothing and accessories, all handmade. Fabric and texture aficionados will notice a blend of African, European and Asian influences. The many surprising colour combinations reflect the vibrant colours and natural beauty of Eric’s home country, Madagascar. ‘Silk Fur’ made of ‘Raffia Lace’ and silk organza made of natural raffia are just two of his amazing fabric innovations.
The opening hours are 9am — 7pm every day
Claycult’s artisan ceramic jewellery and handmade ceramic beads bring the colours of Cambodia into their designs. Choose from necklaces, earrings and bracelets as well as their signature beads. Employing 16 staff, Claycult provides sustainable employment, education and training in a safe environment. All the pieces are hand crafted, from the digging and production of the clay, to the rolling, shaping and painting of the beads ready to be transformed into the appealing and colourful jewellery you’ll see in their King’s Road boutique store. A true sight to behold!
The opening hours are Tue — Sun: 10am — 9.30pm, Mon: closed
Further Reading on Siem Reap
Originally published at https://www.templeseeker.com on January 17, 2020.