Cambodia // Phnom Penh and around //


Phnom Penh is the best place to shop in Cambodia, with traditional markets selling everything from beautiful silk sampots – the word for both the traditional Khmer skirt and a sufficient length of fabric to make one – which a tailor can then make up into garments of your own design, to myriad hand-crafted wooden, stone and silver trinkets. Contemporary woodcarvings and marble statues make bulky souvenirs, but are so evocative of Cambodia that it’s hard not to pick up one or two. You will also see hundreds of intricate (usually low-grade) silver pots in the shape of animals on sale, which tuck more neatly into backpack or suitcase. Jewellery is sold in abundance too, gold and silver, set with stones and gems in all imaginable designs and colours, and there are wonderful antiques and curios, both originals and replicas of old wooden pagoda statues and a huge assortment of decorative boxes and trunks. Haggling is an essential part of market shopping, with prices starting ludicrously high – check around a few stalls before buying, as they will often sell identical pieces.

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