Siem Reap Vistior Guide 59th

W hether you're looking for traditional Khmer handicrafts or chic contemporary fashion, Siem Reap is an excellent place to shop for all things Cambodian. In addition to classic Cambodian souvenirs, Siem Reap has a unique variety of contemporary art gal- leries, fashion boutiques and trendy shops. Shopping venues are scattered across the town with concentrations of places along Sivutha Blvd, and the Old Market/Pub Street area. The Pub Street alleys, especially Alley West, harbor several distinctive small contem- porary galleries and funky boutiques. For traditional items and sou- venirs, the best place to start is the downtown traditional market Phsar Chas, known as the ‘Old Market,’ and then onto the little souvenir and artisans’ shops. 29

Hand-woven Cambodian silks, woodcarv- ings, statues and castings, modern fashion and accessories, contemporary Cambod- ian art, handicrafts, temple rubbings, silver areca containers, basketry, t-shirts and nifty products made from recycled rice bags are among the most popular souvenirs. The most useful and one of the cheapest souvenirs is a traditional checkered Cambodian scarf, called a ‘krama.’ If you don't mind looking like a tourist, wear it around your neck like the locals do to keep the tropical sun off the back of your neck . what to buy

Cambodian silks (page 33) Cambodia has a long and rich his- tory in silk production dating back more than a thousand years; Cambodian silk is prized by collec- tors the world over. A fascinating way to learn about Cambodian silk is to visit Soieries du Mekong Silk Farm (see page 33), where you can take a free tour that explains

the process of silk production, from cultivating mulber- ry bushes to the Cambodian ikat technique of dyeing, weaving. In Siem Reap, both raw and fine silks are available in the form of short bolts, sarongs, clothing and various handicrafts.

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