In addition to its ancient history and culture, the world-famous monuments at Angkor Wat, and fabulous beaches, Cambodia also has beautiful handicrafts that visitors can take home.
The main specialties of Cambodia are silverware, gemstones, textiles, spices, wood carvings, and stone carvings. If you want to buy some exotic Cambodian souvenirs, visit shops in local markets such as the Russian Market in Phnom Penh, or the downtown of Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. Here are ten Cambodian souvenirs worth taking back home.
1. Wrap Skirts and Scarves
In Cambodia, you will see wrap skirts and shawls everywhere. The sampot, usually made of embroidered silk, is the national garment of Cambodia. Asampot is a long piece of fabric that locals wrap around the waist in specific ways. Karma is the Khmer scarf or shawl that people wrap on their heads to help block the sun.
Both of these silk-textured items of clothing are local bestsellers in Cambodia, where the year-round average temperature is 35°C(95°F). Sport a sampot and karma to take photos during the trip or carry them as a souvenir for friends back home.
2. Landscape Paintings
Landscape painting is popular in Cambodia. As a hot tourist destination, Cambodia's picturesque scenery provides unmissable creative inspiration for any artist. Other products that feature prints of these paintings include clothes, stationery, decorations, etc.
Postcards are a traditional souvenir. Different places have different postcards based on the attractions of that place. In Cambodia, you will find postcards everywhere and at very low prices. You can pen down a memory or a short note on a postcard and send it to friends from Cambodia.
4. Silver Bowls
Like Thailand, Cambodia is rich in silver. Khmer people are good at making silver jewelry and crafts. There's a kind of silver-plated bronze bowl commonly found in hotels and restaurants in Cambodia.
Such small bowls, unique to Southeast Asian countries, are sold in local markets, ranging from a few dollars to more than a dozen dollars, depending on the degree of workmanship.
Most silver items are carved with exquisite patterns by skillful local craftsmen. If you find one that catches your fancy, buy it to add to your collection of silverware.
5. Themed T-shirts
A theme-based t-shirt is a conventional tourism peripheral product. Visit souvenir stalls in Cambodia to pick your choice of hand-woven scarves, tablecloths, handbags, and clothing.
These textiles are not just attractive in terms of price and quality but have a unique ethnic charm as well. A themed t-shirt is an excellent match with the Cambodian skirt, the sampot. Don’t forget to carry one back for your family and friends.
Southeast Asia's spices are famous all over the world. Pepper is a traditional product of Cambodia, which is exported to various countries around the globe. As Cambodia produces some of the best pepper in the world, you will find many varieties to choose from in local markets. Besides pepper, Cambodian lemongrass and red curry are special recommendations.
All of these are available in gift shops and supermarkets.
Cambodia has a tropical monsoon climate with verdant forests and abundant timber. Therefore, ingenious Cambodiancraftsmen are naturally good at woodcarving. The most important thing for woodcarving is the quality of wood, so the prices of carvings made from different types of wood usually varies.
You will find all kinds of exotic carvings in the local market and, if you look around with patience, you may find something appealing. Before buying, remember to keep an eye for the quality of the wood. If you spot cracks in the wood, you know that it is not of great quality.
8. Dried Fruit
Cambodia is a tropical country with abundant fruit orchards. Dried fruit is a ubiquitous snack and tourist souvenir in Southeast Asia. While in Cambodia, you must try the local fruits. The most common dried fruits include mangoes, bananas, and cashew nuts.
9. Candle Holders
There's a unique Cambodian candle holder made of sandstone. This kind of candle holder carries with it the romantic charm of Southeast Asia. The holders are designed with the utmost care and make for a great souvenir.
10. Grass-Woven Items
Grass-woven items have widespread use in Cambodia. Straw boxes, bags, and seats can be seen everywhere in Cambodia. These grass-woven products are both fashionable and environmentally friendly. A hand-woven backpack works best for a beach vacation.
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