There isn't a lot of shopping to be had in Siem Reap, although there's probably more than enough to keep you busy between meals and temple touring. There are a number of souvenir stalls at many temples, but much of what's on sale appears to come from Thailand or Vietnam, and the same is true for many of the stalls in the old market.
Still, you can get genuine local handicrafts, and support the community while you're at it. There are a number of businesses around Siem Reap that have joined Heritage Watch's Heritage Friendly Businesses campaign. This means these businesses are committed to:
- Contributing to Cambodian arts and culture through the use of performers, artists and cultural centers.
- Supporting heritage and culture non-profit organizations.
- Promoting positive tourism practices.
- Supporting social and economic development projects.
- Not participating in the antiquities trade.
- Supporting he local economy by using Cambodian-made products wherever possible.
Here's a small list of shops I thought worth mentioning here:
- Artisans D'Angkor
- Artisans D'Angkor maintains a large set of workshops south of the old market area, as well as a silk farm in Puok District about 20 minutes away from Siem Reap. The workshops hand down the crafts of stone and wood carving, lacquering, gilding and silk painting. A guide will show you around the workshops when you visit, before dropping you off in the large boutique where you can purchase items made here. The project is under the sponsorship of the Provincial Office of Education, Youth and Sports. There is also an outlet at the airport.
- McDermott Gallery
- John McDermott is a fine art photography whose name has become almost synonymous with dramatic black and white images of Angkor Wat. The gallery displays not only his work, but the works of several other photographers and graphic artists. There are two locations, one in the FCC Complex and the other in the alley between 'Pub Street' and the old market.
- This little shop opposite the old market sells the products of several rehabilitation projects employing disabled people around Angkor.
- Senteurs d'Angkor
- Senteurs d'Angkor specializes in unique hand crafted items such as silks and statues, as well as collections spices, teas, coffee and bath products from all around Cambodia. All items are distinguished by unique packaging made from sugarpalm leaves. Opposite the old market.