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Phnom Penh Shopping

Phnom Penh Shopping: Cambodian artisans are very skilled and there is no shortage of articles to buy. Unique to Cambodia is the krama, a checked scarf made of cotton or silk and each province of Cambodia has its own pattern and color. Silk is still handwoven in Cambodia and is a ‘must buy’ either as lengths of material or in the form of scarves, bags or purses. Silver boxes are traditional souvenirs, many in the shape of animals, which were either used in ceremonies or to hold betel leaves. There are a number of interesting art galleries, silk dealers and souvenir shops on Street 178. For an excellent

selection of books on Cambodia, past and present, go to Monument Books, 111 Norodom Boulevard. The Central Market, an art deco building, is well worth a visit as it sells fruit, vegetables, meat and fish as well as clothes and gifts. One section glitters with gems, which are mined by hand in the west of the country. These are a particularly good buy for small stones, but only spend large amounts if you know what you are buying. The Russian Market in the south of the city, on the corner of Streets 155 and 444 is a maze of narrow, dark alleyways crammed with stalls holding a vast selection of bargain souvenirs including clothing, silverware, jewelry, silk, bags, DVDs, CDs and ceramics.

Bargaining is expected in the markets, which are open daily from around 0700 to 1700. Shop opening times vary. Look out for shops such as NCDP Handicrafts and Wat Than Handicrafts, both on Norodom Boulevard, selling handicrafts to raise money for disadvantaged Cambodians.

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