Concierge.com's insider take:
Cambodia is a poor country, so prices for most things are cheap. If you stick to the tourist-oriented stalls along the east side of Psar Chas, however, there isn't much worth buying among the stacks of T-shirts, pirated CDs, and cheesy artwork by Khmer painters of light. Take a tuk tuk along the Lake Road a half-mile south of town to the Institute of Khmer Traditional Textiles, an internationally acclaimed project that employs 400 peopleeveryone from mulberry tree farmers to spinners and weavers. The homegrown silk is dyed with natural products such as indigo, lychee, or bougainvillea and then hand-woven into sarongs, kerchiefs, and krama scarves that are only sold at IKTT's on-site showroom (855-63-964-437; www.esprit-libre.org/iktt; firstname.lastname@example.org). A five-minute walk south of the Old Market, Artisans d'Angkor operates a trade school and workshop that produces tasteful silk clothing, lacquerware, and sculpted sandstone busts for sale at a gift shop on the grounds (855-63-963-330; www.artisansdangkor.com). On the north side of the bazaar, Senteurs d'Angkor sells Cambodian-grown coffee, oils, and spices (855-63-964-860; www.senteursdangkor.com; email@example.com).
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I agree, the shopping in Siem Reap is crazy! Once you show interest in a stall, it is hard to turn away without buying anything, as the stall owner will do... more