Cambodia boasts of its handmade products, unique artisans, and their artworks, which has a touch of both traditional and modern art techniques. The country can be regarded as the abode for the aesthetes. The government encourages its local people to work on their talent. Handicraft has been a part of Cambodian traditional culture. There are many indigenous groups who have set up their small businesses. They produce specialty goods and even high-end products, which generate a supplementary income.
Many people plan their holidays to Cambodia to witness the showcase of Cambodian art. It gives you the perfect cultural lift. The traditional art of Cambodia is attributed to the art from the Khmer period (802–1431 AD). It’s the time when the famous Angkor temples were built and inhabited by the scholars and artists.
In this writeup, we will discuss the top 7 things that are a must-buy for the tourists. So if you are planning to experience Cambodia holidays, well, you need to carry a lot of souvenirs while returning home.
Textiles & Silk
Weaving has been a significant job source in Cambodia. The textile and silk industry has been there in the country for centuries. The rural women of the country have found employment opportunities in the textile industry. Techniques such as ikat and uneven twill form the two major types of weaving in Cambodia. Head to the market and look out for some fantastic silk pieces.
Wondering what a Krama is?
Well, Cambodia is famous for its multipurpose scarf, also known traditionally as Krama. It is also the national symbol of the nation. Krama can be used as a bandana, scarf, material to cover the face, carry children, and also as a hammock for the youngsters. You will spot this multipurpose scarf material everywhere across the country. Krama traditionally comes in red and white. However, modern designs add a rainbow of colors to the fabric. This wide range of colors makes it hard for travelers to pick the best one.
The silversmiths of Cambodia are known for their exceptional work. Since the 11th century, using the silver items for religious purposes has been an etiquette. You can find skillfully decorated silverware boxes, bowls, plates, silver rings, and silver jewelry in the markets. These silverware artworks will surely entice you to buy them for your home. Phnom Penh and Siem Reap are the two prominent places with a significant number of shops selling silver products.
Cambodian silver jewelry is made with silver alloys with 70-80% of silver, wonderfully designed with Khmer patterns. So, a silver product is an obvious buy for every tourist.
Basketry items made by indigenous Kuoy and Khmer artisans have always been a popular item of purchase for the tourists. These are quite reasonably priced, rather quite cheaper than in other countries. The local people of the country have been involved in basketry items such as creating baskets, plates, bowls, and other daily use things. In the markets, you will find many baskets made of bamboo and Siem Reap.
Hand-Carvings & Lacquerware
While strolling in the streets of the Cambodian marketplace, you will find almost every stall displaying hand-carved statues. The reason being, the country has a rich timeline in the field of handcrafting and lacquerware. From statues of Buddha to statues of animals, birds, and soldiers, travelers in the country are provided a range of hand carvings to choose from. These things are also made from burnt wood, which represents the earth.
Paintings & Prints
The artwork of Cambodia is something the country is proud of. The recent years have witnessed the growth and spread of the contemporary art scene within the country. The boutique galleries and art shops showcase the unique artworks of the local artists in the country. Foreign travelers have started taking an interest in those artworks, and they are perfect for souvenirs. Rice-paper paintings and prints are quite sought-after by the tourists. Although the paintings are costlier than the prints, prices vary greatly with location and quality.
Heard of Kampot pepper? It is one of the premium products of the country, which is widely used in global kitchens. Kampot pepper has an intense flavor, and this is one of the reasons it found a place in the kitchens. It is grown in the Kampot province where the climate is a cool one, and the soil is rich in quartz. There are few varieties of Kampot pepper – black, red, green, and white.
Got an idea about what to buy when you go to Cambodia? Head up and look for the Cambodia tour package and make sure you visit the markets on the way. With an exciting range of artwork to buy from in the country, you will have a hard time choosing the best one from the lot.