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Cambodia Shopping and nightlife

Shopping in Cambodia

Visitors to Cambodia have a tendency to leave with bulkier luggage than on arrival: the country's markets are heavy with potential souvenirs, ranging from silks, textiles and statues to carvings, silverwork and Buddhist artworks. Unique to Cambodia is the omnipresent krama (a unisex checked scarf usually made of cotton), while silk can be bought either by the length, or in the form of scarves and other garments. Jewellery, ceramics, clothing, CDs and DVDs are widespread in city markets.

Try Phnom Penh Central Market or Angkor Night Market as a starting point - go prepared to haggle. Alternatively peruse the trendy, fairtrade boutiques in the nation’s capital. Areas such as Street 240 and Street 178 offer art dealerships, which have popped up in handfuls in recent years. Silk shops selling everything from scarves to daintily embroidered cushions, a and antique traders selling furniture and memorabilia are also common here. Bookshops selling tomes of the region can be bought on Norodom Boulevard or 178 Street for your onward journey.

Shopping Note

The trade of rare animal furs is illegal, it's advised to avoid purchasing fur or jewellery made from endangered species.

Shopping hours

Daily 0800-2000.

Nightlife in Cambodia

It's not difficult to find vibrant nightlife in Cambodia, particularly in heavily visited destinations such as Phnom Penh and Siem Reap (which neighbours the Angkor Temple Complex). Bars and restaurants are plentiful, ranging from down-and-dirty drinking holes to smart cocktail bars. Outright nightclubs are few and far between, although girlie bars are anything but rare. Be sure to check a venue out before handing over a cover charge, as you may end up in a seedy environment. In Phonm Penh you can’t go wrong with the bars in the restaurants on the riverfront, which offer laidback family atmospheres.

Most major hotels offer entertainment of their own, with properties in Siem Reap especially good at hosting traditional dance performances during high season. Gambling is a major pastime in Cambodia and there are several casinos in Sihanoukville and on the border with Thailand. This same beach town is also a raucous backpacker haven. Steer clear of Victory Hill, unless you enjoy an up all night go-go dancing atmosphere (reminiscent of Khao San Road, Bangkok).

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