This story is part of my list of things to do in Siem Reap »
Cambodian art and homewares are lovely and distinct from what you may buy in other countries. Made in Cambodia Markets on Kings Rd are on every night and vendors do not have to pay a commission to sell at this market so the proceeds go to the creators themselves at a fair price. I picked up some beautiful scarves, bags and a lovely tactile wooden bowl. It is slightly pricier but these are generally artisans that produce things that you won't find at other markets. The FCC has a few good shops mostly for the serious art collector.
Bags at Made in Cambodia markets
Angkor Artisans offers people the chance to tour through workshops and watch artisans create beautiful soapstone or wood sculptures some taking up to a week to create. The fair trade project was designed to give artists the opportunity to hone their craft and in some cases learn them while living in their village.
For art and modernist sculptures, Theam's House is a favourite with wealthier resort guests to buy pieces of his photoreaistic paintings. While he was young, Lim Muy Theam and his family fled to France in exile while the Khmer Rouge were in power. They returned with nothing but built up an art gallery and gift shops that has beautiful, high quality, hand made pieces from elegantly sculpted minimalist buddhas, elephants and his signature painting featuring uniquely Cambodian faces.
It's a uniquely different way to shop and the garden and space draws you in. Theam and his sister Maddy run the gallery-he's the artist that hates to be known as an artist while she is the business brains.
Coffee at The Little Red Fox
For more Western style home wares with a Cambodian feel take a walk down Kandal Village. Village is probably a slight misnomer, it is really just one and a half very small streets but there are some great shops like Trunkh, Louise Loubatieres, Sirivan and Saarti as well as a fabulous cafe called The Little Red Fox run by two Australians that serves great coffee from cold drip to a ginger and lemongrass latte (hot or iced). They use Feel Good Coffee, that is coffee sourced from within Cambodia, Thailand and Laos.