Sihanoukville is known for three things: beaches, bars, and cheap shops. While the white-sand beaches are almost always the top tourism draws of tropical destinations such as Sihanoukville, tourists are often delightfully surprised that shopping in Sihanoukville (and other Southeast Asian cities for that matter) is a blast. A shopper’s dream come true – quality items at very cheap and negotiable prices.
The first and most common items to buy are souvenirs, and the most common souvenir items in this city are woven baskets, betel nut boxes, wood carvings and the ubiquitous krama scarf. The beautifully crafted reed-woven baskets are mainly made by the Khmer women. Some of the female artisans personally cultivate and harvest the reeds. This is part of the Cambodian government’s project to revive and promote the business of weaving, believing that Cambodians are naturally very good weavers, craftsmen and artists. For this reason, the government is pushing and supporting its locals to create more and more purses, handbags, clothes, baskets, bowls, and paintings made from silk, cotton, rattan, bamboo, wood and clay. [Read more…]