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21 Unique Souvenirs from Cambodia? Gift Inspiration!

Explore 21 unique Cambodian souvenirs for travelers. From handmade silk to local art, find the perfect keepsake while supporting local artisans.

Tobi Miles
July 1, 2022
21 Unique Souvenirs from Cambodia? Gift Inspiration!

So your heading to Cambodia and would like to buy some authentic gifts and souvenirs for friends, family and of course yourself! Cambodia has alot to offer from woven natural fabrics, such a silk or cotton handmade into clothing pieces by the villagers, to special little trinkets and historic pieces.

A gift acts as a physical manifestation of your memories and a long lasting reminder of your fantastic travel experience. - TownandTourist.

Souvenirs that you buy from Cambodian locals bring a free "feel good" component with them. Although Cambodia, has developed alot since the communist regime, it still has extreme poverty with a large number of sight impaired and orphaned children, especially in rural areas.

Showing your support by purchasing a souvenir from a local is a great way to help. Lot's of gift shops are helped to setup by Non governmental organisations (NGO's) to help the local people get out of poverty by providing value through souvenirs or gifts. This helps to keep people from resorting to begging and criminal activities to survive.

Before tips on the best things to buy first a couple of warnings!

Don’t give to street children in Cambodia– Honestly i’m not cruel! - A Scam is not a nice Souvenir to take home.

So a cute kid comes up to you and try’s to give you a flowery necklace, postcard or some other trinket. Now at the time you may think this is helping them and i’ve been there myself!  However, what most people don’t know is that alot of these children have parents. These parents send them out to “Work” instead of  school.

This creating a never ending cycle of poverty, where the child will avoid school and continue begging indefinitely. In an even more sinister twist lots of children are controlled by rackets which send them out and then take what money they have collected when they return!

Personally, I will sometimes give a child some food or the odd snack if he looks malnourished and make sure he eats it in front of me, just to be sure nothing shady is going on.

Cambodian Children | By HansenHimself via Wikimedia Commons

Milk Cartel Run Scam – Watch out for this in Siem Reap!

The Cartel Milk Run Scam is classic which exploits a tourist buying some milk for a poor child! Picture the scene a young mother  or cute child approaches you and asks for milk for a baby in their arms. Now, it will be very tough to say no to buying milk for the baby but heres why you should.

As soon as the tourist buys the milk the child or mother will go back into the store and get a refund! The shopkeeper is also in on the deal and take a little cut of the profits! Our Sources on the ground in Cambodia have informed us that the babies can often be drugged in their arms and told to keep quiet.

When your out their it's best to shop at local vendors and not succumb to buying from people in the street, it's safer for you and helps to curb the cycle of poverty in the local run.

21 Unique Gifts and Souvenirs you SHOULD buy while in Cambodia!

Sugarcane Market Stall in Cambodia | By Adam Jones via Wikimedia Commons

21. Silver Jewellery

Hand made silver Jewellery are exquisitely designed by some true artists and just a fraction of the price you would pay back home. A few good stalls with these can be found at the popular "Russian Market".

Silver Jewelry handmade in Cambodia | By Own Work via Wikimedia Commons

20. Buy an Original Handmade Painting

You will see some great Canvas art in Cambodia. With inspiration and style stemming from the french Colonial times fused with asian culture. Some of the artists in Cambodia are truly talented and produce exceptional pieces of art, which would look great on your wall or to Buy for a friend as a unique Souvenir.

The best part is the prices are very competitive as you might expect. Even in places such as Siem Reap, unique art can be found at rock bottom prices. At first glance you will just see many repeated images of the historic landmarks such as Angkor wat. However, if you go deeper into the various art shops hidden masterpieces can be found with prices starting from as little as $10 up to $150 USD.

Oil painting in Cambodia | By Marcin Konsek via Wikimedia Commons

So I know what your thinking, "How do i bring an artistic masterpiece home?"

The great news is most art vendors have space saving packaging methods, where your piece will be put into a woven grass case with a carrying handle, easy! Of course this is without the frame, it's easier to sort that when your back home.

19. Buy Cambodian Palm Sugar ("Kampong Speu")

So many Palm trees, so much Palm Sugar! That's right due to the large amount of palm trees, Cambodian Palm Sugar is abundant. This makes a great easy to pack gift/Souvenirs and is very popular in Cambodia. Some say many health benefits are derived from the famous sugar and it also works well in many recipes or even your morning coffee! The flavour is not too sweet, with a heavenly caramel hint.

Head to "Kampong Speu" province where they have mastered a unique way of creating the palm sugar. Then bring a unique souvenir like this with you back home.

Cambodian Palm Sugar | By Gerd Eichmann

18. Cambodian or Vietnamese Coffee Maker/Filter.

So thats, great your got the Sugar, now you just need the coffee Filter and Coffee! Vietnam has a famous Iced coffee which is also popular in Cambodia. This is a completely unique style of coffee which you won't see in the West, great gift for friends or family members which love coffee! The locals will even show you how to make the coffee the right way, so you can teach friends and family back home.

Vietnamese coffee maker | By Coyau via Wikimedia

A great tip is to ask if you can video on you phone how to make the coffee, then you can play it back when your home! Its pretty easy so get stuck in!

17. Buy Cambodian Coffee

That's right, the most important ingredient...lovely Coffee! Ratanakiri  or Mondulkiri are two popular varieties and offer unique deep rich flavour. An approved type of coffee is the "The Three Corner Coffee" which is packaged and approved by the "White Lotus Organisation", a social enterprise driven to help Cambodia.

16. Traditional Garments "Krama Scarves"

Krama is a fashionable, popular and robust scarf which can be used as a face mask for dust (Particularly good during "Hot Season (April/May/June)"  see our other great article Best time to visit Cambodia - How to AVOID the Rainy Season .

These authentic Scarves are also great fashion accessories and will add a flare to most women's outfits, as true handwoven treasures. It also have other uses such as a Childs hammock, fashion accessory souvenir. You will see plenty of these in Cambodia.  This traditional garment is sold all over Cambodia, so you will definitely come across is, scarfs can be picked up for as little as $2USD.

15. Buy Rainbow Cambodian Coconut Bowls

Perfect Housewarming Gift

Eye catching and colourful, these coconut bowls will really brighten up yours friend’s kitchen! A good option is to buy a set, then switch up the colours to make an even more unique, gift set. Dishwasher safe and durable, this is a great purchase for your kitchen. Prices range from $4-$6 USD, we suggest negotiating a deal on a set for the best price.  These hand painted bowls can be found around markets in Siem Reap.

14. Artistic Quilts

Buy a Quilt? Yes that's right with great designs crafted by the local villagers, this is a great one to check out. The best place to buy these is at: Mekong Quilts at St. 240 . This is also home to the famous "Bamboo Bicycle" definitely worth a snap.

13. Dried Snake. - Yum!

A dried snake may seem pretty disgusting but if fact it has been known to cure a large number of diseases from arthritis to eczema. It's a pretty unique to Cambodia and can actually taste really good in a delicious snake hotpot, or grilled with a lovely sauce. Try it, you'll be surprised!

Famous Dried Snake Skewers | By Goumisao via Wikimedia Commons

12. Buy Candles or Soaps.

Cambodian people are passionate about natural organic products. The soap and candles your'll find are mad from natural herbs and even Kampot pepper!  These are very unique and beautiful gifts which would make a  special  treat for a spouse or  family member.

Ankgor Candles | By Ethan Doyle White via Wikimedia Commons

Where can you buy them?

Senteurs d'Angkor is the place for you to find one of the best candles in the area at reasonable prices. The center also specilizes in other natural products made from the workshop, which are paraben free, silicon free, colour free, sulfate free.

11. Cambodia Handmade Spa/Beauty Goods.

Who doesn’t secretly love to be pampered and relax?  Cambodia has mastered the art of cultivating local minerals, herbs and plants into impeccable natural beauty products. You can purchase a varitey of products from body butter and bath salts to foot scrubs and Facials.  These gifts can be wrapped up in a cute box or reusable fabric bag. They make the perfect unique gift for your friend or  beloved family member back home. Expect ingredients from jasmine and cinnamon to lemon grass and a variety of herbs.

Handmade soap | By Albahaka via Wikimedia Commons

10. Buy Upcycled Crafts in Cambodia

So you wan't to purchase products and still look after to environment? Enter, "Upcycling" the hot new trend of recycling old good and materials to useful products!  A variety of products are available from rice bags and wallets to handbags. Lots of these recycled products are made far away fin the capital Phnom Penh. There is a  variety of designs available.

Upcycled roses | By JulieN2212 via Wikimedia Commons

Are you creative?

If you've got your own idea for a design style you would like, bring an image or something similar along and a good crafter can sometimes make this up for you! Give it a try.

9. Buy Authentic Rice Wine

Rice Wine is very popular in lot of asia from Sake in Japan to the Rice Wines of Vietnam! We recommend trying a small bottle of rice wine in Cambodia and Vietnam. It has a slightly different flavour in both countries. In Cambodia it’s infused with interesting herbs and fruits, think an eastern "Ros'e". Definitely a unique present and a nice tipple to add to the home collection.

Bottle of rice wine | By Dongsoo Kim via Wikimedia Commons

8. Kampot Pepper - Best pepper in the world?

Where is the best Pepper in the world? Look no further than Kampot Pepper in Cambodia. With an intense and distinctive flavour this is a popular export for Cambodia and definitely a must try!

The pepper is also known to have a series of health benefits from aiding with digestion to even helping cure diarrhea! Hence, It is a must to buy some when paying a visit to its authentic home. It will be a meaningful gift to culinary connoisseurs and a lovely treat for gourmet friends.

Where can you find them?

You can come to the Old Market to visit local Pepper shop or buy real pepper at the owner's pepper farm

7. Buy Sculptures & Statues.

From little to large, in a popular buddhist country like cambodia you will see many fine statues of the buddha, nature, animals, landmarks and unique designs.  The craftsman are true masters of their trade and the best really bring a "feeling" or "emotion" with their pieces.

Material types range from stone, wood and even bronze!  If you don't want to purchase large statues to maul on the plane or Fed ex back home, then take a look at the miniature version which can be well-scultured, yet very affordable.

6. Buy Beaded Jewellery in Cambodia

Beaded jewellery can be a nice fashionable accessory for a summer evening a gift for a friend or Unique Souvenir. But there is more to these little pieces than just to "look nice" Many social enterprises have created beautiful bead bracelets with a message like,  "stand up against human trafficking" . "Craftlink" a popular NGO, has creating bracelets manufactured from land mines. It's a great way to support social and ethical causes!

5. Historic Stone Sculptures.

If you would like a gift to really wow a friend, or a great living room or garden ornament check out the large stone carvings! Most were creating in the traditional style of Khmer culture but others can be found even older and more historic!  Khmer Buddhas have a warmer smile  than those from other Buddhist countries and can add a feeling of peace and timelessness in the corner of your home.

Head to the Capital city (Phnom Penh) and look around the palace. You will see plenty of sculptors making new articles and with older more historic statues at their stalls! Another option is to take a look near Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, here you will find some gorgeous pieces and unique Souvenirs.

Stone Statue | By Joe Mabel via Wikimedia Commons

4. Wood Carving Gifts - (Unique Souvenir)

In Cambodia, it is common to see a wood carver with a rectangle block of wood getting to work on a new design! How much more of a unique Souvenir can you get! Watch them as they carve out intricate patterns and statuettes. Some sculptors can even copy a certain style from a photo.

Hand carved wood | By TsadickMelehoff via Wikimedia Commons

2. Cost effective Cotton T shirts

Great Cambodia Souvenir which is Functional!

Would you like a simple, cost effective, functional gift/Souvenir? Look no further than a natural Cotton T shirt. This lightweight fabric is great for traveling and the prices are very reasonable around $4!  Designs range from traditional images of Cambodia from elephants and buddhist temples to the Khmer alphabet and famous quotes.

Where can you buy these gifts?

You can easily find them at many local shops at the Angkor Night Market.

2. Hand Loomed Silk & Cotton Fabrics

There is a whole range of hand woven items from traditional "Krama" scarves mentioned earlier to shirts, bags, wallets and even a full tailored silk suit! Expect a rainbow of colours and a variety of choices.

Silk products are abundant in Cambodia.

Silk fibers in Cambodia | John and Carolina via Wikimedia Commons

Where can you buy them?

A popular chain is Artisans d'Angkor with stores in the airport, the capital and Siem Reap has a well deserved reputation for exceedingly high quality and unique imaginative design.

If you staying near Siem Reap, you can also visit silk farm and workshops. The prices are slightly higher than those sold by some of the street vendors you can be safe in the knowledge that the fabrics are real silk & robust!

If you're interested knowing more about the manufacturing of the silk products, Artisans D'Angkor organises a shuttle from Siem Reap downtown . For home decor items check out,  Ambre and Tabitha.  If your in the capital phnom penh, check out the Olympic or Russian market.

Happy Silk in St. 178 is a great option for high quality wallets and bag with a fantastic range of colours. These make great gifts for friends or even a nice Souvenir for yourself.

1. Vintage Products for Gifts/Unique Souvenir

So you want  a unique gift, maybe a historic gift, or a Vintage gift! Check out the flea markets of Cambodia, with lots of popular ones in Phnom Penh. Here you can find high quality vintage goods from Cambodia, Japan, U.S.A and Europe. Such good include vintage records, Cd's, games, pinball machines, gaming consoles etc. In fashion is your thing, there is alot of original clothing to be found from Tommy Hilfiger to Nike and adidas.  Get ready to haggle, this is your perfect spot!

For tips on "Mastering the Haggle, without offending...check out this great article!"

Vintage market | By Michel Rathwell via Wikimedia Commons

Where can you find the Gifts?

Recycle Shop Japan and Sakura Recycle Shop are 2 great spots for backpackers looking for a unique gift.

To get the most out for your next trip to Cambodia and ensure you have a smooth ride without offending anybody! Check out:

Top 10 Do’s and Don’t’s while in Cambodia – Cultural Faux Pars to Avoid!

This is a powerful article and a MUST read before visiting Cambodia, don’t get caught short! For Duty Free Details Lonely Planet has some useful tops.

Want to save money on your next Hotel in Cambodia?

Use the handy tool below, to compare thousands of Hotel Deals worldwide, from the Hilton to Hostels!

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If you've bought a special gift in Cambodia or Asia let us know in the comments below!

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Tobi Miles
Article updated:
March 28, 2024
A nomadic wordsmith savoring the world's flavors and penning stories that turn every journey into an epic.
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