Travel Finds: Cambodia

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Every time I travel to some new country, I try to bring something back with me that’s both unique and representative of the place I visited but not too souvenir-y, if you know what I mean. I usually go for some type of accessory, like earrings, necklaces or rings.

This past January I went for a two weeks trip to South Vietnam and decided to make a short trip to Siem Reap, Cambodia because we wanted to see the Angkor Wat Ruins (where the Tomb Raider movies were filmed). We stayed in Cambodia for literally only 23 hours, but it was totally worth it, the place was breathtaking and its one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited.

Anyway, before getting there I did some online research on what were the “must-buys” from Cambodia, and I found that Cambodia is famous for its silver markets and silk products. So that is exactly what I bought: silver and silk. Since I am a humble student, my budget wasn’t very big, so I could only afford buying a couple of things.

My favorite buys are these beautiful bracelets, that look great together or for stacking with other bracelets. Both these bracelets seemed very unique to me and I paid 20 USD for both of them, which is not super cheap, but not too bad either; especially considering that the starting price was 20 USD each.

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Besides that, I decided that I wanted to buy a silk scarf or throw for my mom, which I did, but I forgot to take pictures of it before send it to her (she’s in Panama). The one I bought for her was very colorful with a kind of tribal design, and hers was 100% silk (supposedly haha).

The starting price was like 30 USD but after some bargaining, the lady gave it to me for 15 USD. That’s the great thing about Cambodia and Vietnam, everything can be negotiated. The scarf looked something like this, but way more colorful and a much better design. I actually hate the one in the picture but just so you guys have some idea:

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For me, I decided to get something cheaper, so I decided to go for a 20-30% silk scarf (I don’t remember the percentage exactly). Starting price was 15 USD but she gave it to me for 8 USD (after some begging of course). I found that it works acting as if you are done and leaving the store, they will go after you and give you a better price, so get your acting skills ready. But, if you ever do go there, please try not to be too stingy, they do need some profit and theirs is a very very poor country and you are a tourist, which means you already are in much better economic state that them, so keep that in mind. For the cheaper kind, there was a much bigger assortment of colors and I went for this bright purple one:

Last, when we were at the ruins, a bunch of kids started approaching us, selling us all kinds of stuff, speaking to us in ANY language they thought we might speak, it was amazing and a little overwhelming; but at the same time its heartbreaking to see them barefoot, selling you souvenirs for as cheap as a dollar, and its almost impossible to refuse them. So I ended up buying these bracelets made out of some sort of straw, which have a very tribal-y feel to them. I loved them and they were only one dollar, but now they are too big for my wrists, so I may give it away as a gift.

That is pretty much everything I got from Cambodia, aside from the staple souvenir tshirts that are like an uniform for young travelers around SE asia haha I wont show those in here. Anyway, I really hope you liked this post!

If you have any questions about my short experience in Cambodia or traveling around SE Asia, or if you have been there before, please share in the comments :) love to hear from you! – besos!

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