Reading from the airline magazine as we flew in from Bangkok, we were surprised to learn that Siem Reap, Cambodia is currently in the process of turning into a quasi-bohemian haven for designers and artists from all over the world! The price of living must certainly be one of the attractions, though we think the proximity of Angkor Wat, and what must be an intense center of inspiration, must have something to do with it as well.
While wandering the dirt road along Bar Alley on our first night in town, we passed by a number of cool boutiques that solidified what the magazine article had so boldly suggested. These shops, including a shoe store that featured iconic Pop Art mannequins, surprised us with their creativity and sense of humor. We would expect nothing less from edgy shopping utopias like Buenos Aires or Paris, but out here - and only a few blocks from village neighborhoods that cling humbly to a simpler way of life?
Perhaps one the most jaw-dropping, and thus successful, boutiques in town has been Wanderlust (now rebranded as Binky Higgins). While home decor, sunglasses and tote bags are on offer, the emphasis is on young women’s designers. We loved the OpArt pillows and other home trinkets, but would recommend this store first to the hipster lass in your circle of friends.
Wanderlust is open daily 2:00 PM to 10:00 PM. For more on what makes Siem Reap tick, check out our travel blog "Set of Drifters!"