Khmer Attitude, Raffles Arcade
Covet local creations at Siem Reap's original concept store
Co-owned by French-Cambodians Nathalie Saphon-Ridel and Romyda Keth, the elegant Khmer Attitude was the first concept store in Siem Reap when it was opened way back in 2000 in Raffles Arcade. The women's aim with Khmer Attitude (and Saphon-Ridel's Galerie Cambodge in the same arcade) was to showcase quality Cambodian-made fashion, jewelry, accessories, silverware, silk, gifts, and objects that weren't available anywhere else. The women work closely with Khmer designers, master craftsmen and artists to source and produce beautiful things that are luxurious in their materials used and excellent in their workmanship. Other than Romyda Keth's Ambre, Eric Raisina, Garden of Desire, Jasmine, Theam's House, and a handful of other boutiques, you won't find exquisite things of this quality elsewhere in Siem Reap.
By Lara Dunston
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Take home handmade children's toys
If you're shopping for souvenirs or gifts for children, you certainly won't struggle to find something special in Siem Reap. Many of the gift shops and concept store have beautiful handmade children's toys. While you'll find plenty of cuddly toys, especially elephants, at Old Market and the various night markets (there are now a handful), most of them are actually made in factories in Thailand, Vietnam and China and aren't very good quality, which is reflected by the price. The fair trade practices of these factories are also questionable. Instead, buy something that has been handmade in Cambodia and you know you're not only buying a superior quality product that will last a lifetime (and can probably be handed down to your kids' kids), you'll be buying something that gives back to the people who lovingly crafted the toys. I love these beautiful elephants made from Cambodian silk at Khmer Attitude in Raffles Arcade. I also like the Softies range of toys, produced by the NGO Husk and available at the Wild Poppy boutique.
By Lara Dunston