The country called Cambodia is oversaturated with distinctive artisans who are capable of reinventing traditional art forms or creating their signatures with a modern touch on ancient techniques. The final result of this current infusion over the out-dated versions is a plethora of relics and reminiscences to remind you of your trip to Cambodia! Below is a list of ten items you can ever lay your hands on exclusively to Cambodia.
1. Weaving Silk
Are you a lover of woven silk? Cambodia has the best Weaving Silk. There is something uniquely different about Cambodia's Weaving Silk; it is still traditionally handmade from threads that have been dyed in a unique pattern before being woven into the silk thus eradicating the lengthy process involved in single piece dying and the weaving method. The price of olden silk pieces of pre-1970 is on the increasing side. Just outside the historic silk centre of Koh Dach, the weavers can be seen in action with some of these nice handiworks coming from three provinces namely Takeo, Kompong Cham, and Kandal.
2. Wood Carving
Although sometimes heavy, another traditional additional to your load is wooden- carved apsaras (nymphs), and other assorted and gorgeous decorative wooden items like furniture which you easily shipped back to your country. Based on the fact that the quality of wood and its maturity is a determining factor in its value and the handiwork as well, you have to be more cautious when making your choices mostly when in some the outlets with more costly items.
The multi-purpose scarf called karma can be found in every corner of the country because it is a national symbol and it is used by virtually everyone in the country. This national garment can be used in different ways; to cover the face, carry children, as a scarf, bandana, to swat away flies, as a hammock for youngsters and in wiping drops of sweat and so on. The traditional checked fabric comes in red and white but modern designs integrate a rainbow of colors. These are readily available all over the country in different prices and quantity.
4. Rice Wine with Snake Inside
This is extra-strong liquor that is made from the infusion of a complete snake in traditionally-brewed rice wine. Because of it being from China, rice wine with snake inside is regarded as a Chinese Traditional Medicine type. It is very popular across Cambodia, and it has the potency of reviving and boosting virility. Although the snake used in making the wine are poisonous but doesn't pose any threat to the drinker because the snake's venom softens off in the whiskey.
5. Cambodian Arts
Although most of the local Cambodian art seems to replicate Angkor Wat paintings and the nearby temples, sceneries, and workers tilling the land, there is a trending contemporary art scene in the country with many boutique galleries displaying their merchandises. There is a particular street in the capital, 178 to be precise' (otherwise known as Art Alley). The street brags of lines of art galleries and shops portraying the country's abilities.
6. Kampot Pepper
Kampot pepper, one of Cambodia's first-class products, is used in many kitchens all over the world because of its sharp bite and dominant flavor. After being approved as Geographical Indicator (GI) in 2010, Kampot pepper is grown in multitudes all over the province of Kampot where the climate is crisp and the land is quartz-rich making it the perfect environment for growing the pepper. The pepper is produced in black, green and red selections, with multiple plantations marketing cutely packaged helpings to take home.
7. Purses Made From Trash
A large number of non-government organizations (NGOs) are currently working relentlessly to end poverty that is ravaging some parts of Cambodia. Majority of these organizations embark on the training of less privileged Cambodians in arts and crafts as well as creating enchanting ornaments from waste like used cement bags, plastic bags, straws, and tyres. Some stores in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh like Friends 'N' Stuff, Friends International's Stores and others vend varieties of beautiful crafts.
8. Palm Sugar
The nation of Cambodia is decorated with palm sugar trees which happen to be the country's national tree. Peradventure, you might be lucky to catch a glimpse of men and women climbing their emaciated trunks to reach for the fruits at its towering tip. Having been there for over one century, the trees' canopy can cover roughly three meters (3m) distance, and they can be as tall as thirty meters (30m). The taste of the palm sugar tree is similar to that of brown sugar cane with more caramel flavor. They can be used for cooking and also serve as traditional medicine, another local product that has secured GI status.
9. Woven Mats
A lot of Cambodian tourists are familiar with woven mats. Due to the sweltering weather, Cambodian families prefer using woven mats to mattresses and sofas. The woven mats can be used for some purposes including sleeping in hot weather, used for sitting down when visitors call as well as praying mats in the temple. Different types of materials used in making the mats include rattan, grass, and any other natural products. Creating a decorative handmade woven mat involves a skillful worker who can carefully craft a beautiful one using his traditional skills. The process is time-consuming, it, therefore, requires attention. With the advent of new technological ways of woven mats, the process can now be carried out quickly thereby making it very easy for tourists to get woven on the streets of Cambodia.
10. Soaps and Candles
With the help of genetic diversification, a large number of natural ingredients can now be used by Cambodians to make candles and soaps. The types of candles and soaps made in Cambodia are uniquely different with their attracting odors that are derived from ingredients like lemon-grass and Kampot. Cambodian soaps and candles are suitable souvenirs for tourists that keep on reminding them of the beautiful and appealing smell of the country. One of those smells is that of Khmer curry, one of the most favorite scents of Cambodia, capable of reminding you about unforgettable fragrances for the rest of their life even after leaving Cambodia.