Responsible shopping

There are many good shopping opportunities in and around Siem Reap. In the middle of the city center, you´ll find the Old Market and several Night markets, and you´ll find small stalls everywhere when walking around in all the little streets around Pub Street.

Unfortunately, lot of the souvenirs you find in these markets and stalls here are made in China. In fact, as much as around 80% of souvenirs sold in Siem Reap are imported from neighboring countries while local artisans struggle to compete with cheap machine made items.

So… to make sure your shopping is more responsible, we have made a little list for you to check out. Shop in ANY of these places and know that your money is spent wisely – giving back to the local community in Cambodia, creating jobs and a brighter future.

Babel Eco-shop and Refill Station

Before you go shopping, visit our Eco-shop here at Babel Guesthouse. Our vision with this shop is to make it easier for travelers who wish to reduce their traveling footprint to choose plastic-free alternatives. In our Eco-shop you´ll find various items perfect to bring on your travels. And the best thing is everything is Eco-friendly and locally made.

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If you don’t have a tote bag or a backpack, purchase one in our shop. That way you don’t have to bring unnecessary plastic bags from your shopping back to Babel. Note - our tote bags are specially made to our shop by Friends N Stuff - creating jobs for locals.

If you don’t have a refillable water bottle, purchase one in our shop, and be part of our Refill NOT landfill campaign. You can fill this bottle up with water for free here at Babel and bring it with you. When it’s empty, simply fill it up at refill stations all over town. In fact, you can fill it up at Refill stations all over the country, and 5 other counties in South East Asia.  Check out the map of Refill stations HERE!

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Forgot your shampoo at home? Or did you just run out of mosquito repellent? Don’t worry, we got you covered. Bring your empty bottle or take a donation container from our recycling box and fill up your necessities. We got shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, shower gel, laundry detergent, mosquito repellent, coconut oil and charcoal all available on bulk refill. Find the zero-waste traveler within you and join the refill revolution.  

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Our shop is open every day, any time of the day.

Made in Cambodia Market

Everything you find in this fair trade market is made in Cambodia. The main philosophy behind the Made in Cambodia Market is to help create Khmer jobs, from villagers producing the handicrafts to the sellers interacting with the visitors.

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At the Made in Cambodia Market you can connect meaning to your purchases, as there is often someone there to tell you exactly where it came from and about the hands that crafted it. You can even visit many of the workshops creating these local products, and see and learn about the production process yourself. We have many of these workshops included in our “Responsible Day-tours” in our TOUR book placed in all our rooms at Babel Guesthouse.

Are you staying with us at Babel over a Saturday? Don’t miss out on the free traditional APSARA dance performances every Saturday, at the Made in Cambodia Market from 6.00 pm – 7.00 pm.

The Made in Cambodia Market is situated in King´s Road Angkor, right next to Hard Rock Café, on the other side of the river from the old Market.

Open every day from 12.00 am – 10.00 pm.

Angkor Handicraft Association

Angkor Handicraft Association is an open souvenir market that offers a place for local artisans and rural producers to showcase their handicraft to travelers looking for responsible shopping in Siem Reap.

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The AHA Souvenir Market features handmade silk, cotton, silverware, statues made from stone, bronze and wood, hand-woven textiles and natural fibers, paintings, bags and accessories, ceramics and much more.

Our travel cutlery sets in Babel Eco-shop and Refill station are special made by artisans from Angkor Handicraft Association.

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Angkor Handicraft Association is located on the way to the Angkor Temples Checkpoint on Road 60. It’s a a nice little Tuk Tuk ride away, by the beautiful Siem Reap river.

Open every day from 10.00 am – 7.00 pm.

Friends ´n stuff

Friends ´n stuff is part of Friends International, an international social enterprise sponsored by UNICEF (among others). This fair trade shop sells a range of products made by marginalized families from the countryside. You can choose from bags, clothing, jewelry and accessories and know that your purchase is directly helping a family to secure a future for their children.

Most of the materials they work with come from recycled materials like newspapers, rugby balls, tires, cutlery, food packaging and magazines. They often use the end of the fabric rolls from sarongs, kromas (the traditional, all-purpose Khmer scarf), cotton and vinyl; and more importantly, all materials are locally sourced.

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The use of recycled materials helps fight Asia´s increasing litter problem, while at the same time increases the producers’ environmental consciousness. 

This is exactly our aim at Babel Eco-shop and Refill Station as well - to fight plastic pollution and help support the local population. That’s why we get our tote bags, coconut bags, soap bags and cutlery bags specially made by ladies from this wonderful project.

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Friends n stuff s main shop is inside Friends Internationals vocational training restaurant in Siem Reap, Marum. A ten minutes walk from Babel Guesthouse.

Open every day from 11.00 AM – 10.30 pm.

REHASH trash

Rehash Trash turns roadside rubbish into beautiful stylish items while providing income for disadvantaged women in Siem Reap. It not only makes great products and cleans up the environment, but it also changes and empowers the lives of struggling mothers and their families.

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At their shop in the Wat Damnak area a bit outside the city you can also do a workshop and learn how to turn trash into treasure yourself. A visit to Rehash trash is soon part of one of our “Responsible Day-Tours” in our TOUR book placed in all our rooms at Babel Guesthouse.

Open every day from 8.00 am – 5.00 pm.

Ps. Did you by mistake bring a plastic bag back home? Leave it in the bag collection point here at Babel. Staff from Rehash Trash collect them every week and turn them into stylish stuff.

Peace Café Fair trade shop

Inside one of Siem Reap´s very first vegetarian restaurants Peace café is a fair trade store with a big variety of products that includes clothing and scarves, accessories, puzzles and bags.

Peace Café Fair Trade Shop partners with a huge variety of grassroots organizations that are helping people to come out of poverty.

Peace Café has a large, very nice and quiet garden, and is situated right by the river a little Tuk Tuk ride outside Siem Reap - towards the Angkor Temples Checkpoint.

Open every day from 7.00 am – 9.00 pm.

Artisans Angkor

Artisand Angkor is a Cambodian social business creating job opportunities for young people in rural areas, while reviving traditional Khmer craftsmanship. The organization was founded in 1992 and is known for their silk and their stone-, ceramics and silver-crafts.

Artisans Angkor has implemented environmental policies. Their products are safe for the health and environmental-friendly, as proven by their compliance with European standards.

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Two sites are open to the public in Siem Reap; one specializing in crafts located a 2 minutes walk from the Old Market and the other specializing in silk at the Angkor Silk Farm, a 20 minutes Tuk Tuk ride from Siem Reap city centre. We strongly recommend a visit to this silk farm in our TOUR book at Babel.

Open every day from 7.30 am – 6.30 pm.

Genevieve´s Fair Trade Village

Genevieve’s Fair Trade Village (GFTV) is a social enterprise focused on creating a fair trade environment that benefits artisans and craftspeople with disabilities, in the Siem Reap area.

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Genevieve´s Fair Trade Village is situated right off Pub Street and is open every day from 9 am – 10 pm.

Other Fair Trade shops in the city center of Siem Reap:

Sala Susu

Very Berry

Khmer Ceramics

Smateria

Garden of Desire

Fair Trade shops in Kandal Village:

Kandal Village is located between the old market and the French quarter, only walking distance from Babel Guesthouse. The charming streets of Kandal Village are filled with interesting shops that focus particularly on showcasing Cambodian produce with a fair trade supporting the artisans.

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Here is a little list of small shops with a big heart:

Saarti

Mademoiselle Thyda

Trunkh

Sanya Arts

SRAMAY

Soieries du Mekong

Garden of Desire

We at Babel Guesthouse really hope this blog post will be a helpful tool – to make sure your money is spend wisely – giving back to the local community in Cambodia, creating jobs and a brighter future.

And always remember when you go shopping – BRING A TOTE-BAG!

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