If the Christmas shopping has been left to the last minute, fear not because AsiaLIFE has it covered. Here are some suggestions of great gifts to buy. Photography by Lucas Veuve and Enric Català.
Trinkets and Treasures
Trove is one of the latest stores to open its doors in the capital, specialising in selling quirky and unique trinkets and treasures, along with a whole lot more, all lovingly sourced from across the globe. From stylish aprons, elegant evening bags that hark back to the 1920s and travel accessories, to belts, intricately patterned napkin rings and every other treasure in between, Trove has got the gifts covered.
Corner of Bassac Lane and Street 308, Phnom Penh
Delve into the past at Estampe and browse the ccarefully curated collection of postcards, posters, black and white photos and original maps of Indochina from the early 20th Century, which are just a few of the vintage treasures stocked at Estampe. As well as offering the originals, owner Lien Bouvet, who has spent years searching the continent searching for these lost gems, has reprinted vintage photos onto notebooks, keyrings and glasses.
197A Street 19, Phnom Penh
Another new kid on the block is Bearing, which is injecting some classical, yet affordable, gentleman’s style into the capital. Specialising in leather shoes ($129) in a range of styles, gift sets are also available in the form of a tie, cufflinks and a handkerchief, as well as belts, shirts and trousers
382 Street 63, Phnom Penh
For funky men’s fashion, Kool As U by James Ou offers a range of menswear, from patterned T-shirts to jeans, jackets and a delightful denim range. And the Cambodian designer recently launched a ladies’ line so the boutique is now full of fashion for all.
23E1 Street 208, Phnom Penh
Creative collective Black Lab has drawn up a series of intricate maps of Phnom Penh, with stunning sketches of iconic buildings, such as Independence Monument and the Royal Palace, standing out. Sections have also been replicated on postcards and notebooks, making the perfect Cambodian-themed present. The ideal finishing touch to maps and postcards is to get them framed at Kenou on Street 9, next to Phsar Kapko.
Available at various places in Phnom Penh, including Nowhere Gallery, Artillery Cafe, Monument Books, Tea House and Plantation hotel
For handmade Khmer arts and crafts, Artisan Angkor has it covered. With everything from artistic works of art, carvings and statues to modern silk items, the social business, which launched in 1998 with the aim of rekindling the traditional arts across the country, is full of great gift ideas.
12 AEo Street 13, Phnom Penh
Food and Drinks
Having built up a strong reputation across the capital for providing top notch coffee, caffeine-lovers will be delighted to know that Feel Good Cafe flogs stylish packets of its beans. Specialising in providing high quality chemical free, fair trade organic coffee beans from Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia, its coffee make the perfect present. A range of teas are also available.
79 Street 136 & 11B Street 19, Phnom Penh; Street 1.5, near Phsar Nath, Battambang
Samai Distillery’s rum has proved popular across Cambodia, and the well-designed bottles are as catching on the eye as the beverage is on the tongue. Samai Gold Rum (70cl and 20cl), Samai Kampot Pepper Rum (20cl) and Samai PX Limited Edition (70cl) can be bought directly from the Street 830 venue or various other outlets.
Trove, Plantation, Teahouse, The 240 Shop, Chin Chi Asian Street Bar, all in Phnom Penh; La Fabrik, Battambang, Templation Hotel in Siem Reap, and from this month at FCC in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap and Amazing Cambodia Shop at Aeon Mall, Phnom Penh.
Monument Books & Toys has been building up to Christmas for months and has stocked its shelves with all the international best sellers and popular festive reads, making them readily accessible in Cambodia. Spanning a range of genres, iit has good reads to suit all. And don’t forget to take a trip to Monument Toys to get your hands on presents for the little ones.
111 Norodom Boulevard, Phnom Penh (main store)
For pre-loved reads, browse the shelves of D’s Books. Stocked full of secondhand classics, contemporary fiction, history, biographies and fact, for all ages, take your time to browse through the books and find some hidden beauties and classics.
Street 240 & 178, Phnom Penh
Help your female friends, relatives or other halves inject some fresh style into their wardrobe with a visit to Paperdolls. Home to a hive of designers, the wares on offer will dazzle with edgy fashion, one-off pieces and a whole lot of bling on sale. It also stocks a range of unique accessories.
Bassac Lane, Phnom Penh
Started by two French ladies, CULT provides a platform for the best of Cambodia’s ethical brands, from fashion to accessories and beauty, which are showcased at a monthly market. With many of the items now available to buy online, CULT’s offerings go further than just catering to women, with plenty for the lads to look at too.
Dec. 8 from 6pm to 10pm at Hops Brewery, Street 228, Phnom Penh; cultcambodia.com.