Shopping

Shopping

There are treasures to be found

More on Battambang

Battambang doesn’t really lend itself easily, or much at all, to identification as a shopping mecca, or even the kind of place you might go slightly out of your way for to satisfy your material desires, unless you dream of tractors. But there are still interesting things to be found in among the phone shops and hair salons.

Travelfish says:
Where would we be without $25 Chanel bags? Totes original, obvs. At BTB Mall. Photo by: Nicky Sullivan.
Where would we be without $25 Chanel bags? Totes original, obvs. At BTB Mall. Photo: Nicky Sullivan

If you’re one of those shoppers that requires air-con, walls and peculiar things like that, you could make your way down to the BTB Mall toward the south end of Street 3. It’s just a fancifed street market, with all the usual guff, at twice the price. Apparently a stunning colonial villa was flattened to make way for this ungodly piece of architectural drear. There’s also a small night market on the riverside in front of Psas Nath, which is quite sweet albeit more for the people watching than purchasing opportunities.

Another spot is Jewel In The Lotus, an extraordinary pirate’s chest of stunning comics, jewellery, clothing, posters and postcards and Lord knows what else, all with a distinctly alternative edge to it. The shop is owned and run by Kchao Touch and her husband. Touch is one of Cambodia’s foremost artists, and her lovely, feminine, dreamy work can also be found in the Lotus Bar & Gallery on the other side of the road.

Utterly pukka, for sure. Photo by: Nicky Sullivan.
Utterly pukka, for sure. Photo: Nicky Sullivan

For something totally special, you can’t beat an original work of art from one of Battambang’s students or graduates of the art school at Phare Ponleu Selpak. You can visit the school itself during the day, including their dedicated gallery inside a traditional Khmer wooden villa. You can watch the students at work, and pick your way through a portfolio of their creations, all of which is for sale. Who knows, you may be picking up a piece by a future star of Asia. Drop in on weekdays between 08:00 and 12:00 and 14:00 ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 300 words.)

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Reviewed by

Nicky Sullivan is an Irish freelance writer (and aspiring photographer). She has lived in England, Ireland, France, Spain and India, but decided that her tribe and heart are in Cambodia, where she has lived since 2007 despite repeated attempts to leave. She dreams of being as tough as Dervla Murphy, but fears there may be a long way to go. She can’t stand whisky for starters. She was a researcher, writer and coordinator for The Angkor Guidebook: Your Essential Companion to the Temples, now one of the best-selling guidebooks to the temples.

Tours in Cambodia



Our top 10 other sights and activities in and around Battambang

Bamboo train
Bamboo train

Worth a go—if it is working!

Cooking classes
Cooking classes

Hands on and delicious

Phare Circus
Phare Circus

Unmissable

Ek Phnom and Wat Baset
Ek Phnom and Wat Baset

A fine taster for Angkor

Phnom Sampeou
Phnom Sampeou

Battambang's killing fields

Tours of Battambang
Tours of Battambang

A range of options

The art scene in Battambang
The art scene in Battambang

An interesting scene

Battambang Provincial Museum
Battambang Provincial Museum

Angkorian spendours

Prasart Stueng
Prasart Stueng

A great little temple

Phnom Banan
Phnom Banan

Hilltop temple and caves