What really interested me was the traditional Korean clothes as this was the first time I could see them up close.
If you want to buy imported Korean products, the place to go is the Gyeongsangbuk-do trade center. It’s in the Phnom Penh-Daegu, Gyeongbuk Culture, Tourism and Trade Promotion Centre, or PGCT, beside the north part of the Phnom Penh Centre.
The Gyeongsangbuk-do trade centre was a new discovery for my friend and I on the weekend. On Sunday my friend and I we went into the PGCT to see what products and services the place could provide for Cambodians who really enjoy everything Korean. At the beginning we could not decide on which place we should enjoy first from the two places we decided to explore at PGCT.
The one on our left side was a shop where we could buy any kind of Korean product, and the other one was a culture centre where Korean and Cambodian cultural products were put on show.
My friend grabbed my hand and dragged me toward the shop on our left, which was called the Gyeongsanbuk trade centre, and we went in to see what interesting things were there. The place was similar to a medium-sized shop and contained lots of products. Just inside something attracted our attention. It was a display of Korean cosmetics on a shelf. Many different kinds of Korean cosmetic products were there such as masks, facial foam, facial cream, hand cream and so on.
Further on in the middle of the shop we were surrounded by all kind of Korean products such as Andong Yang Ban Rice, Cheongsong apples, Yeongchun pears, Ulleung-do herbs, Yeongyang powdered red pepper, sea-weed, snacks, drinks, more cosmetics, traditional Korean clothes, handbags, kitchen utensils, ginseng, handicraft gifts etc. They were all easily recognisable by the Korea characters on the products. For a while it seemed like we were shopping in Korea.
What really interested me was the traditional Korean clothes as this was the first time I could see them up close and touch them with my hand. Surprisingly, when I looked at the price, it was US$85 for a set, and I thought: “Wow, I could not afford this.”
Next, we explored the area towards the 3D movie theatre beside the Gyeongsangbuk-do shop, inside the Gyeongsangbuk-do trade centre. “It was free,” said one guide who worked there. “You should take up this special free offer,” he added, then gave us some 3D glasses and guided us to the door of the theatre where they show 3D movies every day.
We were guided to our seat and another guide who told us about the theatre. “The movies screen three times per day, and each time two movies are provided and they run for 15 minutes each,” the guide said.
The first movie was The Khmer Great Empire and it was about the history of Cambodia since the beginning until the Angkor period or Jayavaraman VII. The second movie was a Korean fairy tale called The Hero Horse, which was about the love of two angels who were given a mission from heaven to fight against the devil who had tried to control the world. Their job was to make the earth live in peace.
They were awesome movies because the 3D glasses and movie made it seem like the action was happening right in front of us. My friend was amazed how good the movies were and said he would watch them again.
When the movies ended, we went to the culture centre in front of the Gyeongsangbuk-do trade centre. There we were entertained by an exhibition of Cambodian and Korean culture and local products. All the products made by the two countries are in this exhibition and also some traditional stuff such as musical instruments, ornaments made from silver and bronze, Lakhoun masks and a photo of Phnom Penh taken during the French colonisation.
The Koreans also had displays in similar categories which identified their traditional culture and their home-made products.