Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Angkor souvenir shop is family gift



Angkor souvenir shop is family gift

Angkor souvenir shop is family gift

O N your next visit to Angkor Wat look for the new souvenir shop near the temple's front entrance. Even if you don't purchase any of the handicrafts displayed, it is worth speaking to the proprieter, Hem Sarun.

The shop is the latest extension of a vision that Sarun had when he returned from the border camps to Cambodia.

Hem Sarun started with an idea and a $3,000 Carere grant, which he used to build his first shop near the Siem Riep airport in the village of Baray Tukvill.

An additional $1,000 investment has made possible the extension to the Angkor Wat location.

At Baray Tukvill, the approach to the shop takes one up a path, past gardens and a water lily pond, to an L-shop and the impressive displays of Cambodian handicrafts within.

Hem Sarun is the architect, planner, procurer, project manager and proprietor. But he is also a Khmer teacher for the children of his workers.

The profits of the beautifully laid out shop are split among families in the cooperative that work in and around the shop, and are used to fund a literacy program run in the shop itself.

"Many of the families are too poor to send their children to school, they must help the family to survive.

"We try to teach the children their alphabet. If we take one letter a day, we can teach them the entire alphabet in two months."

Hem Sarun teaches about thirty students at a time.

In addition he tries to find ways to support widows and their orphans with work connected to the shop. Many came from the border camps, and upon their repatriation to the Battambang area they were unable to solve the largest problem facing them.

"How to find land to support themselves, was the problem they could not solve. All of the land is taken already or it is unsafe," Sarun said.

But there are also families who are part of the Battambang poor and who spent the years of externally supported civil war inside Cambodia.

Sarun's shops display a wide range of Cambodian arts made by craftsman from all over the country. Pottery, wood carvings and sculptures, paintings, and woven cloth, are tastefully displayed through-out the shop. Some of the most beautiful basket ware comes from Siem Riep Province itself.

The Baray Tukvill shop is located on Route 6, near the airport.

To reach the shop, drive a short distance toward Battambang (west) away from the Siem Riep/airport intersection.

The shop lies on the right hand side and is easily seen from Route Six.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Hun Sen: Stay where you are, or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the two-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal provincial town Takmao could be extended if people are not cooperative by staying home. “Now let me make this clear: stay in your home, village, and district and remain where

  • Businesses in capital told to get travel permit amid lockdown through One Window Service

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration has issued guidelines on how to get travel permission for priority groups during the lockdown of Phnom Penh, directing private institutions to apply through the municipality's One Window Service and limit their staff to a mere two per cent. In

  • Ministry names types of business permitted amid lockdown

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training singled out 11 types of business that are permitted to operate during the lockdown of Phnom Penh and Takmao town, which run through April 28. Those include (1) food-processing enterprises and slaughterhouses; (2) providers of public services such as firefighting, utility and

  • Culture ministry: Take Tuol Sleng photos down, or else

    The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts has told Irish photographer Matt Loughrey to take down the photos of Khmer Rouge victims at Tuol Sleng Genocidal Museum which he allegedly colourised and altered to show them smiling. The ministry said Loughrey's work is unacceptable, affecting