Siem Reap has always been the handicraft hub of Cambodia, and its fine tradition of handmade textiles, carvings, and ceramics dates back many centuries before the Angkor period. The beautiful carvings and bas reliefs on Angkor temples display the handicrafts of 12th century Cambodia, and many of the same items are still produced today, thanks to the skill of artisans who dedicate their lives to techniques passed down through generations.
Sadly, many of these uniquely Cambodian handicrafts have been overlooked for years while mass-produced, foreign-made products fill the stalls of markets across Cambodia. Visitors to Siem Reap are often deprived of authentic products while talented Khmer artists struggle to access a thriving souvenir market that could potentially support families and communities.
The Angkor Handicraft Association identified this issue and built a permanent souvenir market that would create a direct link between artisans and visitors. The Fair Trade Village quickly earned a reputation for the quality, range and the authenticity of its handicrafts. As the region became a popular tourist destination and the economy grew, the local handicraft market expanded. However with the expansion of the sector, fake imports and market disadvantages for independent producers also increased. AHA needed new and stronger partnerships to create a bigger impact on the livelihood of rural artisans and focus on its core organisational activities.
Angkor Handicraft Association and Naga Handmade partnered with local artisans to create a sustainable model for the Fair Trade Village. The project aims to provide visitors with a friendly and relaxed environment, where they can explore the work of some of the finest artisans, and where authenticity, fair trade practices and contribution to the local economy are guaranteed.
While the wide range of unique products continues to impress visitors, this market is much more than a retail experience. Some items are handmade at the Fair Trade Village, providing a firsthand view of age-old techniques and skills unique to local communities. The friendly and relaxed atmosphere encourages visitors to spend time learning about Khmer artistry.
At the Fair Trade Village, visitors can take home authentic Cambodian handicrafts while making a positive impact on the local community, helping to preserve ancient skills and advancing the economies of many communities that rely on handicrafts for survival.
Our mission is to build a relationship between international visitors and the local communities that produce some of the most beautiful handmade creations in South-East Asia.