Dating back thousands of years, the Kingdom of Cambodia is rich in culture, history and heritage. You definitely have your work cut out for you in terms of choosing Cambodian gifts!
If you need a little help, however, here are a few suggestions that should delight both natives and foreign culture enthusiasts.
36 Cambodian Gift Ideas
To Make History Come Alive: Five-Piece Angkor Wat Canvas Wall Art
Angkor Wat is one of the oldest and most well-known temples in Cambodia. It even takes center stage on the Cambodian flag! However, the simple drawings found on mugs and key chains can’t compare to the stunningly realistic detail of this larger-than-life art piece.
It stretches a full five feet along the wall, and it depicts Angkor Wat in the golden hours of sunset as reflected by a lake. It’ll be an absolutely amazing addition to your loved one’s home decor, and it’ll represent their love of Cambodian history, culture and architecture all at once.
For the Fragrance of Home: Crassna Khmer Cambodian Agarwood Incense Sticks
Transport them straight to the streets of Siem Reap with this locally-sourced and locally-produced incense. It’s made from agarwood, which has a sharp, strong smell that isn’t to everyone’s taste, but it’s one of the most identifiable fragrances from the heady mix of foods, shops, temples and tuk-tuks of the busy streets of Cambodia.
Whether they’re a native who misses their homeland or just a traveler or culture enthusiast who would appreciate an authentic Cambodian gift, this incense will make them feel like they’re abroad again.
Just Say No to Kryptonite: Super Cambodian Heritage T-Shirt
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s… the Super Cambodian! This t-shirt is sure to get a guffaw from your Cambodian friends and family. It depicts two hands grasping the “fabric” of the tee and ripping it aside, but instead of revealing Superman’s costume underneath, it reveals the Cambodian flag.
You can order it for just about any Cambodian person in your life since it’s available in multiple cuts, colors and fits. Whether they’re a 10-year-old boy or a 50-year-old grandma, everyone will be proud to show off their heritage like a superhero!
Because Beauty is in the Details: Unframed Phnom Penh Metropolitan City View Street Map Print
Perfect for collectors, this map offers a painstakingly detailed look at the streets of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Every single twist and turn is represented in high resolution. It’s the kind of unique decorative item that can take center stage on a feature wall; its monochrome style will also look nice in offices, studios and libraries.
Just note that it’s unframed, so you’ll probably want to buy a frame of your own before wrapping it and handing it over.
For a Friend With a Sense of Humor: Apsara Dance Hands and Gestures PopSockets Grip
The aspara dance is a centuries-old tradition in Cambodia, one that involves sinuous, intricate hand gestures that tell stories of folklore and religion. This phone grip, however, takes a slightly less solemn approach: It has the hand gestures for “flower,” “leaf” and “f*** off!” It’ll be a hilarious gift for someone who doesn’t mind bringing a little levity and modernity to old customs.
It’ll also be great for yogis and other spiritualists who still poke fun at the world despite their inner zen!
For the Foodie: Nhum: Recipes from a Cambodian Kitchen
Cambodian cuisine is still largely unknown to the Western world, but with the help of Nhum: Recipes from a Cambodian Kitchen, you can learn how to cook just as well as a Cambodian chidaun (grandmother).
The book combines both new and traditional flavors for a smorgasbord of meal ideas. Whether you’re interested in something as simple as lemongrass chicken or as complex as sticky rice with jackfruit that’s been stuffed and wrapped into banana leaves, this cookbook can bring the taste of Cambodia to your own dinner table in no time.
When Their Heart Beats For Two Countries: American Grown With Khmer Roots Throw Pillow
Ideal for immigrants and the children of immigrants, this throw pillow celebrates the uniquely dual heritage of Cambodian-Americans. Its artwork is divided into two parts: The top half is an American flag in the shape of a tree, and the bottom half is a Cambodian flag shaped like a sprawling network of roots.
The text says “American Grown With Khmer Roots” to further emphasis its message of two cultures, two citizenships and two places to call home.
When the Dreamhouse is an Entire Kingdom: Dolls of the World: Princess of Cambodia Barbie
Barbie is a worldwide icon, but did you know that there was a “Princess of Cambodia” Barbie produced in 2003? She wore a traditional, off-the-shoulder wraparound garment with a crown-like golden headdress as is traditional of female Cambodian dancers.
This doll is so rare and exclusive that it isn’t even sold by Mattel anymore; you have to purchase it through third parties. If you don’t mind splurging, however, it’s a killer keepsake for collectors and general culture enthusiasts worldwide.
The Best Part of Waking Up: Cambodian Ginger Coffee
Harvested from Ratanakiri, a small province in northeast Cambodia, this coffee combines the richness of the country’s java with the slightly sweet and slightly pungent flavor of ginger. If you aren’t familiar with the health benefits of ginger, they’re quite extensive; not only can this root crop help with things like nausea, indigestion and high blood sugar, but it’s even been studied as a weight loss tool! If you’re looking for some coffee to wake up your taste buds in the morning and boost your overall health throughout the day, consider Cambodian ginger coffee.
When They’re Awesome and They Know It: Awesome Cambodian Ceramic Coffee Mug
Are you looking for something to go along with that ginger coffee? Consider a coffee mug that also embraces its roots. It says “Now You Know What an Awesome Cambodian Looks Like,” so it’ll be both humorous and meaningful for anyone who lives or works in a group setting.
Every time that they take a sip, they’ll be reaffirming their Cambodian heritage among friends, roommates or co-workers. They’ll also be reinforcing their awesomeness!
An Old Take on a New Notebook: Kingdom of Cambodia Vintage-Style Notebook
Measuring 6 x 9 inches, this notebook packs a big punch despite its small size. It’s designed to look like an old, waterlogged journal with the words “Kingdom of Cambodia” printed in both English and Khmer across a peeling version of Angkor Wat.
Though it’s rustic on the outside, it’s crisp and clean on the inside; there are 100 heavyweight cream pages to fill with whatever you’d like, so you can use the notebook for writing, doodling, journaling, list making, note taking and more.
Since it’s small, you can also slip it into a bag or backpack for easy portability.
To Brighten Up Their Living Room: Four-Piece Colorful Buddha Canvas Print Wall Art
While not strictly a Cambodian gift, this wall art depicts the Buddha, a revered figure in Cambodian culture and the deity of the country’s official religion. It’s a splashier, more colorful take on the Buddha that you usually see, which is one of the reasons why it’s so striking.
Another reason is that its single print is divided into four canvas squares measuring 12 x 12 inches each, so they can be arranged on the wall however your gift recipient would like. They can decide for themselves how the Buddha should watch over their home.
When They Don’t Mind Bringing the Heat: Kampot Pepper Three-Piece Gift Set
It can be hard to capture the unique flavors of amok trey and num banh chok without the actual spices used in Cambodia. Thankfully, you don’t have to fly to Kampot to buy them. This Kampot gift set offers red, black and white pepper straight from the source, and not only are they organically grown and harvested, but they also meet all fair trade criteria.
It’s the kind of gift that you can feel good about buying, so it’s a gift that gives back.
Honoring the Past: First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers
Cambodia experienced a terrible genocide in the 1970s, one that inspired award-winning films such as The Killing Fields. If you’re looking for historical accounts that are a little more authentic, however, you’ll want something like First They Killed My Father.
It’s a real, non-fictional memoir about a young girl who becomes a child soldier during the conflict, and though the subject matter is quite harrowing, the history and culture that can be found within is priceless.
It’ll be a meaningful gift for someone who is truly interested in Cambodia as a country.
For Him: Woven Silk Striped Cambodia Tie
Are you looking for Cambodian gifts for guys? Made with 100 percent silk, this tie will quickly become his to-go for important meetings and conferences. It’s available in both a standard 3.25 inches and a skinny 2.
5 inches, and it combines red and blue stripes with a small, subtle weaving of Angkor Wat on the tie tail. It’ll be a way to represent his culture and his people without waving his hands in the air and announcing, “Hey, everyone, I’m from Cambodia!”
Because Fashion Has No Age Barriers: Cambodia Flag Hair Bows
Perfect for school fairs or cultural festivals, these hair bows are adorable little representations of Cambodian spirit. They come in pairs with blue stripes running parallel along red ones and the white Cambodian flag temples in the center knot of the ribbon.
Each one is handmade, so there will be slight variations in size and shape when you order. They’re marketed as a girls’ fashion accessory, but there’s no reason why older fashionistas can’t wear them as well!
The Man Your Man Could Smell Like: 3ml Cambodian Oud Oil
Oud oil, also known as agarwood oil, is harvested from the agarwood trees in southeast Asia. It has the musky, earthy scent that agarwood trees are famous for, and it can be used as everything from an air freshener to a personal fragrance.
This gift is the latter; it comes in a sleek, jet-black bottle decorated with gold accents, and its name is printed in a stylish combination of English and Khmer. It also comes pre-wrapped in a gift box like all fancy fragrances, so all you need to do is press “order,” and you’ll be ready for your friend’s special occasion!
For a Civilization That Dates Back Millennia: The Khmer Kings and the History of Cambodia: Book One
The Khmer Kings and the History of Cambodia is an epic, dynasty-spanning series that covers everything from the early skirmishes of the Cambodian region in 700 CE to the contemporary politics that make up today’s parliament.
This is only the first book; there’s a second, and it’s just as impressively dense. If you someone who’s interested in the history of Cambodia, these doorstoppers would make excellent gifts as both sources of knowledge and handsome, heavyweight books for their home library.
Airline Peanuts Not Included: Pusheen Travel Neck Pillow Soft Plush
When they’re headed to Battambang, they’ll want to be comfortable on their flight. This is where accessories like the Pusheen neck pillow can come in handy. In addition to being cute and cat-shaped, it also provides soft but sturdy stuffing that will feel nice against their skin while simultaneously providing support for their neck and back.
The importance of a plump neck pillow on a 10- or 12-hour flight can’t be overstated!
For a World-Class Fridge: Angkor Wat and Apsara 3D Refrigerator Magnet
Handcrafted with incredible levels of detail on thick, golden-plated metal, you won’t believe that this is a refrigerator magnet. It looks like it should be a piece of jewelry or a work of art! It depicts not only the ancient temple of Angkor Wat but also a series of apsara dancers in traditional outfits.
If you want to make your fridge look like the ancient tomb of a long-forgotten king, this is the way to do it. Your kid’s crayon drawings will be elevated to the level of royalty.
Fairy Tales From Abroad: Angkat: The Cambodian Cinderella Paperback
Angkat: The Cambodian Cinderella tells an 18th century folk tale about a young girl who goes on a spiritual quest. It doesn’t really have anything to do with Cinderella, and it’s very distinctly Cambodian; her “fairy godmother” is actually more like a female version of Buddha, and the themes of her adventures are faith, fidelity, honor, justice and truth.
That said, it’s a beautifully illustrated and wonderfully told story, and it’s a suitable gift for collectors, culture enthusiasts and history buffs of all ages.
For Texas Hold ‘Em in Phnom Penh: Cambodian Playing Cards
If you’re looking for a quick and easy gift, consider these playing cards. They’re your standard-sized American deck, but the backs of the cards are printed with a Cambodian woman wearing a tall headdress with flowers in her hair.
Additionally, they’re bright red; this speaks to the colors of the Cambodian flag as well as the general aesthetic of splashy pop art. They’ll be a great addition to Cambodian-themed gift baskets or Christmas stockings!
Enlightenment Through Sheer Cuteness: Four-Piece Baby Buddha Resin Figurine Set
You’ve never seen monks look this adorable! They come in a set of four, and each one is a “baby Buddha” figurine with a shy or happy face. Though they hail from China, their shaved heads and plain monk robes have the same religious style that’s seen across a variety of Asian countries, so your Cambodian friend shouldn’t have a problem with them.
How can anyone criticize such sweet little faces?
When They’re Hip to the Trends: Turn Down for Wat Cambodian Khmer Pride T-Shirt
This is the kind of joke that you won’t understand unless you’re Cambodian or familiar with Cambodian culture. It says “Turn Down for Wat,” a play on the lyrics of DJ Snake’s song Turn Down for What, and it features an image of Angkor Wat.
It’ll be instantly funny to anyone who gets it, and it might even serve as a learning moment for others who are curious about its meaning. Angkor Wat is the largest temple in the world, after all.
Made with a high-quality black matte vinyl, this license plate frame is tough enough to withstand any kind of weather conditions. Your gift recipient can put it on their car and drive through even the wildest, most unexplored parts of Ta Khmau.
On the other hand, if they want to use it as a purely decorative home item, that’s on the table as well; it’ll look nice and stylish hanging on a wall or being propped up on a shelf. No matter where they place it, the “Kiss Me, I’m Cambodian” text is sure to get a laugh from anyone who sees it.
For the Sounds of Temples and Monasteries: Three-Set Hanging Harmony Bells
Bring the music of the east into their garden with these hanging “harmony bells.” There are three in total, and they’re made with a heavy, rustic-looking golden metal alloy that perfectly complements their thick ropes and knots.
Each one has a different size to produce a different sound. They can serve as decorations, wind chimes, window hangings and more, so encourage your loved one to get creative. There’s no wrong way to use these instruments of grace and serenity.
When She Kicks A** and Takes Names: Keep Calm Cambodian Coffee Mug
Does she have a high-pressure job? Is she a mom or grandma with a lot of responsibilities to juggle? This coffee mug says what she’s probably always thinking: “Keep Calm and Let the Cambodian Lady Handle It.
” It’ll be a funny gift for a loved one while also serving as a sweet message of support for her skills, self-esteem and overall ability to get sh** done. To really make her day, fill it with her favorite candy or a few complimentary handwritten notes!
For the Crafty: Cambodia Map Flag 3D Stickers
If you can’t decide on a single present for your Cambodian friend, how about 50 of them? These stickers have a geographically accurate map of Cambodia with the country’s colors and flag motif inside their borders.
Each one measures an inch, and they can be applied to any flat surface, including outdoor surfaces such as windows and car bumpers. They’ll be ideal for postcards, planners, calendars, scrapbooks, vacation bucket lists and more!
For the Last Man Standing: Survivor: Cambodia
20 people. 39 days. One survivor. This is the promise of Survivor: Cambodia, which drops its players onto the island of Koh Rong and leaves them to battle the sun, the wind, the rain and the ultimate challenge of outlasting each other to a $1 million prize.
Not only is it a compelling series, but it’s one where the beauty of Cambodia can be seen in everything from the sandy beaches to the curious critters that poke their heads out of the trees. The players are even allowed to tour an ancient temple, so you’ll get a free tour of your own through the television screen!
Phone Home: Cambodia Heart Art Flag Phone Case
Simple but stylish, this phone case will show off their pride as a Cambodian citizen or immigrant. It has a plain white background with the red and blue of the Cambodian flag emerging from the central temple in a fun splatter style, and everything is tucked into a heart with “Cambodia” written across the bottom for extra affection.
You can order it to fit everything from an iPhone SE 7 to an iPhone 12 Pro, so just make sure to fill out the right boxes when you purchase it.
To Do the Cheesy Tourist Thin: Cambodia Landmarks and Icons Collage Shot Glass
This one is for jetsetters, globetrotters and anyone who dreams of travel. Kitschy tourist souvenirs are a rite of passage when you go abroad! Unlike an “I Heart Cambodia” t-shirt, however, a shot glass won’t fade in the laundry or fall apart after repeated use.
They can keep toasting to Cambodia for years to come. Tell them to enjoy a shot for each of the cities and attractions represented on the glass: Angkor, Battambang and Phnom Penh.
When They’re Nice and Modest: Smart, Good-Looking Cambodian Novelty T-Shirt
“Smart, good-looking and Cambodian. It just doesn’t get any better than this.” If you have a Cambodian person in your life who would immediately laugh and agree with this sentiment, you’ve just found the perfect t-shirt for them! Best of all, since the saying doesn’t use any pronouns, you can buy the shirt for men and women alike.
Whether they’re a funny guy or a lovely lady, they can strut their stuff with a tee that knows their worth.
When The Time is Right: Flag of Cambodia Square Wall Clock
As you’ve probably noticed, the Cambodian flag is featured on a lot of Cambodian gifts, and this one is no exception. However, it’s far more impressive than your usual coffee mug or key chain: It’s a wall clock! The hands go around the red and blue stripes of the flag, and the golden dial is centered right in the middle of Angkor Wat.
Its square shape gives it an additional kick of contemporary chic. It won’t look out of place in a home or office anywhere, even if that location is far from Cambodia itself.
A Blast From the Past: Cambodian Dancers Vintage Travel Poster
Another gift that celebrates apsara dancers, this art print is actually a replica of an old Cambodia travel poster from 1946. It’s been enhanced and reprinted to bring out both the vividness of its colors and the intricacy of the craftsmanship that went into its details.
The original poster was advertising Angkor Wat as a tourist destination, but today, it’s just an awesome piece of art that celebrates travel, culture and beauty all at once. You don’t even have to be a Cambodian citizen to appreciate a piece of history like this.
To Get an Invite to Dinner: Royal Arms of Cambodia Apron
Aprons are a very sensible gift for cooks and grill masters, but “sensible” doesn’t have to mean “boring,” especially when you buy one like this! It’s a black apron printed with the elaborate and golden royal arms of Cambodia, so in addition to being visually striking, it’s also culturally significant.
Your gift recipient can literally wrap themselves up in their love of Cambodia. Don’t forget to point out the apron’s adjustable neck strap and waterproof fabric!
When You Ain’t Nothin’ But a Hound Dog: Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten: Cambodia’s Lost Rock and Roll LP
When you think about Cambodian music, you probably think about traditional instruments such as the gong and the zither. However, there’s a lot more to the country’s music scene than the old songs of the hill tribes, and Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten: Cambodia’s Lost Rock and Roll proves it.
It’s a look back at the trendy and popular music of Cambodia’s yesteryear, and it’s available in CD, MP3 and vinyl form, meaning that you can choose whichever collectible that you’d like for your gift recipient.
How cool is that?
Tips to Buy Cambodian Presents and souvenirs
The Kingdom of Cambodia is more than 40,000 years old; some scholars say that it even predates the birth of Jesus Christ. How are you supposed to pick through so much history and culture to find the perfect Cambodian gifts? Here are just a few suggestions.
Consider Your Audience
Who’s the lucky gift recipient? Where will they be opening their gift? Are they native to Cambodia or Vietnam? These details matter: Your wife might appreciate a “hot Cambodian girl” budget baseball cap, but your 90-year-old Cambodian grandmother might be less pleased, especially if you give it to her at a family birthday party.
Double-Check Everything for Accuracy
The language of Cambodia is called Khmer. Make sure you know what it looks like so that you don’t accidentally buy other products from Indochina that are printed with Thai, Chinese or Burmese. You should also pay attention to any religious iconography or military symbology that appears on your gift; you never know what some third-party seller has just slapped onto an item without a true understanding of its meaning.
Know Where Your Gift Comes From
Speaking of third-party sellers, while there’s nothing wrong with buying from legitimate ones back home, you should be wary of ordering from illegitimate ones. You could wind up with everything from delivery damages to poor or ripoff products. Especially if you’re ordering something like rice wine, Cambodian food, cinnamon, souvenir, art or jewelry, do your homework about whoever is sending it to you.
Be Careful With Sensitive Cambodian Subjects
Buddhism is more than just a way of thinking in Cambodia; it’s an official state religion. Your gift recipient might be shocked or offended by any disrespectful portrayals of him. Similarly, since Cambodia has a long history that includes many conflicts, uprisings and changes of government power, you’ll want to tread carefully when it comes to things like flags and insignias. If you even vaguely think that your gift might upset your friend, don’t buy it. That’s not what a gift is supposed to do!
These are just a few things to keep in mind when shopping for Cambodian gifts. Do you have any other tips or tricks for us? What kind of gifts make you happy? We’re always interested in the opinions of our readers, so let us know!