Encourage the revival of traditional Khmer arts and crafts with a visit to the Artisans workshop in Siem Reap.
What to experience ?
Artisans D’Angkor, in Siem Reap, welcome visitors daily between 7:30am and 5:30pm. Former students conduct free-guided tours of the workshops, in seven languages, offering an intimate insight into traditional handicraft skills.
During your tour, you will have a first hand look at the painstaking and meticulous process of the intricate wood and stone carving, lacquering, gilding, silver plating and silk painting that goes into each piece using local material and natural dyes. The stylish boutique on-site offers a unique collection of ornamental sculpture, lacquerware, silk weaving and silk painting for purchase.
Anyone interested in traditional textiles will relish a visit to the Angkor Silk Farm, 15 km west of Siem Reap. There you will experience the entire silk process, from the cultivation of the mulberry trees for the silk worms breeding, to the preparation of the silk thread for weaving. Free tours run daily between 8am and 5pm departing from the shop from 9:30am to 1:30pm.
They also maintain a number of boutiques. Their Angkor Café located opposite Angkor Wat is an air-conditioned retreat after exploring the temples. They also showcase their style in both International Airports, as well as in a newly opened boutique in Phnom Penh, opposite to the Post Office.
How does it help ?
The Artisans has reinvigorated Khmer crafts and has uncovered an ancient pool of artisans whose ancestors gave the world the temples of Angkor. Artisans d’Angkor established its Chantiers Ecoles (Skills Development Workshops) in 1999, at first supported by the French, now a Cambodian company, it is a model of a sustainable value chain approach where tourism, cultural revival, and local economic benefits are successfully interlinked.
Committed to the revival and preservation of traditional arts and crafts, the company promotes fair, sustainable development in order to provide benefits to the rural communities and to help building the pride of the Cambodian people in their cultural roots
The programme includes extensive training of young Cambodians in the arts of their ancestors to enable them to develop a talent. They join the programme after a series of skill and motivation tests and are trained free of charge for at least six months with a food allowance. It encourages students to use these skills at home, enabling them to stay in their villages instead of migrating to the cities.
They have created more than 1,000 jobs for young Cambodians, with 13 workshops operating in villages in the Siem Reap area.
Artisans d’Angkor is committed to responsible management and has pioneered a fair social policy for Siem Reap with guaranteed levels of pay, social and medical benefits. The artisans detain 20% of the company through an association, allowing them a voice in the decision-making process.
- 2006 Seal of Excellence for Handicrafts South-East Asia Programme for the “Natural Plate” and the “Sunset Shawl”, UNESCO – AHPADA
- 2008 Seal of Excellence for Handicrafts South-East Asia Programme for the “Picnic Tray” and the “Set of Temples Candle Holder”
Les Artisans d’Angkor