the souvenir shopper Sri Lanka offers a whole treasure house. Small
craft and souvenir shops surround virtually every resort hotel, with
mementos to suit every budget. Bargaining is the order of the day.
What to Buy?
The best bargains are carved wooden masks, leather goods such as bags
and belts. Silver and gold jewellery and precious gemstones like rubies
and sapphires are widely sold. Hand-woven textiles, sarongs, fabrics and
brassware are other good picks. Ceramic drinking gourds, batiks, bronze
and tea are other items which deserve to be bought. Beware!
Tourists should be careful while buying gems on the street or from
dealers. They offer irresistible bargains, however, on returning home,
the stone bought may turn out to be worthless. Goods made from ivory,
turtle shell, coral reefs or reptile skin of any kind should totally be
avoided, for they are illegal and the new purchases will be confiscated
by customs at time of the homeward journey.
Also, never go to a shop with a tout or a guide. You will only end up
Where to Buy?
The best place for buying gemstones is Ratnapura, the gem city
of Sri Lanka. If bought from Colombo one should confine only to the
reputed gem centres.The best wooden masks are found in Ambalangoda.
Odel Pvt Ltd, Colombo 7; Majestic City,Galle Road,Colombo 4 and Liberty
Plaza, R. A. Demel Mawatha, Colombo 3 are the best shopping centres in
Monday-Friday 8 am-5 pm. Most stores are closed
on Saturday afternoons.