Sri Lanka is extremely rich in its handicrafts. I absolutely went berserk upon seeing their masks, statues, leather products, fabrics. And then they are famous for their gems and semi-precious stones too. Plus, Sri Lanka has Noritake’s outselts. In short, I knew, this would be heaven. To top it, our luggage entitlement gave us scope for 40-50 kgs more!! Halleluiah! The only thing we were short on, was time, but that could be managed. For, by now, we had toured all of Sri Lanka, and knew where to get the best bargains. Here are a few tips on shopping in Sri Lanka
Handicrafts: There are a whole lot of private shops that sell a wide range of handicrafts and other wares, pieces of furniture. The one near Sigiriya is one of the biggest. However, we found, that the prices in all of these private shops are obnoxious. The best place to buy them are from the state owned shop called Laksala. Outlets of Laksala can be found in every town of tourist interest. But I liked the one in Colombo the best. Spread across two floors in the main city of Colombo, the outlet is one of the biggest, and has everything that you may want to take back home from Sri Lanka.
Gems and Jewellery: Now, for this, you need to go to a reputed shop that is government authorised and offers reasonable prices. We went to one such, called the, Gen Bureau Colombo, that is located at the city centre, and has an awful lot of options. Together with good rates and certificate of authenticity, the owner of the shop helped me choose pieces of my taste and also got a small piece modified for a ring in a very short time.
Noritake glassware: Well, we had made it a point to buy a good set from Noritake. And while we knew there were outlets in Colombo, we shopped for ours from the factory outlet on our way to Kandy. The rates were extremely good there. Should you be travelling towards Kandy, we suggest you pick up your Noritake from the outlet enroute. Here is more about the store – Tabbleware Shopping at Noritake, Sri Lanka
Herbal medicines: Well, I told you in my post – Spice & Herbal Garden Tour in Sri Lanka – about how we lost our minds while buying things there. However, if you were to exercise more restraint than us, we’d recommend you to buy only those medicines that you may really need. Their medicine for skin rashes is really good. The sandalwood oil is overpriced. So are many other items. Take a good call.
P.S: For a complete Sri Lanka itinerary and tour details, read — Best Itinerary & Blogs for Sri Lanka Road Trip