SAARC Tourism
Sri Lanka


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Shopping in Sri Lanka Colombo
Colombo offers wide range of handicrafts and other items on sale. Government-run 'Laksala' emporium is one of the best places to buy handicrafts like batik, lacquerware, handloom cloth, painted wooden masks etc. In addition, there are the Handloom Emporium, the Sri Lanka Handloom Emporium and the Sri Lanka Gem & Jewellery Exchange. Daily use chores -including some excellent spices, teas and fruit flavoured teas, spices, ceramics and clothing can be purchased at Liberty Plaza, Colombo's main shopping district. One can purchase plenty of imported goods in Colombo for it is a free trade zone.

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For purchasing handicrafts you can visit Eco Gallery, Elephant Walk, Laksala, Prassana Batiks and Kalaya. Prominent antique stores are Barefoot, Paradise Road, Serendip Gallery, Roux Brothers and Hermitage.

Nuwara Eliya
You can visit places like Laksala Gifts, Maurya, The Grand and Cargill's. For tasting outdoor markets of Sri Lanka visit the Sunday Fair, held behind Cargill's. Laksala Gifts is a fine place for souvenirs. Things are available in good variety and cheap prices. The Grand has plenty of tourist shops selling things like batiks, tea, silk, figurines and masks. But things can be overpriced here. In the month of April, scores of temporary shops crop up on the bus stand-racecourse road. This place is a nice option if you are fond of barter dealing. Maurya is a nice place if you want to deal in saris, sarongs or other textiles. Local music scores can also be purchased here. Cargill's is the main grocery chain of Sri Lanka. For Western-style groceries, alcohol or pharmaceutical items, Cargill's is the best place to go.

Galle is a good place in Sri Lanka to look colonial pieces and antiques. Ceramics, jewellery and bric-a-brac are common items people search for. Olanda possess Dutch period furniture and reproduction including carved wooden window and door lintels. One can take home brass door hings, Buddhist and Hindu statues, and ceramic door knobs. If you prefer standard handicrafts, there's a Laksala (Sumudradisi Mawatha) in the town. You can also visit Shoba Apparel in Galle fort. In the bylanes of Galle Fort one can find mindboggling collection of antiques which includes sofa sets, bed, cutlery, furnishing and glassware.

Most popular handicraft in Galle is lace making. Brussels and the more contemporary Honiton type lace is available. This type of lace is handmade on pillows. Another popular local craft is gem polishing. Several jewellers shops are located here. Carved pieces of ebony are another option if lace and jewelery don't fascinate you.

Sri Lanka Shopping Kandy
Most precious offerings of Kandy are gemstones like sapphires, rubies, zircon, beryls and quartz. If gems are out of your budget you can take home handicrafts. Woodcarving has long been associated with the Kandyan region. Wooden roofs, pillars, doors, windows, and even wooden bridges were all bedecked with finely carved designs. You can find elegant trays, wall plaques and figurines. Sesath is unique craft to Sri Lanka. It is used for interior decor.

Skilled Kandyan craftmen produced high quality leather products like handbags, belts, wallets etc. Lacquer crafts produce articles like ash trays jewellery boxes stands for flower pots etc. employing age old techniques. You can find best exponents of art work in Kandy. You can get items like ash trays, mirror frames, serviette rings, letter openers, letter holders, oil lamps, trays, bowls vases, spittoons etc. Silver is used to make expensive utility objects like jewellery jewellery boxes, tea sets and trays. Copper and brass articles are plated with silver or gold. Kandyan jewellery encompasses complete range of head to foot ornaments, both for men and women.

Articles made of copper and brass are also plated with silver or gold or anodised to prevent tarnishing and to eliminate the need for regular polishing. Every would-be bride in Sri Lanka wants to be dressed in Kandyan Jewellery. Master craftsmen of Sri Lanka make unique jewellery.

You can buy souvenir items at the popular sites of Anuradhapur. You have the options of purchasing replica artefacts, postcards, earrings, carved wooden figurines, masks and number of other items. Zam Zams has a wide assortment of products. Essentials can be purchased from any of the pharmacies.

Note: Law prohibits illegal to remove items older than 100 years old from the country. You may face up to three years in Sri Lankan prisons for attempting that. You should always purchase replicas from the vendors.

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