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iXiGOers Dec 09 2012

What are the popular items to buy in Colombo?

Benazir Khan DEC 10 2012
1 person found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

Colombo has many places where you can get the best bargains! Starting from the modern shopping malls to the specialty stores, you have a plethora of choices of high quality goods at very affordable prices. If you are looking for better bargains, try your bargaining skills with the street vendors and outdoor markets such as in the Pettah area and across from the Fort Railway Station.

Products that are worth buying in Sri Lanka include world famous Ceylon tea, various designer clothes manufactured in Sri Lanka and jewellery including the Sri Lankan blue sapphire.
You may find many expensive products like gadgets for very cheap prices in Colombo, but for that you will have to trust your instincts because there are fewer chances for you to get any guarantee of quality. However, the variety of shopping goodies will definitely make you want to pick up everything you see.  Let’s look at the many things that you can shop in Colombo:

  • Antiques

    The rich Sri Lankan heritage blended gorgeously with Asian and European influences brings out exotic furniture and objets d’art. Several antique shops selling and displaying antiques of the Colonial period are available in the city. You can purchase furniture, ornaments, brass lamps, Moorish porcelain and pottery. Ambalangoda and Galle Fort are the most famous places for antiques.

  • Traditional Craft

    There are many home based cottage industries where the skilful artisans produce traditional arts & crafts with intricate detailing. The best idea is to buy these crafts from the villages where you can also observe how they are crafted. Government run Laksala outlets in Colombo and Kandy or Lakpahana in Colombo are other options to pick up some traditional products.

  • Contemporary Crafts

    The traditional art and craft blended exquisitely with contemporary designs has been experimented by the local artisans here and resulted in gorgeous products. These are made of indigenous materials such as elephant dung, recycled paper, terracotta, and scented woods and oils, and handloom fabrics. These products make wonderful souvenirs that includes Elephant dung stationery, relaxing massage oils, scented candles, handloom toys and linen, “I Love Sri Lanka” T-shirts.

  • Gems & Jewellery

    If you believe in Astrology, this is your time to buy the best quality gems! Premium quality Sri Lankan precious and semi-precious gemstones including Blue Sapphires, Red Rubies, Tourmalines, Zircons, Cat’s Eyes, Alexandrites, Garnets, Amethysts and Topaz can be bought from the shops in Colombo. The town of Ratnapura is home to one of the best gem and jewellery industry. Here you can not only purchase gems but see the gems being mined, cut and polished as well. This industry is monitored by the National Gem and Jewellery Authority which has outlets located in Colombo and Ratnapura to check the authenticity of gems that you have purchased.

  • Handloom Products

    Handloom products are found in many places in Colombo. Clothing, curtaining, table linen, cushions and upholstery fabrics in hand spun cotton fabric are made in the villages are popular things to buy in Colombo. They will brighten up tour houses with the vibrant sunny colours that are used inn making these products.  

  • Tea

    Take home a packet of world famous Ceylon Tea from Colombo. There is a choice of savouring different blends of tea in the tea factories here in Colombo. You can also purchase directly from estates such as Labookelle Tea Estate close to Nuwara Eliya, Dambatanne Tea estate in Haputale, Bogawantalawa Tea Estates in Dickoya and the Tea Research Institute in Talawakelle. These teas are also sold in specialist tea centres and grocery stores such as Cargills Food City and Keells Super in the main towns across the island. The world renowned Dilmah Teas and Mlesna Tea are highly recommended.

  • Spices

    Spices are another speciality in Sri Lanka. Being the world’s second largest cinnamon exporter, you can find best quality cinnamon in the shops of Colombo. You can purchase fresh cinnamon from plantations in Mirissa as well as in Koggala where villagers process cinnamon on an island on the Koggala Lake. Apart from cinnamon, various other aromatic spices and condiments such as mixed curry powder, chilli powder, saffron, turmeric, cloves can be purchased from the grocery stores here.

So, don't let anyone stop you from indulging in a shopping spree, with the whole range of options that you have in Colombo!

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