Shopping! What a magic word it is for 100% of girls and 70% of boys (most of them, however, will never admit it!). Going shopping when you are on holiday in a hot exotic country is a must! So, what can you spend your Lankan rupees on?
Ceylon tea is famous all over the world and fully deserves its being called the best. So, tea is what you should include as number one in your shopping list. You can certainly buy some classic sorts but it is also a good idea to try several experimental blends. Tea can be found literally everywhere: small stores, supermarkets, street markets, and shops at the plantations where tea is grown. Ironically, the plantation shops option is the most expensive one!
Spices export is the second after tea business in Sri Lanka. Here there are unique spices that cannot be found anywhere else! Particularly famous are curry and vanilla. In fact, vanilla can be really costly, so be careful! And do not forget about turmeric, saffron and cinnamon – in Sri Lanka these spices are the best in the world!
The island makes many girls happy as it can boast a wide variety of natural cosmetics, oils in particular. And the quality is perfect! The only dilemma you have to solve is what and how to choose out of such great diversity – what is the most suitable for you? For your friends? Your sister and mother? For your boss? If you are not an expert, just choose coconut oil as it is the real oil king due to its versatile nature – it can be added to food, used for massages and moisturizing, applied to hair, poured into aroma lamps, – well, whatever you please!
For all of you who are crazy about precious stones, Ratnapura is the town of great interest. Here you can see how the stones are mined, cut and polished and of course buy some jewelry with precious or semi-precious gemstones. Sri Lanka is particularly famous for its pink sapphires, so pay attention to them. However, you must know something about gemstones as the local sellers might be rather cunning when persuading you to buy a stone. If you do not know much about this matter, then go to the capital, Colombo, where you can get certified gemstones.
Sri Lanka’s cotton and silk are of excellent quality. Here there is a wide choice of tablecloths, painted shawls and bedspreads as well as affordable clothes of great quality. If you prefer exotic style, then you will find a lot of nice things! In Sri Lanka you can also renew your kids’ wardrobe with reasonably-priced items of exceptional quality.
To haggle or not to haggle?
Bargaining in Asia is always acceptable, but in Ceylon don’t be too persistent – you will hardy get more than 30% off. Besides, Sri Lankans honour and respect their tourists. Well, tourists here are not treated as cash cows, but considered to be rather well-off as people of different social status. So, it is better to save face and not to beg too much for a discount.