Sri Lanka has always been a known stop for most cruises thanks to some of the most unique and exquisite quality items available on this island. So while you’re there, you need to keep an entire day dedicated for shopping. Scout the local markets, or roam tirelessly in the high-end showrooms but be sure to take back the unique varieties this island nation has to offer. Here are some ideas for what to take home from Sri Lanka as a souvenir:
Gems. Sri Lanka is famous for its gems and semi-precious stones. You will find hundreds of jewellery shops selling an incredible variety of gorgeous jewellery ladened with sapphires, rubies, topazes and amethysts. Varying in colours, shapes, cuts and sizes, you could bring the design or a pattern of the piece you want to be made, and local jewellers will complete your order within a couple of days, providing you with a stunning souvenir to last forever.
Tea. It’s no secret that some of the best teas in the world originate from Sri Lanka. With more than 4% of the island's land covered with tea plantations, Sri Lanka produces some of the rarest and the most expensive tea types on the planet. The Silver or White Tea was once considered the exclusive emperor’s beverage and still today prevails as one of the most valuable tea varieties in the world. Besides the genuine green and white teas, Sri Lanka also offers a great selection of black teas.
Ayurvedic Products. Ayurveda, an alternative medicine originating from Sri Lanka used has been practiced for centuries by Ayurveda doctors. The knowledge was passed from father to son through the generations. Nowadays, traditional medicine has dislodged Ayurvedic practices, but you can still find several local brands specialising in genuine Ayurvedic beauty products.
Masks and Traditional Clothes. Intriguing and vivid, traditional Sri Lankan masks and beautiful authentic costumes, could make for a bold highlight in your interior or even an extravagant addition to your wardrobe. Mask carving is a traditional Sri Lankan craft originating from the western regions of the island. Each mask is handcrafted from a particular type of wood light enough to be worn during entire religious rituals and painted with vivid colours resembling the demons the mask is supposed to frighten away.
Spices. Back when spices were the most valuable barter unit, Sri Lanka was a treasure island for British and Dutch colonists travelling around Asia in search of the elusive cinnamon and other exotic spices. Sri Lankan spices have a unique flavour. Most of the supermarkets in Sri Lanka, as well as local bazaars and even tiny souvenir shops, sell a huge array of spices. If you are looking for an exotic and useful souvenir, authentic Sri Lankan spices could be a great option.
Batik. You will be amazed by the beautiful batiks made predominantly by women in the rural parts of the islands. The time-consuming and painstaking work of applying and reapplying the wax to the fabrics means it takes a long time to develop the picture in saturated colours. Traditional Sri Lankan batik could be a beautiful addition to your home decor and also makes for an interesting gift to someone back home.
Lace. To produce one centimetre of lace, local women spend hours at this painstaking work. Handmade and original, Sri Lankan lace makes for a studding addition to any apparel or accessory. If you want to shop for some lace, head to Galle or Weligama, which are the best places to shop for it.