Tea is not everything. What else to bring from Sri Lanka?
Sri Lanka is a small country but has a lot to offer. The prices are relatively low and in addition, bargaining is common practice. Particular regions are famous for the production of other goods. Galle is famous for its climate and stylish art galleries, Ratnapura from the exploitation and processing of gems, and for famous batik is good to go to a small village called Mahawewa, located in the north of Negombo. Here is a list of most valued souvenirs imported from Ceylon.
Tea is not everything but comimg back from Sri Lanka without tea is like being in Egypt and not seeing the pyramids. Inexpensive and easy to pack is surely the best gift we can bring from this country. The best kinds of tea are from this small island. It is worth to go to the factory to see the whole production process. I choose more wild option and decided to spend one afternoon on the plantatnion watching workers. Tea plantations are located inside of the island. The best option to stay is around Adam`s Peak where amazing mountain scenery mix with colonial plantation and rural homes atmosphere. The most famous and the most appreciated are Golden Tips and Silver Tips – only hand-picked leaves from the bud are used for production.
Gems. Tea was not first export commodity from Sri Lanka. Much earlier, in the times of Marco Polo, Ceylon became famous for extraction and processing of gems. The most famous is Ceylon Sapphire but also rubies, topazes, amethysts, garnets and moonstones. The best place to buy is region of extraction, around the city called Ratnapura, approx. 100 km from Colombo. However, if you are not familiar with gems is better to take someone trusted. Bargaining is highly recommended and it`s necessary to keep the proof of purchase in the case of control at the airport.
Ayurvedic cosmetics and medicines. During my stay on Sri Lanka I discovered Ayurveda. It is a system of treating mind and body originally coming from ancient India but also practiced on Sri Lanka. That is where I saw the Sri Lankan brand Siddhalepa, which manufactures cosmetics according to the principles of Ayurveda. My favorite is “Ayurvedic Herbal Balm” used to treat any pain, the symptoms of flu and colds, migraines and relieving rheumatic ailments. Natural ingredients such as cinnamon and eucalyptus treat already by its smell. Best to find in pharmacies
Spices and herbs. Sri Lankan cuisine is one of the most aromatic I have tried in my life. Ceylon is origin of many spices imported to Europe. The most famous is cinnamon sold in sticks or powder. It is also worth to bring curry, saffron, vanilla and curcuma. Prices for tourists are much higher, so you should find a local spice factory. It may not look so colorful and pretty as a store for tourists but for a small price you can buy much more in an equally good quality.
Natural cosmetics. While being in the pharmacy you should also look at the Sri Lankan natural cosmetics containing aloe vera and coconut oil.
Batik and crafts. Batik is a method of decorating, involving painting of material with hot wax. It is used in the production of beautiful, colorful bedspreads and scarves. Sri Lanka is also famous for wood products, especially from ebony, mahogany and sandalwood. Traditional masks, Buddha statuesfigurines of elephants – the choice is really wide.