Laksala, Colombo: Address, Phone Number, Laksala Reviews: 4/5

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LAKSALA (Sri Lanka Handicrafts Board), the only state owned gift and souvenir boutique that offers the widest range of Sri Lankan handicrafts, tea, gems and other products at reasonable prices, at conveniently located island wide stopovers.Pioneers since 1964, the handicrafts emporium is linked to more than 10,000 leading master craftsmans and entrepreneurs who operate at their own rural and cottage industries, island wide.Witness the enthralling blend of meticulously handcrafted creations, specially sorted and packed tea & spices and a special collection of traditionally mined and cut Gems or vast array of patiently handmade Jewelry.We are open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. 365 days served by an efficient customer care team.Stop once, at the one stop shop to witness the Treasures of Sri Lanka and feel the difference.
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

394 reviews
Very good

Mumbai, India62 contributions
Dec 2019
Bought lots and lots of stuff for ourselves, family and friends!

Masks, T-Shirts, fridge magnets, key chains, Sri Lanka themed coffee mugs, thimbles and elephant statues. Cinnamon.

Delightful to browse. Very attentive and helpful staff; a rarity these days!

Uncertain of the cinnamon oil. The bottle was not leakproof and it imparted an odd smell to a few clothes. Odd taste. Massage and aromatherapy perhaps the only options left.
Written March 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Rajesh Ballal
New Delhi, India13 contributions
Dec 2019
Laksala is a great shop and has lot of traditional stuff to purchase. One could get all handicraft stuff, Spices, Tea, cloths. The price point is a tad higer, but the stuff is really good.
Written January 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates5 contributions
In the last few days of my trip to Sri Lanka (2003) (and having bought my carrom board and carried it from Hikkaduwa) I decided that Kandyan masks were a necessary purchase. (Even though I had visited Kandy)
Laksala is a 3 storey emporium of handicrafts sitiuated in downown Colombo - We were treating ourselves to a last night in Galle Face Green so our tuk tuk ride was about 150 rupees.

The benefit of Laksala is that all the handicrafts you have seen across SL but were too afraid to haggle/carry are there. Since it is state run there is the usual difficulty of selecting the object and then going to another desk to pay but it is also supposed to ensure a fair payment to the craftspeople that produce the items - not something you can be sure of when buying in the street.
Laksala does have much wider range of higher quality gifts that you won't see in the rest of the country.

Don't miss out on the experience of haggling during your trip but if you need to spend the last of your rupees and want a few more memories of one of the greatest countries in the world then it is well worth a visit!
Written December 27, 2006
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

London1 contribution
Laksala Address -

No 60, York Street (Fort)

This is a great place if you want to buy things for your house/flat etc (decorations). It is also good for those last miute presents for your friends back home - to give them a taste of SL.
I shall post more info as I get it.
I will also post the opeing times, if I can find this out.

Hope this helps
Written September 3, 2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

bolton81 contributions
Conveniently located in the Fort, with huge variety of handicrafts including carvings, batiks, statues, etc. One of few places to have simple fridge magnets et al.

As Government-run prices are fixed, which in Sri Lanka ensures you get a fair price.

Other stores outside such as in Pettah require bartering with often the intention that you don't receive a fair price irrespective of the quality.
Written July 20, 2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Edmonton, Canada227 contributions
This is a great, cetral place to find any maner of local handicraft. Its housed in a large, historical building in the Fort area. If travelling by vehicle, finding parking is a bit diffucult but there are paid areas close by if you look. There are plenty of three-wheelers right outside the entrance.

The pricing is fixed and very reasonable. There is an excellent jewellery area with beautiful pieces. There is LOTS of selection and you can find just about anything there (batik, musical instruments, masks, murals, brassware, leathergoods, hats etc)

Save some extra time for the cashier area though -- the service is lovely but they wrap your purchases with painstaking detail and slowness. When you're used to a quick pay-and-go experience at home its a bit of a change of pace.
Written March 8, 2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Vienna, Austria887 contributions
Dec 2015
Laksala is a state owned boutique where you can find your quintessential Sri Lankan souvenirs - ranging from batiks, masks, wooden/brass/stone art craft, tea, spices, gems etc. I was looking for something in particular - wooden statues of buddhist monks (called 'pindapatha), as well as a stone statue of a standing buddha. I stopped by one of their stores next to the racing course where one item (pindapatha) caught my eye, but was struck by the price (it was roughly 14000 LKR which equates to roughly 90 Euros. Although I was tempted to buy it, I'm glad I didn't as I wanted to shop around and look at smaller boutiques. I went to another Laksala store where I found a statue of a standing buddha which I thought was made of stone (it looked, felt and was quite heavy, so I assumed it was). I bought it for 6440 LKR, as well as two handloom bags with a motif of an elephant (1120 LKR each!) and took it home, where on closer inspection of the bill it said that the statue was made out of 'resin'. The receipt also advised that no refunds could be made. I was very disappointed with my purchase as I felt that their goods were misrepresented, so I rang up the store the following morning and asked to speak to the manager regarding my purchase and whether I could return it and have a refund as I was made to believe that the statue was out of stone, but it is actually out of a synthetic material and doesn't justify such an exorbitant price. I was basically advised that they are unable to process refunds, as nothing can be put back into the system since it is a state owned boutique, and that he would have processed my refund if it was a private company. He said I could exchange the item for something else - which is what I did (I ended up getting several mugs with Sri Lankan motifs on it e.g elephant, kandyan dancer etc). Regarding the pindapathas/buddhist monk statues which I was still looking for, I managed to purchase two of them at a smaller antique shop for a fraction of the price which they are selling at Laksala. At laksala the price for one starts at 14000 LKR -20000 LKR, but I managed to purchase two of them for less than 4000LKR in total! So the lesson is - exercise common sense when it comes to purchasing souvenirs, and look around. You can find other places which sell art, wooden and brass crafts for a fraction of the price which you would pay at Laksala. If you are running out of time to purchase souvenirs, then this place is certainly the one-stop shop to go to, but otherwise look around before making purchases as there are much more cheaper alternatives.

The sales assistants (quite a number of them in such a small store with many just standing around) were very friendly and helpful, so at least that redeemed my experience at laksala. In general, the store is also nice to just do 'window shopping' in. Furthermore, if you are a frequent traveller with Sri Lankan airlines and part of their flysmiles programme, you are entitled to a discount at Laksala, which is also worth keeping in mind when comparing the prices at Laksala and other places.
Written January 20, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Nabil M
Beirut, Lebanon134 contributions
Jul 2011
we passed by in our colombo tour and even that we passed to many malls we found here the best souvenirs we want to buy and in reasonable price ,
if you have time pass by to get good souvenirs but is not a must
Written July 29, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Melbourne163 contributions
Jun 2014 • Couples
In my opinion Sri Lanka could do with some advice regarding souvenir options. As a traveller I like to bring back a unique piece from each of my travels - no such purchase in Sri Lanka. All souvenir options, including those at Laksala were items you would see at 'Copper Art' or the Reject Shop in Australia - cheap looking Buddha statues, fridge magnets, etc. Would have liked to purchase a handmade puppet, or some hand-woven cloth, or traditional style clothing - nope just tat available. Can't comment on the prices - Laksala was expensive, but if it is really fair trade and producers really do get paid well for their wares then that is OK.
Can comment on the staff - to be followed around/observed by a staff member the whole time, with an air of security rather than helpfulness was uncomfortable and did not encourage me to purchase. I really felt like the assumption was that I would steal something - not a nice shopping vibe.
Written June 22, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank You very much for taking time to give us a feedback. We have a wide variety of products, ranging from the lower end of gift & souvenirs to the very high end. Though you did not noticed we have displayed handmade puppets, hand-woven cloth & traditional style clothing. Every time one sales officer is dedicated to assist our every loyal customer. Especially if necessary, to explain the heritage or tradition behind certain crafts. Any of our customers could always request them not to be around, and if needed there services could be called for.
Written June 24, 2014
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

London, UK26 contributions
Nov 2016 • Family
This was a great market with a huge selection available. I found that most vendors would start off at a ridiculously high price and try to make you feel like they were giving the merchandise away. My advice would be to haggle as hard as possible if they sell it they must have made a profit. The vendors can sometime come across a little abrupt when haggling but this is just a cultural thing. The majority of the merchandise they sell Ia for the tourist market which means they won't be selling it to locals as it costs too much. Bare this in mind when negotiating. A lot of the stalls have similar merchandise go round and get an average idea of costs and then pick on vendor and go for the haggle. I purchase a large buffalo leather duffel bag and the guy started off at price of £60 I eventually purchase it for £14!!
The area is busy as it's by the station there are cash points nearby I felt safe there.
Written January 7, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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