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“FOSE Market - Pettah”
Review of Pettah

Pettah
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$30.00*
and up
Colombo Shore Excursion: City Sightseeing...
Ranked #43 of 152 things to do in Colombo
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Owner description: Shoppers will find plenty of bargains in this area of street merchants.
Reviewed September 3, 2013

Spent over an hour walking through the Federation of Self Employees Market (FOSE) in Pettah. This consists, from what I could see, of three new hanger style buildings with open sides.

One was chock-a-block with stalls selling all types of items. Clothes on hangers, in bales or simple in piles, shoes, sox, belts, electronic goods, DVDs, tools, baubles, broaches, bangles and maybe even pearls.

Pettah is where Sri Lankans come when they want to buy something at the cheapest possible price. It is the antithesis of Odels. Sellers and buyers haggle and the noise is constant yet not overpowering. Prices asked of foreigners are four to five time what the seller would normally expect so if you do not bargain you deserve to be ripped off. Do not expect quality.

The second building housed sellers of every conceivable variety of fruits and vegetables. Heaps of green chilies, carrots, cauliflowers, gourds and aborigines of all shapes and sizes to name just a few, join with the mangos, pawpaws, wood apple, pineapples, passion fruits and other tropical fruits to present an artist’s palette of color and textures to tempt the most discerning cook.

There are also a few sellers of spices and even one or two selling dried salted fish which are a popular delicacy not just here in Sri Lanka but throughout the region. I see that some reviewers have turned up their noses and that the vendor was burning incense sticks. But lets face it, this market is a garden of roses compared to the salt and dry fish markets of the SE Asia.

And speaking of smells, I found a fruit vendor selling Sri Lankan durians. I bought one and tried it on the spot but sad to say it was no match to its relatives grown in Vietnam, Thailand or Malaysia.

The third building was not occupied when I visited. This is not one of the greatest markets I have visited but if you are in Pettah it is worth visiting.

2  Thank ditsywitsy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"narrow streets"
in 8 reviews
"locals shop"
in 4 reviews
"fruit and veg"
in 2 reviews
"electronic goods"
in 2 reviews
"amazing market"
in 2 reviews
"hive of activity"
in 4 reviews
"floating market"
in 6 reviews
"huge area"
in 2 reviews
"stalls selling"
in 4 reviews
"street vendors"
in 4 reviews
"crowded place"
in 3 reviews
"window shopping"
in 2 reviews
"busy area"
in 2 reviews
"sri lanka"
in 15 reviews
"for sale"
in 3 reviews
"walk around"
in 4 reviews
"couple of hours"
in 3 reviews
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146 - 150 of 238 reviews

Reviewed August 28, 2013

This was the only place I had read, for bargain shopping in Colombo and I was keen to go there. It was quite a disappointment.The clothing was of a low quality and price quoted was too high. It was just a waste of time as we were also stuck in the traffic. The only good thing was that I had the taste of my first King Coconut there.

Thank 712niggi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2013

Pettah is a typical market area - streets sell specific things so if you're after something specific do your research beforehand to know which street you need. It's busy, chaotic and a bit of an onslaught on your senses (watch out for the dried fish) but great if you like to immerse yourself. When you find what you want, haggle!

Thank LokiLab
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 11, 2013

we were looking forward to a visit to this market thought a good afternoon out, but when we got there we had only been there about 10 mins and decided we wanted to leave, it was i can not say anymore a load of rubbish,it smelt, fumes etc, and we will never go there again.

4  Thank dottie837
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 23, 2013

Its not worth visiting.This is very very very crowded, hot and smelly.Crowd will try to Push you anywhere ;) so if you are going then you have to be very active and alert.Beware of pick -pockets

Their are many small shop with lots of bargain you need to do, if you are planning to buy anything.
For women travellers , its strict no-no and not a great shopping place.
The only interesting site is Red-white Mosque.

2  Thank LuvFlorentina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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