Colombo has a lot to offer to shoppers, so keep at least one day aside for shopping. Peta, the street shopping haven, is at Colombo city. It’s a five minute walk from Colombo city railway station. Ask for directions along the way. In fact there are tones of street stalls (like the Colaba street market), selling belts, wallets, tops and the like on the way too, so ditch the auto and stroll along. The rates are dirt cheap but you may not find too much variety in terms of fashion. Cotton skirts and shirts for kids (aged 3-5 years) are available for as little as 50 Sri Lankan Rupees (SLR). That makes it 25 INR! No need to bargain, right? Again, the finish is not great, so no matter how hard you look, every piece will have strings of thread hanging loose or a stitch that was not right.
Luckily, we chanced upon an export store, stacked with tones of dungarees for 250 SLR (125 INR). I bought a beige cotton pair. But there were variants in denim and corduroy as well. And high-waist multi-coloured shorts. Apart from this, we didn’t get lucky!
House of fashion: Must visit store. The best part is that there is a currency exchange counter at the store itself. Clothes for men, women and kids, kitchen items, show pieces, wallets, cuff links, bags, laptops bags, jewellery, toys, footwear, House of Fashion has it all. And you’ll probably get the most ‘original fakes’ here. I got a pair of LV cuff links for 600 SLR (approx). The labels of tops were holed through… just in case you’re looking to gift stuff from here.
Address: 28, R. A De Mel Mawatha, Colombo 5.
Odel: One of the first malls in Colombo. It’s pretty much like our Shoppers Stop outlets, with clothes, shoes and jewellery to offer.
CAUTION: I bought a stunning necklace, to gift to a friend. I paid around 500 INR for it and the chain, originally golden in colour, turned black, within 15 days. Sniff, sniff.
Lakmedura: Visit for masks, keychains, T-shirts and other souvenirs.