Sri Lankan craftsmanship has a long and vibrant history, when you visit to any museum will turn up objects testifying to the skill of the island’s earlier artisans, they have for centuries been producing exquisitely manufactured objects in a wide variety of media, from lacework and ola-leaf manuscripts to carvings in ivory and wood and elaborate metalwork and batiks. Colombo is the best place to buy everything else Sri Lanka has to offer, from books to tea and discount clothing. All larger shops have fixed, marked prices, a polite request for a “small discount” might knock a few rupees off, especially for jewellery or gems. Note that the smaller and more informal the outlet, the more scope for bargaining there’s likely to be. Remember that you shouldn’t buy coral or shells which contributes directly to the destruction of the island’s fragile ocean environment. And it’s also illegal to export antiques without a licence.