"The tour guide commsion" Colombo Tourist Trap Tip by ElliotWatson
Colombo Tourist Traps: 13 reviews and 19 photos
your guide or driver will try to take you to a handicraft or gem shops where he will receive a commission.Wether your alone on a tuktuk or if you are part of a tour group from a reputable tour company ex. jetwing walkers you would be invariably be taken to a shop, factory spice garden where you would be expected to purchase goods at a very high price.The commissions vary from 20% in clothes shops and spice gardens to 50% in gem and handicraft shops. Commissions in Colombo and along the south coast are invariably lower than in other parts of the country.Kandy and Pollanaruwa have the highest commissions.
Unique Suggestions: Only shop when you are alone. Always send your driver away.If your in a tour group it is best to wait till you get a day at leisure. Catch a tuktuk and send the driver away. All shops outside colombo offer commision. So it is better to do your shopping in colombo. shops down the coast offer low commisions and therefore low prices. The exception being masks shops in ambalangoda. Book will not talk about this racket because the writers would have been taken to these shops by their drivers. Shops which are notorious for offering tour guide commissions are Kandy:-Oakray woodcarvings, lakruka woodcarvings, jayamali batiks,all gem shops especially prasanna ,senani silks and gems, zam, hemachandra,amith,ishani the list is endless.any shop in kandy, pinnawala,kandy road and dambulla road should be avoided.In Pollanaruwa Nishantha,Premadasa, New Gamini and Dhammika wood carvings are notorious. In Colombo Lakmedura, Origins,Lanka Hands for handicrafts and Premadasa, Wijaya Gems and any so called Gem Bureau offer commisions. As of November 2011 government run shops Laksala,Kandyan Arts and crafts association and the craft village(janakala kendraya) offer 10% commissions a measure to get tourists as tourists flock to such notorious places
Fun Alternatives: Your best alternative is to buy at the airport,hotel shops ect.The following shops do not offer commisions. They are in Colombo.Barefoot, Paradise Road, Odel.These hardly have cheap handicrafts or souveniers so its best to go to this quirky little shop called Lakpahana run by an NGO.Unbelievably cheap for obvious reasons. It is situated on reed avenue just past the cinamon gardens police station. For gems it is best to buy them in your own country.
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