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“Masks are made of light balsa wood, so buy away!”

Ariyapala Mask Museum
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US$278.00*
and up
2-Day Galle Tour from Colombo by Train
Ranked #2 of 16 things to do in Ambalangoda
Attraction details
Reviewed 11 November 2013

We read the reviews and were wary of pushy sales, but when we got there we didn't experience any more than any other place.
Before we went into the shop we were taken round the small museum and made a voluntary donation afterwards. The guide explained the masks and drama of the displays and she did a very good job. When we went into the mask shop we knew which were the ones we wanted to buy for health and posterity!
We bought three masks and a carved elephant ashtray. We bartered a little bit and got a good price. The side 'ears' of the masks come off for packaging and the wood is very light balsa, so will not make a real impact on your luggage allowance.
There is a toilet in there, but I'd recommend you 'go' before you go.
Our masks are a great colourful reminder of our Sri Lankan holiday.

1  Thank SheilaKim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"worth a visit"
in 10 reviews
"balsa wood"
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"interesting history"
in 3 reviews
"sri lanka"
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"en route"
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"worth making"
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"other places"
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"for sale"
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"mask"
in 27 reviews
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"workshop"
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59 - 63 of 107 reviews

Reviewed 18 October 2013

& worth a visit. We had a good look around at the many masks & took pics but we didn't buy. Imagine trying to get through customs in your mask! I asked to have a look at the elephant fridge magnets & I bought 1, they appeared shocked that I only wanted the one but I have no use for any more.

2  Thank DeuceWooo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 October 2013

The mask museum is touted as Sri Lanka's original/oldest by most people. It's located on the Galle Road and is a fairly small joint. A garage type workshop where one can do a very quick walk through seeing the artisans at work is the primary feature. The museum is a very small gallery depicting the culture and details on masks (nothing much to write home about). The staff make a very hesitant request for donations (albeit the large signboard that clearly specifies that the museum has been sponsored by a german agency). They are not pushy though. There is no entry fee (some places in Sri Lanka can hit you with a very high fee is you dont ask upfront).

1  Thank Amalans
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 September 2013 via mobile

We bought a lot of boxes and a wooden mask that makes our day now in the house :) The place has also a museum and the lady there is very helpful in offering details and explaining all about masks. They have a lovely shop, very well provided and on its right side you can see the real-time work of children and people overthere. A lot of work though...

1  Thank Achibitsy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 12 September 2013

Our guide appeared rather bored by the whole thing but there were some interesting masks and the shop was good with no pushy sales pitch.

2  Thank Anne A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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