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“Boy are there a lot of masks!”

Ariyapala Mask Museum
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US$319.00*
and up
2-Day Galle Tour from Colombo by Train
Ranked #2 of 14 things to do in Ambalangoda
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
nyc
Level Contributor
71 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
“Boy are there a lot of masks!”
Reviewed 2 March 2014

This is a small, well-used building. The "museum" is a couple of small rooms in the basement. Upstairs is a shop that sells dozens and dozens of different types and sizes of masks. A workshop is attached to the side of the building. Definitely worth a visit, but unless you're buying, expect to be done in about 15 minutes.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank melsays
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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92 reviews from our community

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Bristol, England
Level Contributor
99 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“A really informative little museum”
Reviewed 9 January 2014

This definitely feels like the real thing - and the attached shop sells excellent quality and seemingly genuine, ethnic masks. The guides and staff are uniformly helpful, polite and knowledgeable.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Malcolm R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dubai
Level Contributor
35 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Masks are made of light balsa wood, so buy away!”
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.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank SheilaKim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
United Kingdom
Level Contributor
251 reviews
106 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 375 helpful votes
“Interesting ...”
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.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank DeuceWooo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chennai (Madras), India
Level Contributor
42 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Worth a short stop only”
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).

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Amalans
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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