4 Seasons (Negombo).

4 Seasons isn’t just an international luxury hotel – it’s also the name of a podi novelty shop down Lewis Place in Negombo. It’s like the others so this review is pretty much an overview of what you get inside any of those street-side craft shops in Negombo.

It’s a great place to buy gifts, it’s an obvious tourist attraction, and you’ll find some cool things like local pop art, legit bow and arrow sets and epic yaka masks.

The Stuff

There’s a lot of wooden craft and colour in this shop, and it’s all pretty random. Why would you want these long hand-crafted multi-coloured masks (Rs. 800+)? I don’t know, 4 Seasons, just shut up and take my money.

The store has a large collection of leather bags in a whole variety of sizes. The satchels and the travel bags are quite cool. The bags start at Rs. 1300 and can go all the way up to 8K. I personally liked some of the simple cotton bags they had in prints you usually find on shalwars – they cost only around Rs. 600.

On our visit we saw some gorgeous paintings by a local artist, featuring pop art depictions of the Buddha, in different canvas sizes. We saw his or her work in a couple of other shops too – and they’re in the Rs. 2000 range.

Here are some giraffes with bodies made of ceramic, wood and seashells. There is no reason why they should be specially mentioned in this review, except that they are just plain awesome.

My favourite part about Negombo street shops is the musical instruments section. They’ve got a whole bunch of locally made flutes, drums and shakers covered in whimsical patterns. Watch out for the thunder-maker, a lovely hand-painted cylinder with a metal wire at its end – shake it and it produces an ominous sound like thunder.

The shop has a bunch of typical tourist-ey pseudo batik shawls and shirts in wild prints, but we also found these nice white linen kurtas for Rs. 1200.

They’ve got a beautiful collection of recycled-paper books with local designs like this guy with the bera. Some of them are notebooks while others are photo albums. Ideal as gifts.

There’s loads of things in this shop, so you just need to browse through and find something that fascinates you, like a wooden hand-carved chess box, or this bow and arrow set. We picked up the bow and arrow and practised in the shop – it works great, and comes with ten arrows in a matching holder. We bought a set for Rs. 2700, because hey, why not.

Conclusion

4 Seasons is a good place to stop by for souvenirs, gifts, and randomass cool things for your house. Among some of the tourist-ey stuff, you might find something you really like, so make sure you walk around and really browse through.

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