The Nuwara Eliya Winter Market – we’re not sure if that’s what it’s actually called – is amazing.
Right in the centre of the town you get a dishevelled, charming little bazaar bursting at the seams with all sorts of woolly winter wares. Piled high with messy mounds of jumpers, hoodies and cardigans, every corner and turn has a vendor waving brightly coloured beanies and scarves in the face of a passerby.
The initial impression can be a little alarming. A My Little Pony cardi? A glitter threaded bobble hat? A dalmation fleece? But don’t be put off. What may seem garish, gaudy and downright horrifying at first simply disguises a hoard of treasures lurking underneath.
Think GAP, Nike, Zara, H&M, etc. You can browse through a spectrum of high street labels, all sold at quite literally a fraction of their original cost. A Pringle cardigan, ordinarily costing over $250 can be purchased for a laughable Rs. 350. It’s true, we bought one.
But while the clothes may seem the main attraction, don’t forget to sift through the trays of shiny gold and silver nick nacks. Again, these may not seem worth the effort, but have a quick peep. A thick gold American Apparel style chain and vintage gold studs cost just Rs. 150 each; hipster glasses and tortoise shell frames, less than Rs. 200.
So forget the meretricious souvenirs and tacky postcards reminding you of your stay in the frosty city; go home with a GAP hoodie or a chunky knit Pringle cardigan instead – there’s no better way to remember a town than with a well bargained steal. And the best thing about this ‘winter’ market? It’s on all year round.
The market is on New Bazaar Road, near the roundabout.