What annoys me, is the "commission boys" in Aluthgama. Their "base" is around the fish market and the railway crossing. They will approach you and offer to show you around. If you don't go shopping, they will expect a fee for the "guided" tour. But if you go shopping with them, you will pay 20-30% more than you should pay. Even when you decline their services, they will follow you discretely and if you go shopping they will tell the shopowner, that they are with you.
Fun Alternatives: To avoid the "commission boys" you can do your shopping in Dharga Town, a small muslim village a couple of kms from Aluthgama towards Matugama. There are plenty of esp. clothes shops in Dharga Town.
To get there, either jump on a bus (will cost about LKR 15) or hire a tuk tuk (LKR 100-150), but don't keep the tuk tuk driver with you as he will also try to get a commission from the shops. It's very easy to find a tuk tuk in Dharga Town to take you back.
Avoid expensive "Wine-Stores" !
Ranga-Wine Stores is certainly one of the most modern and well-assorted on Sri lanka's westcoast. Liquors of local origin, some imported brands and a small assortment of wines are waiting for the well-off customer.
Unfortunately not all of the shop-employees are meeting those high standards:
it happened to me and some other guests frequently,(easily to be classified as tourists), who tried to buy the excellent local Arrak, that an overcharge of somewhat more than 100% has been (or has been tried to be) applied.
(Mendis 3 years Arrak sells countrywide for SL-Rupees 900,-the price charged was yet SLR 1875,-)
Unique Suggestions: 1. Do not enter the shop with your taxi - or 3-wheel-driver; he seems to participating at your buy.
2. Before buying any liquor, consult the barman of your hotel; he usually will be well informed about the valid prices!
3. Do NOT go into a discussion with the shop's employees, they will suddenly claim to speak only the local language/dialect
Fun Alternatives: Alternative: Ask the barman of your hotel or your host where to buy. AVOID this shop, just to stay on the safe side !
4. Call the local, helpful tourist-police (below)
Phone: 034-2276049 Moragalla Station
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Bentota village - Is my name really Bon bon?
Bentota village is full of locals trying to make some money from showing you around the place and some of them get agressive if you are not interested.
There are many kids unattended and they call you Bon bon or Money- money. Really unpeleasant experience.
Unique Suggestions: Prepair to say "No, thank you" many times
Fun Alternatives: Aluthgama is only 15 minutes walk or a short tuk tuk ride away. You will be able to explore the place without hussle. Locals are friendly but not too pushy. You can shop, visit the schools and to see how people live with only an occasional tuk tuk driver offering their services.
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