Bentota is a great place to pick up some of the fabulous Sri Lankan handicrafts that this island country is famous for. The markets of Bentota are colourful and interesting and you could walk the streets going through the offerings and pick a great bargain for yourself.
The high street shops and kiosks stock a whole variety of Sri Lankan handicrafts ranging from Bamboo hats to intricate masks. However keep in mind that you need to really bargain to get the right price. Prices are quoted over 3 times the actual selling price - so put your best foot forward on negotiations. Do remember to pick up a mask. These are exquisite.
You can pick beautifully crafted masks like this one from Sri Lankan Handicrafts - one of the best stocked outlets on the outskirts of Bentota. These are made of balsa wood and painted with organic paints. Cost varies from US$ 50 to US$ 200 ( The mask shown above cost me $50). The ones available in the kiosks on the high streets are for as low as $5 - certainly very much inferior in craftsmanship .
A visit to this outlet in Bentota is a must even if you dont buy anything. Ask any cab or auto driver and he will take you there. The prices are much higher here and there is no bargaining . The quality and craftmanship is the best.
Evening's in Bentota are very pleasant with cool sea breezes blowing inland. There are numerous bars and eating joints all along the beach serving Sri Lankan food as well as cuisines from around the world. Sea food is a speciality and fresh catch of the day is served . One popular place which I highly recommend is the WUNDERBAR. The food is excellent though expensive. Be sure to try thier fish baked in bamboo leaves. You could also try the local beer - Lion.