Ambalangoda, 12 km north-west of Hikkaduwa, is the centre of mask carving in Sri Lanka. Beside cheap and fast produced goods for the souvenir trade you also can obtain replicas of old original masks, although the prices are considerably higher.

Follow the main street to the northern outskirts of the city where you will find the "Ariyapala & Sons", a renowned family of mask carvers who offer a wide variety of masks. You can also watch the craftsmen making masks. Ask to be shown the mask museum with historical masks in the basement.

At the opposite end of the city, in the southern outskirts, you’ll find the "Ambalangoda Resthouse" which serves superb "Rice and Curry".

A slow train will take you comfortably to Ambalangoda in 30 minutes. If the road traffic doesn’t scare you, take the bus.