Please allow me to start this post with a disclaimer. I admit that my search for the best money changer in Colombo, Sri Lanka is not yet over. But I feel I might already have found the one. After getting ripped off at Colombo airport's Bank of Ceylon exchange counter on my first visit to Sri Lanka, I was desperate to find a money changer in Colombo who was the local favourite. One who would offer better rates than banks, accepted at least the major currencies, did both buy and sell deals, and was legal. At the end of my 4 days' stay in Colombo, I accidentally found Devi Jewellers Pvt Limited. I had gone to Sea Street (Fort Area) looking for an Indian restaurant called "Chettinad". Lunch time was already over and the restaurant could only serve me a Pineapple juice. But the cashier gave me the info I needed. The moment I finished saying the words "Money Changer", he said "Devi Jewellers". It was a very short walk from the restaurant, on the same road. (Address, phone number, and picture below)
|Devi Jewellers Private Limited Sea Street Colombo-11|
Devi Jewellers Private Limited, Colombo 11
Devi Jewellers is an actual gold jewellery shop, and must be a popular one because it was crowded. There are Western Union Money Transfer banners on the door. Inside after walking through counters and shelves loaded with gold, I spotted their exchange counter towards my left. I looked for a display showing exchange rates of the day, but there was none, or may be I could not see it. There were about 5-6 customers already at the counter, but no queue. I told my requirement. I wanted to change 23000 Lankan Rupees into USD before leaving Colombo. At the airport I had bought rupees at 129.48 for one USD. Devi Jewellers quoted 132.60 to buy them back. I immediately protested saying the rate I had paid at the airport. The gentleman at the counter looked offended. He said, "Excuse me, we buy USD at 132.00". So that was the difference between the airport and the city, almost 2% in value. 2% can mean little or a lot depending on how much cash one needs to convert. A tuk tuk ride to this place from Galle Road would cost around 250-300 Lankan Rupees. One can do a rough calculation before making the trip to Sea Street. Its a crowded area prone to traffic jams. But if one is already in Fort area, a trip to Devi Jewellers may be less bothersome. Most tuk tuk drivers know Devi Jewellers.
Address and contact info:
Devi Jewellers Private Limited
131, Sea Street, Colombo 11
Phone: 011-239 5001 or 243 2502
Now I need to find a better money changer in Colombo than Devi Jewellers before I can confirm the title of "Best Money Changer" for this post. I request my readers to help.
|Posted by Narinder Singh|