I had read about this museum on Tripadvisor, and decided to stop in. I am ever so glad that I did! The museum actually sits in a small building-with the museum and the workshop downstairs, and (a few steps outside) the store is located upstairs. The museum was fascinating. The young lady that gave me the tour could not have been kinder. She spoke English, and took time to explain and answer all of my questions. The tour was short-no more than 15 minutes, but very informative.
There is no fee for the tour, however donations (of any amount) are gratefully accepted. Following the tour, I was able to observe the mask carvers at work. It's amazing to watch these artisans at work-- from the hand carving to the hand painting--incredible. And yes, photos are allowed.
Next I went upstairs to the store. What an array of masks ! All in various sizes, shapes and colors. The shop owner was very knowledgable, and extremely patient. I was able to bargain with him for a simply beautiful mask (which is symbolic of good health). My mask was wrapped so carefully, that even going through customs, overhead compartment, and taxi ride, it was still in perfect condition when I unwrapped once I arrived back home.
Al in all, Ariyapala is a wonderful little shop/ museum filled with treasures. A must do ! !