Main Bazaar and Carpenter Street
Adjacent the Waterfront, the Main Bazaar is the oldest street in the city and the heart of old Kuching. It has some superb examples of Chinese shophouse architecture, many of which have been occupied by the same family for generations.
These families still pursue traditional occupations such as tin-smithing, carpentry and petty trading. Kuching’s highest concentration of antique and handicraft shops are to be found here, and shoppers can rest between bargaining sessions in a number of old-fashioned coffee shops with panelled walls and marble-topped tables.
Located just behind the back street, which is parallel to Main Bazaar, the Carpenter Street has a similar selection of small traders and coffee shops, as well as food stalls and two Chinese temples. Having a rich cultural heritage, with a historical building, this street is a venue for Mooncake Festival every year.
The whole area oozes charm and character. For aficionados of heritage buildings, there is a row of perfectly preserved 19th century Chinese houses at the nearby Upper China Street (off Leboh China).
Well-established outlets on Main Bazaar include Native Arts, Nelson’s Gallery, Rainforest, Sarawak House, Atelier Gallery and Arts of Asia, all offering quality antiques and handicrafts at reasonable prices. Prices of handicrafts are not always fixed so you may have to bargain. If you have the time it’s best to shop around and get a rough idea before buying. Certain antiques require an export permit from Sarawak Museum. Most art and craft shops close on Sundays.
Artrageously Ramsay Ong, 94 Main Bazaar. Showcases the talents of Ramsay Ong, one of Malaysia’s leading painters, as well as a range of work from local and occasionally international artists. They also stock a fine selection of prints, cards, handicrafts and other collectibles.
- Strolling along the street, please keep your personal belonging safe.
- A simple and comfortable walking shoes or snicker for a walk.
- Do a visit to Visitors’ Information Centre for a map and additional information.