Kuching Shopping and Districts
(Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia)
Kuching has an amazingly diverse choice of shopping venues scattered around the city, including a surprising number of malls, whose locations include the riverside, the city centre and the 4th Mile district. Even more new malls are under construction in the suburbs. Many of these shopping plazas are huge and cater for every need imaginable, coming with supermarkets, vast fashion floors and ICT sections.
For a complete contrast, Kuching's markets, bazaars and shophouse streets are a fun shopping experience. Literally everything is offered here, from fresh foodstuffs through household needs, to new and secondhand clothes, textiles, handicrafts, pirated DVDs, art works, souvenirs and antiques.
When to Shop and Where
The top mall in Kuching right now is the newly opened international-style Spring Mall in the Jalan Simpang Tiga district, close to the government complex. This is the largest in the city and the first true lifestyle outlet. The Sarawak Plaza on the Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman is great for shoes, while the Riverside Shopping Complex has a Cineplex. If you are peckish as you shop, you will be pleased to learn that all of these malls have their own food courts.
For informal shopping in Kuching, the best market is the Sunday Market (Pasar Minggu) on the Jalan Satok, which actually begins on Saturday afternoons. Also very much of note, India Street has small, colourful bazaars.
The Thursday Night Market in the neighbouring Kawah New Township (known as MJC) in the west of the city is well worth a visit, as it is totally local and great for unusual foods. For handicrafts and even antiques, the shops around the Main Bazaar are the place. However, don't be put off by the tourist tat, as many shops have interesting artefacts in their back rooms.
Most smaller outlets in Kuching stay open early until very late, seven days a week, although those owned by Christians may close on Sundays. The majority of shopping malls in the city open at around 09:30 and are closed by 22:00.