Travel Features > Arts & Crafts

Sarawak for Sale

Mike Reed's personal list of shops worth browsing (and spending in)

The handicraft shops around Main Bazaar generally have plenty to offer, although the selection in many is similar. Those shops listed below all offer something a little out of the ordinary. Most of the places on Main Bazaar are closed Sundays and public holidays

Adventure Images (c/o Borneo Adventure, 55 Main Bazaar)
Simply the best postcards and greetings cards in Sarawak. Can also be found in selected outlets all over town.

Atelier Gallery (104 Main Bazaar)
Weird and wonderful selection of handicrafts and hand-made furniture from all over Southeast Asia.

Nelson's Gallery (110 Main Bazaar)
Pretty much your standard handicrafts shop at first glance, until knowledgeable proprietor Nelson Tan starts rummaging through the clutter to come up with some real gems. Great collection of traditional bead jewelry.

Unika Sarawak (Wayang Street, off Main Bazaar,)
Great selection, good quality pieces, but if you can get owner Felix Ang to reduce any of the prices, you're much better at bargaining than I.

Sarawak House (Main Bazaar)
Very, very nice pieces in an up-market gallery style layout. Impecunious browsers welcome.

Eeze Trading (Rubber Road)
Caters for the more bizarre end of the market, with dried insects, mounted butterflies and stag beetles in amber, amongst others.

Fabriko (Main Bazaar)
Nice printed textiles based on traditional designs downstairs, gallery and showroom upstairs, in a beautifully restored 19th Century shophouse.

Galeri M (Hilton Lobby)
Easily the best of the local fine art dealers. Paintings are on display throughout the Hilton lobby, and are carefully selected from the best of the local artists. No patronizing 'ethnic' portraits here. Also have a good selection of jewelry, antiques and objets d'art not found on Main Bazaar.

Telang Usan Hotel (Off Ban Hock Road)
Good selection of Orang Ulu and Penan crafts, particularly beadwork and traditional headgear. Ask at reception for details.

Teo Hoe Hin (Jln Tunku Abdul Rahman, next to McDonalds)
All the birds nest and shark's fin you could possibly wish for.

Belles Bookstore (2nd Floor, Sarawak Plaza)
Best selection of books in town, and not too 'creatively' priced.

Mohamad Yahia & Sons (Ground Floor, Sarawak Plaza plus Holiday Inn Kuching lobby)
Good selection of books and maps on Borneo. Cramped, cluttered, and everything's almost impossible to find, but persevere and you'll discover some real gems.

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