Shopping here is easy and the general rules apply.
Prices are according to location... On the high end Hotel gift shop down to local craftsman for best prices.
Most of us will end up somewhere in the middle at a larger tourist gift shop that buys in volume.
What to buy: Unique to the area is 'Bird Nest' anything. You can by dry nest's nicely boxed, light in the luggage. Or you can buy jars, which I wouldn't recommend because of the chance of breakage.
Pepper is another great buy. Light weight, won't break, and unique to the area. You can also find 'pepper candy' which is more mint flavor than pepper, but a nice little item to take home for co-workers and friends.
Handcrafts are wonderful, just watch the weight of your bags. It's easy to go overboard. Larger shops will ship large items to your home, but check the cost first.
For that special kid or kid at heart, you can find some nifty stuffed animals. Where else are you going to find a Hornbill bird, Proboscis monkey or cool looking orang? Best part, check the tag, part of the proceed of many of these go to preserve the real ones.
What to pay: Shopping can be as cheap or as expencive as you want. Items like crafts and pepper are very cheap, where bird nest anything will be on the high end.
Voted No.11 Fairprice shops around the whole of Malaysia 2008, the owner of this shop is very friendly and proud of his achievements. We had to give full of praises to get special discounts for the hundreds of ringgit spent on Sarawak Batik and clothings.
What to buy: His price is fair indeed.
What to pay: RM15 to RM1500 for 4 meters of cloth ranging from cotton to
They were giving away 50% discounts on some vases. Also, rejected vases, with tiny cracks and chips are going at a low price of only RM5. So, if you are looking for a bargain and don't mind the little imperfections, this is the place to go
What to buy: Porcelain vase, pots, ashtray, etc
They even packed the vases nicely in boxes with lots of packing materials (used newspaper) and even guarantee that the vases will not break with rough handling of the cargo crew of the flight you are taking out of Kuching
What to pay: RM15 to RM500
2 hours drive from Santubong, and you will arrive at Sarikin, a mixture of Indonesian and Malaysian selling their ware from handicraft to curtains to electric guitars.
What to buy: A replica Levis cost RM 35 to RM 50
What to pay: Bargain and bargain, even though the price is already cheap
Opposite the Waterfront, 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.
The main bazzar of Kuching has numerous shops that sell handicrafts and souvenirs. Most are just cheap things, like keyrings and frideg magnets, but you can buy furniture and more expensive wooden things, like statues and ornaments.
I found shopping for womens clothes for me near on impossible. I am tall (5ft 10) and slim but still couldnt find anything to fit me. Asians bodies are shorter than ours so clothes shopping was a no go for me.
Also I found the kids clothes to be orientated towards the Asian children as they wear lots of frills and gymic type clothes... Not what my kids would wear.
The usual tourist shops selling wood products, placemats, bags, and other items can be found along the road opposite the Waterfront.
There is also a large fish market along the river that can be quite smelly come mid afternoon.
What to buy: You have to some home with an orangutan souvenier of some kind or its not worth going!! Mine was a toy stuffed one for my daughter.
What to pay: I didn't find it to be as cheap as Thailand or Bali.
It is not just a shopping complex that joint to the Crowne Plaza Riverside Hotel, but it is also place to seek entertainment, leisure, food and many more.
The design is unique and it has 2 exotic toilets :)
What to buy: Furniture, Restored Antiques, Local & Foreign Arts.
What to pay: From RM10 to more than RM1000.
Not oriented to the tourists, but to the locals, the India street and adjacents are full of small stores with very good prices for clothes and this kind of items.