Carpenter Street, Kuching
Carpenter Street is an old street that runs from Jalan Tun Abang Haji Openg, where the General Post Office is located, to Jalan Ewe Hai to the east, immediately behind the Main Bazaar. Due to its location, it is considered the backstreet to the Main Bazaar, which acted as the main thoroughfare fronting the river. In the old days, Carpenter Street was called "attap street" because of the thatch houses on both sides. This was where carpenters set up their workshops, earning the street its name.
A facelift took place in 1884, by courtesy of a big fire that razed all the wooden houses along the street. Charles Brooke, the then White Rajah of Sarawak, issued a decree that henceforth the houses to be rebuilt with non inflammable material. This necessitated the construction of the more permanent brick shophouses along Carpenter Street, a few of them surviving till today. During those days, Carpenter Street was a lower working class neighbourhood filled with opium dens, gambling joints, brothels and other clandestine activities. These were eventually cleaned up by the British.
Today Carpenter Street marks the entrance to the Kuching Chinatown. There is a big Chinese archway here, and the shops stock the daily necessities of the local Chinese in Kuching.
Narrow street with shops on both sides. You may chance upon a shop selling coffins and it is near one of the busiest and most popular coffee shops. This is supposed to be part of Chinatown. Look out for the Harmony Arch and interesting architectural designs
Walk down Carpenter Street and enjoy a typical laidback street scene in old Kuching. As the name suggests, there are many carpenter and furniture shops along this street. Gold shops also seemed quite popular here. There are a few beautiful Chinese temples along the way. And a big hawker center sells typical local fare like laksa Sarawak, Kolo Mee and Kuey Chap.
As you enter Carpenter Street, you are welcomed by a colorful archway and from there you will see rows & rows of shophouses that date back for decades. This is a predominantly Chinese area and is more frequented by locals and has little of the touristy stuff. This is where the locals frequent to do their shopping.
I like to come here for the Chinese food, served by the local coffeeshop or "kopitiam" and hawker stalls close to a Chinese temple. Kuching hawker food is a MUST!
One of the older streets in Kuching, it's name suggests that carpenters ply their trade here and indeed there are still a number of carpenters who can make anything you want.
This street is worth a walk through. it's always lifely with bustling local cafes (my favourite kolo mee stall is located here), and an old temple or two nestled here and there.
Carpenter Street, parallel to Main Bazaar, has a similar selection of small traders and coffee shops, as well as food stalls and two small Chinese temples. The whole area oozes charm and character.