Let’s go Souvenir Shopping

April 9, 2009 by  
Filed under Shopping

Sarawak in general and Kuching in particular is a confluence of various cultures which gives visitors a chance to enjoy the best of various traditions. Be it dining, accommodation or things to see and buy, Sarawak gives you a wide range of traditional things to buy as souvenir on your way back to your hometown.

During your stay in Kuching you are bound to find pots of varying sizes and shapes everywhere you go. You can find women at work at pottery outlets that line along 4th mile of Penrissen road. Usually two types of pots are made in Kuching- one by the Chinese potters and the other by Kelabit, Murut and Iban potters. Today pots are made not only for decoration items and candle holders. These decorative pots are very popular among locals as gift items during special occasions.

Woodcarvings found in Kuching are some of the best found in this part of the world. You can find various woodcarvings ranging from stylish Kenyah to Kayan wooden spoons. More popular are the decorative wooden bowls, ritual masks, Iban hunting items. Moreover you can also take back decoratively painted figures of hornbill on woodcarvings.

Kuching, famous for its culture and tradition has a long weaving history and the textiles produced here are famous all over the world. Pua Kumbu weaved by the Iban people showcases the outstanding culture of the region. There are exquisite patterns and designs which you find nowhere else in the world. Kain Songket is another wonderful woven textile art found in Kuching. These manually woven textiles are made of silk or cotton yarn and combined with golden and silver threads. It is said that these textiles are a inherited from the days of the Sultanate.

For centuries the local people have been using a variety of gorgeous beads for ceremonial purposes and decorations. The colors, value and material from which beads are made here form an interesting topic of conversation. Today beads have a variety of uses and are even used by government officials as garlends and gifts for various events.

In some ways bamboo can be said to be the mainstay of Sarawak’s economy. From kitchenware to fans, floorings and pipes bamboos are a commodity for daily use. Bamboos are used in so many different ways that only designs and carvings on bamboos can match it. The Bidayuh and Penan people have over the years mastered the art of carving out various figures on bamboos. They design wonderful containers that can hold blowpipe darts.

In Kuching don’t forget to buy rattan mats, made of rattan, a high quality durable product found in the jungles of Sarawak. Various fibers, leaves, stems and creepers are used to make these mats. Moreover baskets are also made out of these products and are used for various purposes like fish traps, gathering vegetables and storing seeds by the local people.

A favorite and unique gift visitor prefer taking back home for family and friends is the Salted Terubok fish. Though full of bones, the Terubok is a delicious fish loved in this part of the world. Choose a larger fish for taking home as you would find taking off the bones easier.

As you enter Kuching through Serian you are bound to see pepper plantations on either side of the road. Years of research on use of pepper sponsored by the government have resulted various pepper products like pepper perfumes and pepper candies. The distinct flavor of Sarsawak’s pepper makes it recognized in the international stage.

Perfect for health conscious visitors, the Bario Rice is manually grown using traditional methods without the use of chemicals or pesticides. It has a unique taste and aroma and is well known for its fine and soft texture.

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