Chinese pioneers first came to Sarawak as explorers and traders along ancient trade routes as early as the 6th century. During the 1870's following an invitation by Charles Brooke, the second White Rajah of Sarawak, many Hokkien-Chinese from Fugian province in China settled in Sarawak to pursue their trades. Nowadays the Chinese make up for the second largest ethnic group in Sarawak. In Kuching's Chinatown many of them still pursue their old trades.
Meet Mrs. Mei Leo at your hotel lobby and walk together to the Chinese History Museum located at the idyllic Kuching Waterfront. After a short introduction about the Chinese heritage in Kuching, follow Mrs. Mei Leo to stroll along Ewe Hai Street with its traditional Chinese shop houses, many of which have been occupied by the same family for generations. Here you can discover the old Chinese trades!
First you will visit a Sinseh, a Chinese traditional medicine man. Chinese traditional medicine originated as early as 3000 BC in China. Along with their religions and way of life, the Chinese in Kuching have brought their special brands of medicine, largely consisting of plants. Watch the Sinseh practise this ancient art and if you wish you can even have a personal medical consultation!
Next Mrs. Mei Leo will bring you to a Pak Tik to learn about the trades of a tin smith. Watch how the Chinese tin smiths handcraft all sorts of tin products such as coffee jugs, mailboxes, serving trays and lamps. Don't be shy and try your own tin smith skills! You may craft your own little tin tray or box and keep it as a souvenir!
Continue your stroll through Chinatown and stop by at a Hio Chek, a shop which trades Chinese ceremonial items such as joss sticks, candles and offerings for the ancestors. Listen to Mrs. Mei Leo's explanations about the Chinese believes in life after death and the worshipping of the ancestors, before visiting a Chinese temple where you might be able to witness the actual worshipping.
Before walking back to the hotel, you will stop at an old Chinese coffee shop to enjoy a typical Chinese noodle dish and a cup of coffee. Watch the Chinese Towkay brewing your coffee the old way without coffee machines!