The Old Bazaar marks the beginning of Kuching city. According to the elders, one origin of the name "Kuching" is referred to an "old well" situated at the Upper China Street. "Old Well" is pronounced as "Kuching" in Teochew dialect.
This huge arch marks the entrance to Carpenter Street. The giant Chinese character reads "Atap Street" The Old Bazaar Area is made up of Carpenter Street, China Street, Upper China Street, Bishopgate, Ewe Hai Street and the Main Bazaar.
Carpenter Street was so named because in those years, all the buildings were constructed of wood and "atap". Carpenters were important to the community. Goldsmiths are also plenty around this area and reasonably priced (My wedding ring was bought in this area). There is a food court and a handful of decent coffee shops that worth a visit.
The Old Bazaar is also home to a host of budget lodges and inns. Most of them cost less than RM100 per night and clean.
Across Ewe Hai Street is a small park called Wayang Park. Hong San Si temple (also Kuching Hockien Association) is at the background.
The Wayang Park has an interesting legend linked to it. In the 1830s' during the White Rajah Brooke's era, Rajah James Brooke was passing the Hong Sun Si grand stage (at the background) and saw a little boy of the age about 7 years old playing with water at the site. Rajah Charles Brooke later enquired as who the little boy was but no one was sure who he saw. Describing to the locals how the little boy looked like, the locals were amazed as no little boy fit the description ever existed in Kuching. The locals believe the little boy was the manifestation of the Deity Kong Teck Choon Ong and out of respect, Rajah James Brooke erected a water hydrant next to Hong San Si temple for the little boy with the hope of bringing prosperity to Kuching
Kuching was developed since and during a road construction program in the area, the water supply was cut off and the water hydrant was dismantled to make way for development. The legend then faded away.
In 2006, the water hydrant was reinstalled and a garden was built to allow the legend to live on. The original fire hydrant which was kept by the Kuching Hockien Association was finally erected at the exact site where it was first laid by Rajah James Brooke. This park has now come to be known as Wayang Park