A bustling market offering fruit, vegetables, herbs, and jungle produce from ferns to wild honey, plus animals, orchids, and much, much more, Satok Market (Medan Niaga Satok is Kuching’s most important market. Vendors come from longhouses far upriver to sell here on weekends, often for just one or two Malaysian ringgit.
The forest vendors’ weird and wonderful produce, including fruits only found on Borneo and home-grown spices and herbs, are a highlight of any visit to Satok Market. But there’s also a wet market, a dry market, and a food court, serving up Malay favorites and Sarawak specialties.
The Malaysian government relocated Satok Market from its downtown location on Jalan Satok to its new site north of the river in 2013. Don’t panic if you see the market listed as closed online: it just means it has moved.
Things to know before you go
- As always, ask permission before taking photos of vendors at work.
- Wild-harvesting orchids is illegal in Malaysia and further endangers the species. Don’t support the trade by buying plants.
- Don’t worry if you smell drains. It’s almost certainly durian, the spiky fruit so smelly that many Southeast Asian hotels ban it.
- Satok Market is manageable with a single stroller, although some children may find the odors in the wet market hard going.
- High kerbs and narrow aisles make Satok Market a challenging choice for wheelchair users.
How to get there
Medan Niaga Satok sits in the Kubah Ria district, about 4 miles (6 kilometers) east of downtown Kuching. The free H2 hydrogen bus runs on a loop that includes Kuching Waterfront; get off at Kubah Ria.
When to get there
Satok Market operates throughout the week but is at its best on weekends, when vendors from more remote areas come into the big city to sell their wares. Saturday afternoons and Sunday mornings are liveliest.
Where to Go Shopping in Kuching
Kuching offers a wealth of quirky shopping opportunities. Head to the Cat Museum for all forms of feline memorabilia or visit Fabriko for unusual local designs based on traditional fabrics. The bazaar on Kuching Waterfront sells souvenirs including woven baskets, with the Museum Shop & Café at the Main Bazaar selling excellent textiles and locally made beauty products.
- Things to do in Sarawak
- Things to do in Sentosa Island
- Things to do in Kota Kinabalu
- Things to do in Jakarta
- Things to do in Kuala Lumpur
- Things to do in Sandakan
- Things to do in Petaling Jaya
- Things to do in Sabah
- Things to do in West Java
- Things to do in Mekong Delta
- Things to do in East Java
- Things to do in Southern Vietnam
- Kuching Mosque (Old State Mosque)
- Sarawak Museum
- Kuching Old Court House
- Square Tower
- Kuching Waterfront (Esplanade)
- Fort Margherita
- Kuching Cat Statues
- Tua Pek Kong Chinese Temple
- Kuching Cat Museum
- Sarawak Cultural Village (SCV)
- Semenggoh Nature Reserve
- Matang Wildlife Centre
- Kubah National Park
- Bako National Park