Central Market was originally a wet market and since the early beginning this building has become a landmark for every race in Malaysia. After its reformation, it began to transform into an art complex that includes many high-quality crafts and colorful illustrations of arts until today. Let’s see what this historic building is all about.
1. The Historical Building, 1888
The historical building was built by Yap Ah Loy, the city’s Chinese Kapitan and it started as a wet market in 1888. The wet market was almost demolished in the 80s but the Malaysian Heritage Society created a petition against it and received a lot of support from the community. The building was turned into what we know now, the Central Market and the facade has remained to retain its historical charm.
2. One-stop Centre for Handicraft
Central Market is a haven place for traditional collectors to get Malaysian handicrafts, textiles, souvenirs and more. There are over 300 shops that can be found and chosen from. All the tenants have become a big contributor to the tourism industry by promoting arts and culture especially to the foreign visitors. Perhaps you also can support them when you pay a visit here.
3. Multi-racial Inspired Zones
Inspired by the multi-racial diverse citizens of Malaysia, the Central Market features zones that represent 3 main races which are Malay, Chinese and Indian. These are known as Lorong Melayu, Straits Chinese and Little India to give insight about the diversity of Malaysia for the tourists. You can also find other inspired architectural designs and motifs in every corner of this building.
4. Local food is Everywhere!
Another zone located in this building is known as Lorang Kelapa. It sells a variety of traditional snacks, and some of it are even rare. You can find all kinds of kerepek, kuih and fried goodies like Kuih Loyang, Epok-epok and many more. Central Market also serves the best local and fusion food that can be found inside and nearby the complex.
5. Central Market Annexe
Central Market Annexe is a place that highlights most of the eclectic art galleries. It consists of an Illusion 3D Art Museum for a real picture taking experience, Art House Gallery that keeps some of the personal ethnic collection and last is the Art Lane that features exciting works of art by local artists. You also may try the DIY batik workshop for the fun art making experience.
6. The “Wau” of Kasturi Walk
Opened in early 2011, the huge wau gate next to the main building known as Kasturi Walk became one of the popular spots that brings the people to the Central Market. The newly transformed walkway is turned into a bazaar that locates small kiosks and stalls that sell local snacks and small souvenirs. We can say it is almost similar to Petaling Street!
7. Live Art Performance
Central Market is also regularly used as a space to showcase cultural heritage to the public. If you are lucky on that specific day, you may watch the art performances around that area – it can be singing, dancing, and live staging related to each culture.