Notes on the Geography of Great Mirror: Photo 1
Kuching has spread out for miles, but its core, the triangular main bazaar seen clearly here, remains fundamentally unchanged from the form it took when it was rebuilt in brick, by order of Charles Brooke, after a disastrous fire in 1884. It is a district of shophouses--retail down, residential up. A few decades earlier it had been... well, let James Brooke describe it as it was in 1842: "A little town with brown huts and long-houses made of wood or the hard stems of the nipah palm, sitting in brown squalor on the edge of mudflats." The mudflats on the banks of the Sarawak River are still there at low tide.
Brooke is quoted in Alice Yen Ho's Old Kuching, 1998.
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