Tuesday, October 20, 2009

are there still alley markets in s'pore?

i remember my visit to guangzhou two years ago. i got up at dawn and wandered away from the 5-star hotel to a residential area nearby where the local people live. at 6.00 a.m., one of the narrow alleys was alive with activities. it was reminiscent of our some of our roadside markets in the 50s and 60s, the alley vendors had their ware laid out on trays and containers on the ground. they catered mainly to housewives doing their morning marketing, and sold produce like meat, fish, poultry and vegetables.

if you have been to hong kong, you may have visited the market alley at sheung wan in the evening. i like exploring these places to see how the ordinary people go about their lives. in vietnam, you will also be able to visit one of these make-shift markets if you are an early riser. in some countries, like taiwan, the alley markets come alive in the evening.

some of these alley markets are permanent features (like this one in bangkit, bukit panjang) but some like those in vietnam and the one i chanced upon in guangzhou exist for a couple of hours only, in the morning. if you are a normal tourist, you will be unlikely to be aware of their existence.

of late, wet markets have been in the news. one of them is the fajar wet market which serves some of the residents in bukit panjang town. the alley market at bangkit can be an alternative to the one at fajar. unlike other alley markets where you can get only dry produce, over at the bangkit alley, you can buy your fish, vegetables, meat and grocery from the stalls and the shops.

when i took my walking kakis to this place at bangkit, they were quite fascinated because 'such kind of places' are now rare in s'pore. in choa chu kang, near teck whye, there is also a narrow passage way where you have stalls and shops selling similar stuff.


Victor said...

Your photos look like the old Geylang Serai market which had been demolished a few years ago. (I am sure they are not and this is not a quiz answer.)

fr said...

Right, most normal tourists don't go to the market early in the morning. But I have a friend who did that. He went to the market in Haadyai while I was still sleeping in the hotel.

yg said...

victor, old geylang serai market was a wet one; this one, you can get your meat, vegetables and fish, but it is not wet except on rainy days.

yg said...

fr, it is my practice, each time i visit a country, to get up very early to go for a walk. in bangkok, you see the monks, young and old, making their way to the market place to beg for alms.

kimology said...

hi, enjoy your blog very much. talking about alley, is the change alley still around?

yg said...

hi kimology, change alley is still around but it has lost much of its character. i still go there once in a while to visit the indian money changer to change money.