Friday, October 15, 2010

markets of the past

market a

market b

market c

market d

market e

market f

market g

recently, i blogged about the people's park market. the hokkiens referred to it as 'chin choo pa sat'. in the 50s and 60s, there were a number of markets which were better known by their chinese or hokkien names.
most of the markets in the above pictures have disappeared from the singapore scene. some are still around but they are no longer playing their original role. more than one has been replaced and relocated. can you match and give the proper names - not the hokkien names of these markets?
their hokkien names, not in order of appearance, are tang leng pa sat; tih pa sat; sin pa sat; lau pa sat; gu chia chwee pa sat; tek kah pa sat; and pek kio pa sat.
in the past i used to hear the name 'tih pa sat' being mentioned but i had not actually seen the place, except in oldhotographs. i am familiar with tek kah pa sat because a close relative used to have a stall in that market. in those days, the market was confined to the building proper; it spilled onto the roads around it. i had been to gu chia chwee pa sat, just for the cooked food; i still visit the place for cooked food. when i was a school-boy, i used to walk past and sometimes visit pek kio p sat. i remember the cows and the dungs outside the market area. i know that tang leng pa sat, sin pa sat and lau pa sat existed but i had not visited these places when they were wet markets.
market a is a giveaway. the answer is clyde terrace market. what about markets b, c, d, e, f and g?
all photos from national archives of singapore


PChew said...

Picture (e) was Orchard Road market. Tanglin market was facing Grange Road. It was nearby Tanglin Road/Grange Road junction.
Picture (f) is a photo of former Telok Ayer Market before being converted to the present Telok Ayer Food Centre.

Anonymous said...

Right click on photos and left click properties - the answers of the markets are there. Haha!

Uncle Lee said...

Hi YG, I love that market 'f'. Its still there, right? Forgot the name. Used to go there for oh chien, poh pia wayyyy back in the '70s, '80s...
Love the pics, brings back memories.
Have a nice day, Lee.

doris said...

as a child, i used to live in a rented room near tik pa sat which was next to the old beach rd police stn and enjoyed the wayangs (like lau sai tor and sing yong hua) which played for a week or more come every lunar 7th month.
i remember that we used to walk on a wooden jetty to enjoy the high tide. in the early 50s, all of us seaside residents (some were smugglers) were relocated to an area between mountbatten rd and old kallang airport to make way for the building of nicoll highway.
the market moved to pasir panjang wholesale centre somewhere in the 70s.

yg said...

philip, thanks for the clarification. i still cannot recall tanglin's market exact location. so, orchard road market was the one between koek road and cuppage road? the tanglin market was between ellis road and grange road?

yg said...

anonymous, very clever of you! i didn't know that the answers were all there.

yg said...

lee, market f and market g are very popular food centres but f attracts more tourists.

yg said...

doris, lau sai tor is the name of one of the wayang shows, i think. sin yong hua is (or was) the name of one the wayang companies. in those days, they smuggled opium? these days, they smuggle cigarettes.

PChew said...

Grange Road market was a small market between Tanglin Mall and Grange Road (approximate). Entrance to the market was fron Grange Road.

Selling of opium was licensed by the colonial government before the war. Joo Chiat Post Office building (already demolished) was originally used to sell opium.

yg said...

philip, so, in those days, what the chinese called the 'tang leng pa sat' could be the orchard road one and not the small market at grange road?

PChew said...

Yes, the Chinese called Orchard Road market, 'tang leng pa sat'.
Similarly Eng Kiam market (beside Joo Chiat Police Station) at East Coast Road was known as Katong pa sat.

Chandler said...

Hi YG, came across your blog via Secondshot - love to look at and read about places of yesteryear in Singapore.

As I'm in my 30s, my earliest recollection from these markets would be of Lau Pa Sat before its major renovations in the 80s (correct me if I'm wrong).

I remember falling pretty darn sick when I was a kid sometime in the early 80s, and my dad had brought me to Lau Pa Sat to have kaya bread early in the morning. I vividly remember staring up at the original Victorian beam structures of the market and then throwing up straight after that onto the mosaic-tiled floor because I was sick. I remember a nice Chinese Ah Pek manning the kopi stall being quite concerned and helped my dad clean me up - he even threw the bread ends onto the floor to soak up the mess that I made. The next thing I remembered was being sent to the old Tan Tock Seng hospital (the present CDC site) because I had pretty high fever and given an ice bath by the nurses.

Thanks for jogging my memories YG!

Keep blogging :)

yg said...

hi chandler, thanks for dropping by. i had driven past the telok ayer market but i did not step into lau pa sat until after the renovation.
the present cdc was then known as middleton hospital. the chinese name for it was 'orr sai' (black lion). i was warded there once.

doris said...

both were names of wayang companies and rich aunties would bring delicious and nutritious cooked food for their favourite actor/actress. those who played baddies were not included.

yg said...

doris, in chinese wayang, they simplify things, so you can judge the character by his colour. red soldiers, good; green soldiers, bad. bad characters usually have their faces painted black. clowns have a white nose.

Lam Chun See said...

Whenever I visit Ipoh, we go to the wet market at Pasir Pinji. It looks just like the ones in your photos.

yg said...

chun see, those are not my photos. if i claim them as my own, i will get into trouble with the national archives.

Victoria Galvez said...

Dear YG,

I am Victoria Galvez, a second year Masters student in the National University of Singapore. In my Masters thesis, I am studying the memories of the wet market as a disappearing space and ‘heritage space’ from the perspective of history and heritage bloggers.

I notice that your website, Ygblog4, has several entries on markets: Tekka Market, Beauty World Market, Alley Markets, and Markets of the Past.

I am deeply interested in these entries, your thoughts on the wet market, and in your blog in general. I have a few questions to ask you about your memories of the wet market as a disappearing space, and am wondering if you would be so kind as to help me with my research.

I would prefer to converse with you face-to-face, hopefully soon, but at a date, time and place that is convenient for you. If you prefer to communicate via e-mail, I can send you a questionnaire with my questions. However, it would be nice meeting you face-to-face.

You can contact me at

I hope to receive a favourable response from you soon, and I will deeply appreciate your help.

Yours sincerely,

Victoria Galvez

23 November 2012

Victoria Galvez said...

On second thought, do contact me at this e-mail address instead of my NUS one:

Thanks! :)