Sungei Road Thieves’ Market is Singapore’s largest and oldest flea market; bursting with all kinds of retro bric-a-brac, it’s a top spot to unearth an unusual souvenir. But thanks to Singapore’s art and design scene blossoming in recent years, you can also pick up more on-trend stuff at other markets these days. Here’s the lowdown on where to head.
Sunday Artist Market (SAM): On weekdays, The Vault (237 South Bridge Road), located in Singapore’s Central Business District, is a popular chill-out place for bankers to catch up after work. Two Sundays a month however, from 13:00 till 18:00, it transforms into a cool space for artists and designers to ply their wares – be it bespoke T-shirts, new fiction, illustrations, jute bags or original tea blends. It’s great to see the young creators themselves sell their wares , and you’ll discover great new works here while enjoying a pint and DJ spins. This is not the place for treasure hunters to look for cheap old trinkets like those you’ll find at Sungei — it’s more for modern connoisseurs who appreciate the avant garde, for the things sold here are new and not cheap.
MAAD Pyjamas (Market of Artists and Designers): This is about the only flea market held exclusively on a weekday. On the first Friday evening of every a month, from 17:00-midnight, vendors transform the Red Dot Design Museum (28 Maxwell Road) into a bazaar of their original creations. Like the Sunday Artist Market, MAAD is a chance for new artists to showcase their products, so again, don’t expect cheap buys or pre-owned products of dubious origin. Admission to the museum itself is free during MAAD.
China Square Central: This small mall, just across the road from Chinatown (18 Cross Street), has evolved into a toy collectors’ haven, where shops are cluttered impossibly to the ceiling with figurines, licensed toys and vintage popular character collectibles. It’s thus apt that every Sunday from 11:00 till 18:00 a flea market springs up right next to these finds, some of which are spillovers of the shops, while others are independent vendors. Many vendors are serious looking senior citizens laying out items like small antiques, seals and coins, which look like they once belonged to their own great grandfathers.
Zouk’s Flea & Easy (17 Jiak Kim Street): Singapore’s grand dame of nightclubs turns into a hip flea market on one Sunday each quarter, from 14:00 till 19:00. Like the Vault, you’ll be able to get a drink while browsing to good music spun by DJs, except that you’ll find pre-loved items in addition to new ones.
Clarke Quay Traders’ Market: Right in the heart of Singapore’s pub scene is the Clarke Quay Traders’ Market (Clarke Quay Central Fountain Square), which runs the third Friday and Saturday of the month from 17:00 till 23:00 and features wares based on themes such as ‘Vintage Finds’ and ‘Made in Singapore’. While these are original creations, think affordable and cute rather than sleek and sophisticated like Vault.
By Fen Chia
Last updated on 14th November, 2014.