Sneaking around Sungei Road Thieves Market

Hey everyone!

This week, we have decided to share another of Singapore’s lesser-known gems and heritage, using one of our favourite mediums; the 35mm film!  Although this week has been dedicated to #HolgaWeek, we do not own any Holga cameras. Hence, our camera of choice for this trip to the middle of Singapore is the White Superheadz Ultra Wide and Slim. This camera is commonly known as the toy wide angle point and shoot film camera (special thanks to Sandra’s sister for letting us use it)!

Markets are commonplace to the Singaporean living in the heartlands. In every estate, it is easy to find a supermarket, or the wet market, selling produce, poultry and so on. But the Sungei Road Thieves Market isn’t that kind of a market… rather, the flea market sells all sorts of trinkets, antiques, second-hand items and merchandise!

The Sungei Road Thieves Market is one of the oldest flea market; its inception can be traced to the 1930s, as a lively marketplace. Its name is distinctly derived from the fact that most of the ‘second-hand’ products were actually stolen. Peddlers and hawkers are the transactors, who are just trying to cut a good deal. Clearly, this is the place for you to hone your bargaining skills!

Getting to the Sungei Road Thieves Market was an easy feat. It took us an estimated time of 5-10 minutes to walk from Rocher MRT Station.
Along the way, we spotted many scenic shophouses! It was a perfect opportunity to test out our wide angle film camera.
Cleanest back alley ever with air-condition vents arranged neatly. No litter or muddy path, clean and stink-free!
More shophouses! We noticed a bit of light leak. #Holgaeffect anyone?
We were drawn to the green painted walls. Unfortunately, we did not walk through the lane. We will definitely check this place out in the future 🙂
Relatively modern high-rise housing apartments juxtaposed against the antiquated shophouses; both reflect some of the different homes found in Singapore!
More light leaks! 🙂 Sandra loves how decorative these shophouses are- from the roofing to the tiles and even the Chinese window panels!
Sunny days call for a skyward view of the fluffy clouds and panoramic skies!
More #lightleaks upon our arrival at the Sungei Road Thieves Market!

Unlike many modern flea markets in Singapore, the setup for the Sungei Road Thieves Market is rather interesting. Here, sellers lay out their goods on the floor, or on colourful raffia mats. Huge beach umbrellas sheltered the sellers from the weather conditions.

Unlike most popular sites in Singapore, we were pleasantly pleased to find this place less crowded.
Take your pick…!
Peering through the fence.
Loving the symmetry of this high-rise HDB flat! One of the benefits of using a wide angle lens is the propensity to capture the full range of the HDB flat, whilst standing on ground level!
Around the corner exiting the Sungei Road Thieves Market. Notice the colourful buildings we explored on our earlier entry? 🙂
Grease Monkey!?

The Sungei Road Thieves Market reminds us of the olden days in Singapore, where the bustling, lively kampung spirit is best captured in flea markets like this. Venturing through this flea market, we felt almost foreign, discovering another aspect of modern Singapore we have not seen before. We were pleased with how our 35mm film was processed and scanned! Shooting this venue using film gives off the authentic olden-day vibes.

Sadly, we did not buy anything from the flea market. Rather, we were admittedly intimidated by the intense stares and heckling going on around us. It is unfortunate that our infrastructure development will force the Sungei Road Thieves Market to close down next year. We can only hope that its heritage and culture will live on in our ever-modernising society.

Till next time,



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