Singapore

First-timers and returners at Sungei Road market's last weekend

The first time he visited the Sungei Road Flea market was in 1973, but graphic designer Jeffrey Goh remembers it like it was yesterday.

He was a primary three student when his mother brought him along to Singapore's oldest-surviving street market to get army uniforms for his older brother.

Fond memories of the shopping trip and subsequent ones over the decades made Mr Goh, 52, determined to visit Sungei Road market on Saturday (July 8) before the site makes its final bow on Monday (July 10).

"I'm sad to see it go," Mr Goh told The Straits Times, as he snapped photos of the market with a camera.

The Sungei Road market, which began in the 1930s, is said to make way for future residential and commercial development.

Ever since news of its impending closure broke, visitor footfall to the market has significantly increased, according to some of the vendors interviewed.

Mr Kris Gantana, 54 and his daughter, were one of the many curious onlookers visiting the market for the first - and last time - before it closes.

"This is my first time visiting the market. I had to come as next time it won't be here anymore, I brought my daughter here too as I thought it would be a good eye-opener for her," said the casino dealer.

Stall owners who have called the 80-year-old market home for decades were also sad to see it go even as they peddle their wares on Saturday.

Said Mr Sarapi Shor, 58, who has set up shop at the market since 1999 selling secondhand trinkets like pearl necklaces and handphones: "Over the years, I've seen a lot, both the good and the ugly. But I'll miss the lively atmosphere here."

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