I found this place on a tour that I went on and it was like striking oil. That is a very Texan thing to say, ain’t it? Say it with a Texan accent and it would sound like “strikin’ erl” or “strikin’ oiyal”. You can say oil with one syllable or two depending on which part of Texas you come from.
Enough of that…
Since we arrived in Singapore and began our shopping I knew there had to be places to find things where the prices weren’t astronomical. Not everyone that lives here is an expat or has an allowance from their company. There had to be place to find reasonably priced meat, cheese, and produce. When I get a taxi driver that seems to be in the mood to chat, I always ask where they buy their groceries. They usually don’t give me a straight answer because they see this Ang Mo (the term they use for rich Westerner which just mean ‘red head’. It comes from when the British settled here.) sitting in the back of their taxi and would never think that I would want to shop where they shop or eat where they eat. BUT I DO!!! We’ve recently found a few places for meat and cheese, QB Foods and Ben Foods, and now we’ve found this wholesale market. I feel like I’ve achieved great success by finding this place. I think this is where the taxi drivers shop.
A little different than wet markets, Pasir Panjang Wholesale Centre sells dried goods (nuts, beans, fruits, etc.) and fresh fruit and vegies that are dirt cheap compared to other places we’ve shopped. You don’t see raw fish or other meats here or at least I haven’t yet. My favorite things to buy there are roasted nuts, dried cherry tomatoes and fresh fruit and vegies. Tommy and I like to go on Saturdays but I’ve gone during the week as well. I dress to sweat, take my rolling cart, a bottle of water and my camera. Of course, my camera!
From the tour, I learned that when the government cleared up the trading from the bum boats in the Singapore River, the trading moved to this market on the West Coast. The ships come in, they unload and I buy. Along with a bazillion other smart people in Singapore. The market was closed several years back for clean up due to a breakout of SARS that was traced back to it. From what I understand, stall owners from wet markets and restaurants shop here buying multiple kilo’s of what I buy a few pieces of . The prices here are really unbelievable (although you must be prepared and know what a good price is or you might get taken for a ride) and the cultural experience is amazing. I went yesterday with 3 other ladies, all Westerners, and we were probably the only 4 ’of our kind’ in the whole market. I must admit that I love that! What many people find uncomfortable, I find amusing. One of the stall owners took my picture yesterday with his cell phone. I wasn’t at a place where I could get his at that time but I will definitely get his picture next time I go. I figure he won’t mind especially if I buy my avocados from him.
Here’s a decent map of the market. And a link in case you want to see it better. You might need to scroll around a little to get the right view.
FC 1 is the food court. Buildings 2-5 are the cold storage. I have not ventured there yet. 6-13 is the open air vegie market. I have pretty much stuck to the area around 10-13. 14-17 is the dried goods area. The store front on the corner of 14 is Guandong, my favorite store! 18-26 is the fruit area. 16 to around 22 is where I’ve shopped.
So there you have it. As much info as I can give you at this time. Here are a few of my photos (I have plenty more, believe me!) but if you live in Singapore, you must go and take your own!