Singapore: Shopping at Sungei Road Thieves Market (Flea Market)

 Dating back to the 1930s, the flea market at Sungei Road got its start selling stolen goods, leading to its name as the Thieves Market. For over 80 years, vendors have sold their wares here, where the rent is free and there are no refunds. As such, buyer beware. But you never know what you'll find here.
 Unfortunately, there has been a lot of turmoil at the site of the flea market, It has been "torn down" but rebuilt a few times, and about five years ago half of the market was closed off to build a new MRT station. And in 2017, the entire market will most likely be closed. The peddlers have requested a new location to move the market, but so far their wish has not been granted.
 Now in the shape of a "T" with about 80 stalls (though one source in my research said there are over 300), the market still offers a wide range of guaranteed-used goods. Expect to find housewares, clothing, and knickknacks, all of which would be good souvenirs. Come to bargain and bring small bills to help the negotiations, and be aware of your surroundings just in case.
Right now, the market seems to be open daily 1:00-7:00 PM. The center of the market is at the intersection of Larut Road and Pitt Street, most easily accessible from Bugis MRT Station.

There are other flea markets in Singapore, though I didn't have the opportunity to visit any.


  1. "free rent" caught my attention... but so did "beware of your surroundings" ;)

  2. There's a lot of competition to get the stalls, or at least there used to be. I find some conflicting information online depending on what source you read. And the sellers are pretty well-established and work the market essentially as a career. The other flea markets are probably better for regular Singaporeans to sell at.

    I give the warning of paying attention to yourself and your belongings more due to the sketchy nature of the market than any danger. Singapore felt extremely safe overall. But there is a possibility of pick-pocketing or bag snatching or something similar to that.