A Market by the Sea

The Lau Pa Sat we know today is part of an illustrious lineage of ‘Telok Ayer Markets’, with three significant versions built in total.

Constructed in timber and attap as Singapore’s first ever market in 1824, Telok Ayer Market’s connection to the sea was crucial, to allow fishermen to directly bring in the catch of the day. This first version was later replaced by a sturdier concrete octagonal one. It was during this period that the market gained its iconic name, “Old Market” or “Lau Pa Sat,” as a newer market called Ellenborough Market joined the scene.

In 1894, the monumental cast iron rendition of the Telok Ayer Market that we see today was completed at the edge of the newly reclaimed Raffles Quay. It has remained here ever since and is now Singapore’s oldest market structure.

Despite further land reclamation, Lau Pa Sat continues to stand prominently in the heart of the city. It has gracefully adapted to the high-rise surroundings, no longer reliant on its proximity to the waterfront.

Food Folks

Lau Pa Sat