A visit to the traditional fish market in Singapore at Senoko Fishery Port isn’t complete till you make a pre-sunrise dash down to Jurong Fishery Port too. The size of Jurong Fishery Port doubled the size of Senoko Fishery Port as there are more than 100 stalls to choose from, where an array of stingray, sotong, and mud crabs awaits – all ready for you to bring back home to be mixed up with the savoury goodness of sambal, salted egg yolk, and chilli crab sauce.
At 2.00 a.m, just like the situation at Senoko, the Jurong Fishery Port is also starting to get busy. There is a general sense of hustle and bustle. People are hard at work. That's when the boats are unloading their catch and throngs of hawkers, chefs and wet market stall owners are buying in bulk. Taking turns to operate the forklifts, fishmongers move in a fluid clockwork motion, and plastic boots squelch against the wet floor. If you hear a rolling rumbling sound, you’ll instinctively turn to look if you are in the way of someone moving their fish. What warmed me is the good-natured reactions of the vendors when I apologise for being in the way. While this is admirable to me, this is just another typical day for them.
When people think of fish markets, their minds understandably wander to busy port cities such as Tokyo or Sydney, few people would ever imagine that Singapore has traditional fish markets too. There are two fishery ports in Singapore at Jurong and Senoko, which house wholesale fish markets where buyers can snap up seafood in bulk, and cheaply. Even if you are not a buyer, a visit offers a glimpse of the supply chain that ultimately makes it all tick for Singapore’s seafood scene.
Well, while you are asleep, the fast-paced action at a traditional fish market makes for a night’s fun and an eye-opener. I visited Senoko Fishery Port recently, located at the far end of Sembawang, in the north of Singapore, where land meets the Straits of Johor. My alarm was set for 1.00 a.m. and as I stumbled out of bed to make my way to arrive at peak hour of 2.00am. The Senoko Fishery Port, which houses more than 30 lots, are open daily from 2.00am to 6.00am, except on Mondays — this is why Singaporeans often avoid consuming seafood on Monday. On other days, more than 1,000 seafood retailers and buyers come to Senoko to stock up and many fresh fishes change hands each day.
As I entered into the complex, the first thing that struck me was that this is a wet market at its best. Fishy-smelling water sloshes around your feet, while half-dressed fish merchants tramp around in galoshes, stack baskets of squid and anchovies, and weigh shrimp with traditional scales. Shoals of fresh-caught fish are often just strewn along the ground, with baskets of prawns and other shellfish crowding the area and shaved ice spilling every which way. As I walked around photographing these early birds in their glory, I wished I could have tasted the beautiful tuna before me. The next few hours go by in a whirlwind of activity.
One of the things I love the most about travelling by plane is when you look outside of the window and can enjoy those kind of views.
Flying offers us a wonderful experience: the opportunity to see the sky up close, to enjoy sunsets or sunrises, gorgeous snowy mountain peaks, beautiful green fields and so on and so forth. I admit I love sitting on the seat next to the window in airplanes (and in any other means of transportation, for that matter). I want to see “out”, to enjoy the view, even through the small airplane window. And, yes, I like to take photos – and to look at photos taken from various flights. The views are breathtaking!
Speaking of wonderful moments, here is my collection of some lovely white clouds on flights to-date. I hope you like them.