Located in a tiny back alley on the fringe of Chinatown is Mohamad Ali Lane, a small yet quaint stretch in Singapore.
On weekends, Mohamad Ali is home to a handful of old aunties and uncles selling interesting finds in Singapore. The alley grounds are laden with a hodgepodge of old items, mainly salvaged from trash and donations. Such finds include magazines and old photos, vintage coke bottles and religious amulets that dot the narrow laneway behind the row of shophouses.
The vendors, who are typically older and homeless, are there on most days and are in full-force on Sundays mornings till late afternoon depending on the weather. However, even for Singapore standards, this flea market is small and offers pretty much the same low priced items as the Sungei Road Thieves Market, ie. VCDs cost $1, and amulets around $10.
Named after a Persian textile trader, Mirza Mohamad Ali Namazi, who arrived in Singapore in the 1900s, Mohamed Ali Lane provides a pretty small enclave of merchants where tourists gander the laneway to experience the less cosmopolitan and grittier side of the city.
On the other side of the lane however, there is a lovely tree-lined path which leads you to the charming Club Street and Bukit Pasoh areas. For the scruffy darings too, along the way, two local barbers offers some cheap trims in an open air setting if you don’t mind the outdoor ambience and back-alley aromas.
The barber’s makeshift shop, though closed for the day: