Night Market

on Sunday, January 21, 2007

Markets are another favorite place to visit when I travel. I feel that a visit to a market is the quickest, easiest and one of the most enjoyable ways of immersing oneself in to the pulse of the daily lives of a city or town. Here you rub shoulders with the local people going about their daily chores and activities of living. Here you get to see them raw, natural and real. You also get to see, smell, touch and if you are lucky, taste some of the local cuisine, specialities and fruits.

Today, I invite you for a short tour of my local night market which is held on Sunday evenings where market vendors take over several busy roads and set up their stalls and sell their wares. Most of the stalls will sell vegetables and fruits but poultry, meat and fish are also available. Another major section of the market will sell street or hawker food. Also available are hardware, homeware, clothing and even pirated VCDs and DVDs. The last two clearly are modern additions to the night market's range of products.

Here you can see a typical fruit stall. This one happens to be selling the green coloured starfruit and the red-coloured rambutan.
The starfruit is a refreshing, juicy fruit which can be very sweet but can also be occasionaly sour. If cut in cross-section, it is star-shaped - hence its name.
The rambutan is a hairy fruit. Once you peel the skin, you will find revealed a sweet firm translucent flesh surrounding a woody seed. This flesh is very sweet and has been described as a firmer version of lychee.

Vegetables aplenty. Starting underneath the man's basket and moving clockwise we have; a local form of lettuce, a local form of sweet leeks, green chillis, red chillis, okra or ladies fingers and round cabbages.

More vegetables and fruits. In the foreground, we have the brinjal which is similar and yet distinct from the eggplant behind it. Also in the picture are some local corn, chillis, cucumbers, four-angled beans, pineapples, carrots and one other item that I rather embarrassingly cannot remember its name.

Did I mention that you can also find flowers including exotic orchids like the one here?

There is also all kinds of hawker food representing the multi-cultural mix that is Malaysia. This includes Malay, Chinese, Indian and Thai food. It can be rice, noodle or buns. It can be fried, barbequed, steamed or boiled.

In this picture, you can see the famous "Fatman Steamboat" which is a buffet on wheels. You select from the spread of food provided, place the skewered food into boiling broth and cook it yourself. When cooked, remove, dip in sauce and consume.

By now, as you leave the market, you would have incredible will-power not to be leaving with bags of produce or a plateful or two of food securely in your tummy. See you again at the market next Sunday.


Le Nightowl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Le Nightowl said...

What a wonderfully colourful market, LGS!
The variety of vegetables and fruits is really amazing, unknown to me for the most part, unfortunately.
Too bad pictures cannot transmit the smells of the Fatman Steamboat goodies!
Now I'm feeling hungry :)


Michael C said...

Wow, I could spend a lot there!!

nancycle said...

A feast for the eyes!!!

One of my happiest memories was heading to market in Ocho Rios Jamaica to buy supplies as the room had a kitchenette. What you've shown here blows that market to smithereens!!!

Happy on you.

Josie said...

I LOVE markets. That's one of the first things I visit when I travel. We have a wonderful market here too (well, several actually) but the largest is Granville Island Market. There is always something interesting there.


Dave said...

Your post reminds me of Kensington Market in "Chinatown" which is just north of downtown Toronto. It has been a while since I have been there but my daughter goes there more often than not. :-)

Becky Wolfe said...

Loved the walk thru the market. They are a fantastic place for photography as well, which is obvious by all the beautiful colors & shapes you've captured.

I experienced some rather interesting markets on my trip to Africa - an all seafood market that was sprawling with cats, a local hand craft market with brilliant colors of beaded jewelry, fabrics & paintings, a spice market, and a market full of wood carvings. All of them so memorable! I wish I took photos back then!

Thanks for sharing this one with us!

Anonymous said...

I was almost able to smell the fruit! Lovely photos and interesting post!

Would you belive, on occasion our local Walmart has star fruit for sale and I like to buy one and eat it. I love the taste of the star fruit, wish it was something more "common" around here.


adelym said...

Oh.. LGS... you the vegetable you forget the name is "bitter gourd". Cooked with fried scamble eggs is very nice. This particular market only opens at 5 pm to about 10 pm. We call them Night market or "Pasar Malam". So markets like this can open till early the morning.They also sell cakes that are made on the spot.So you get them hot.Some how the Malaysian night markets have it's uniqueness of offering food where you can just stand the stall to eat. If it is the durian season, you get to see ppl just squatting there to eat.

Sunil Parmar said...

Very beautiful & refreshing.:)

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Consider coming out this way and sampling them. Interesting comment about not being able to capture the smells. I'm sure some tekkie is working on it and one day we will have "Google Smells". Haha.

Please come, Malaysia needs your tourism dollar. Really,truly, sadly.

I'm sure I would be equally blown away by a Jamaican market.

Vancouver has everything. I was at Granville Island once but just half hour before closing which was unfortunate. I did manage to try the market at ..... I think it was called Westminster. I remember we had to catch a ferry.

I expect Toronto's markets are quite something with all the multiethnicity. Should be fun to visit.

African markets! must be very interesting - especially the fetish or witch doctor markets. They are a bit eerie but interesting. Never been myself, just read about it. Why would a keen photographer like yourself not take photos of the market?

Glad you like the starfruit. It also makes for very nice fruit juice.

Thanks for suggesting "bitter gourd". Actually, that's the name that came to mind as well but if you look carefully in the picture, its the small oval shaped and wrinkly one - I think it has a special name but I can't remember it.

Thanks for the visit and comments. I am sure Indian or Pakistani markets are even more colorful with all the spices.

Becky Wolfe said...

Ah, you see, I've only taken an interest in photography in the last 2 years. I was in Africa 3 years ago *sigh* Took many great photos to be sure, but now that I know HOW to take better photos I wish to go again & capture all those interesting things that I missed!

daysgoby said...

What beautiful produce!

I miss the big markets - I live in a small town now, and the Saturday morning Farmers Market usually consists of The Singing Apple Man and someone selling deerfeed....sigh. Your post makes me want to cook something lavish and wonderful!

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Ah, I see. You take great pictures for just being 2 years into the hobby.

"The Singing Apple Man"? Never heard of him. Sounds exotic to me!

squirrel said...

What great pitures. I really feel as though I just took a trip to your market. Now I am hungry!

adelym said...

Er.. Is it the one next to the red cilies. I think I can't really see it. Too many greens. Hopeful I don't need to wear specs to see it.
sorry uncle. I m kind of blur...ehheheh :)or it is the pucuk ulam

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Malaysia is not good for those of us (and I mean myself as well) who are easily hungry and have difficulty sticking with low-carb diets.

You can click on picture to get a larger picture. The veg concerned is only about 3 inch long and 1 inch wide, and has a very folded but smooth skin. It is extremely bitter. Good luck with identifying it.

adelym said...

I found the cantonese name for it but not the english name. It's call the "sei leong" bean.
See if you can get the english name for it....ehehe

adelym said...

Okay..I found the name for the beans. It's call the "four corner beans ". Great when cooked with dried prawns and cilies. Normally I get to eat them only when there is mix rice.

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