Only on Wednesday's

Customers pick the best buys from this pile
If you enjoy a hearty haggle for a better deal, then you should have fun at the Pasar Rabu or Wednesday Market in Air Hitam.  Pasar Rabu is a wholesale market for a wide range of cloths, clothes and personal and household items that happens every Wednesday morning from first light to noon or when the sun gets too hot.  Located in a lot adjacent to the Air Hitam-Johor Baru trunk road, this morning market is a truly Malaysian experience to enjoy and to share with visitors. 

Many of the traders are from Johor while some came from as far as Selangor and Thailand.  They travel a regular circuit to sell local goods as well as products imported from China, Korea, Japan, Indonesia and Thailand.  Some travel by night and sleep in their vehicles parked in the lots rented from town councils and wake up early to open for business.  This traveling market has been around for more than 10 years and provides a service to residents in the heartlands to have access to a wide range of quality products. 

Glittering choices from a wide selection
In the market, traders occupy allotted spaces in rows upon rows of stalls, many displaying their wares from the back of their vans or the side of their trucks.  Most display their merchandise on tables and hang them from racks but some lay out neat bundles and stacks of fabrics, garments and toys on groundsheets.  It’s interesting to see that these smart traders also provide low plastic stools for customers to sit down comfortably and take their time to pick from the mind-boggling variety of choices!

As customers trickle in and start to throng the market, the footpaths may become quite crowded but don’t be deterred.  Shoppers here know how to enjoy wholesale prices for retail items so you should join in the fun to haggle and strike a bargain for items that have caught your fancy.  You will also notice how wholesalers take advantage of the bulk packs as they cart away their large purchases on trolleys.

Bulk packs of fabrics from this stall
Be prepared to be spoilt for choices as you see a wide range of scarves, trousers, skirts and beautiful blouses, tailored in lovely fabrics, colors and patterns, hanging from canopies, racks, sides of vans and trucks. 

There may not be any fitting rooms to let you try on the outfits but it’s perfectly acceptable to put them against your body or slip them over your clothes.  This experience is certainly different from shopping in city boutiques and department stores but it’s certainly interesting and thoroughly enjoyable.  

Choice of children's t-shirts in
attractive designs
There are glittering gems that shine with extra bling in the morning sunlight so take time to choose a variety of accessories to wear with head scarves.  These sparkling trinkets come in such a wide choice of colours and designs that you can pick accessories to match every outfit.  The strategy is not to buy any before you had the opportunity to look at more choices and then use your skills to strike a good bargain with the traders.

Besides ladies’ fashion and accessories, children and men’s apparel, they are a host of household items like stainless steel utensils, pots and kettles from Thailand as well as choppers and knives from Japan.  The market also has stalls for gardening enthusiasts to pick their choice of flowering plants and orchids as well as herbs and fruit saplings.  No market is complete without food so you are assured that there are varieties of kueh and local delicacies to snack on as you spend the next few hours browsing around the stalls.

When you walk through the market, you can’t help but admire the enterprising spirit of these hardworking traders because they travel a circuit to Sungai Tiram, Kota Tinggi, Pekan Pahang or Sijenkang in Sungai Buloh.  They are located in Air Hitam on Wednesday which earned its name as Pasar Rabu.  This colourful market is among the biggest in the circuit and certainly well worth a visit for a Malaysian market experience.

Orchids and other potted plants for sale

Wide choice of attractive scarves!

A version of this article was published in The New Straits Times, Johor Streets on 5 January 2012

No comments:

Post a Comment