One of the most recognisable landmarks in Tampines, the Tampines Round Market & Food Centre and its adjacent shophouses have served as a social and commercial hub for Tampines residents since its opening in 1983.
In the early 1980s, HDB envisioned the phasing out of traditional wet markets in response to changing lifestyles and the growing popularity of supermarkets. Hence, the Round Market was expected to be one of the last few wet markets to be built. However, wet markets continued to be popular with residents and HDB reintroduced them in the late 2000s.
The market is surrounded by a ring of shophouses occupied by businesses such as clinics, bicycle shops, bakeries and hair salons, comprising a mix of amenities and services commonly found in neighbourhood centres. While the market’s hawkers draw customers from all over the island with the quality of their food, nearby banks and shops made this area a bustling hive of activity, especially before the massive shopping malls in Tampines Central were developed.
There is also a strong sense of camaraderie amongst the hawkers at the market – some of whom have been operating their stalls for more than three decades. Part of this rapport springs from the fact that 72 stallholders relocated to Tampines as a group in 1983, after the market and hawker centre at Block 176 in Toa Payoh Lorong 2 was demolished to make way for an MRT line.