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Old July 8th, 2009, 09:54 AM   #1
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HONG KONG | One Wanchai (Wan Chai Market Redevelopment) | 42 fl | Com

Historic market building proves to have some fight in it yet
20 May 2009
South China Morning Post

The Urban Renewal Authority will preserve more remains of the Wan Chai Market - a steel frame that construction workers find hard to demolish and which a conservation expert describes as "a sample of advanced pre-war construction technology".

The grade-three listed market, with its facade preserved, is having its rear portion knocked down to make way for a residential tower in an authority redevelopment project with Chinese Estates Holdings.

The process has recently revealed the steel frame in reinforced concrete inside the structure. Hong Kong In-media, a news website run by activists and academics, reported that construction workers said the market, supported by the frame, was well built and difficult to knock down.

The frame probably represented the most advanced construction technology of the 1930s, said Lee Ho-yin, director of Hong Kong University's architectural conservation programme, commenting on photos of the building.

The frame technology was derived from that for shipbuilding and bridge engineering, and was usually applied in high-rise buildings, Dr Lee said. The former HSBC Building in Central, built in 1935, also applied the same technology, he said.

"From an architectural point of view, the significance of this finding is that the building carries strong scientific value. Such evidence should be documented and perhaps have a sample preserved as a record for future generations," Dr Lee said.

A spokesman for the Urban Renewal Authority said it had all along been aware of the steel frame's existence, and had photographed the structure during demolition. He said a small portion would be preserved.

"With historic buildings, including the Wo Cheong Pawn Shop, we will keep some torn-down structures in our collection." The piece might be put on display at the authority's headquarters in Sheung Wan later for education purposes, he said.

A spokeswoman for the Antiquities and Monuments Office said the steel frame was made known to heritage advisers in 1990, and staff would visit the site in the coming few days to take photographs of the structure for the record.
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Old July 9th, 2009, 04:20 AM   #2
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Vibrant market has 'a reason to exist'
27 August 2008
South China Morning Post

Wan Chai Market, located on Queen's Road East, was built in 1937 and is listed as a Grade III historic building.

In 1996, Chinese Estates announced plans for the demolition of the market, but after discussions with the public and the Urban Renewal Authority (URA), the company agreed to plans to develop the site that would enable the original architecture to remain.

The new plans included building a residential tower directly above it and, despite efforts to ensure the fašade of the building is left intact, the plans have drawn concerns from the public, academics and various green groups.

"The architectural significance of the Wan Chai Market is important because it is one of the few, if not the only, remaining examples of streamline moderne architecture remaining in Hong Kong," said Lee Ho-yin, director of the architectural conservation programme at the University of Hong Kong.

Often confused with Bauhaus, streamline moderne is a late variation of the art deco style.

"The important thing [about the market] is that it is still in demand, it is not an obsolete part of the local economy," Dr Lee explained. "It is a very vibrant and active part of the local economy so it has a reason to exist."

Referring to the development of the residential tower, Iris Tam Siu-ying, executive director, planning and development of the URA, said: "We don't have any other sites to accommodate the residential building, which has already been approved by the Town Planning Board, so we are trying to preserve the most significant parts, the parts that everyone can see."

Ms Tam explained that about 40per cent of the structure would be preserved, including the fašade along Queen's Road East and Wan Chai Road, but the back of the building would be demolished to make way for the tower.

However, Dr Lee felt that simply keeping the fašade of historic buildings is not enough. "The market is a very small building and the scale of the tower above it will be so overwhelming that it will really undermine the presence of Wan Chai Market.

"If the role and function of the market is taken away and turned into something that has no relevance to its original design, then you are ultimately destroying its identity," he said.

"Once you just keep the shell of a building you are mummifying not only the whole building but the whole area. That doesn't do anything for conservation in the long term."
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Old July 10th, 2009, 10:25 PM   #3
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Old July 17th, 2009, 05:34 PM   #4
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24-site heritage tour for Wan Chai
Access to some buildings on trail uncertain

6 October 2008
South China Morning Post

The government has identified 24 spots to form a heritage trail that tells the story of old Wan Chai, although the fate of some of the buildings is still up in the air and they may eventually be closed off to the public.

There are also concerns that merely erecting information signs to create the trail, as the government has done in the past, does not go far enough.

The locations identified by the Old Wan Chai Revitalisation Initiatives Special Committee cover landmarks like the Blue House on Stone Nullah Lane and the old Wan Chai Market. Two privately owned mansions and the Sikh temple are also on the list. Not all sites are open to the public, however.

Nam Koo Terrace on Ship Street is owned by Hopewell Holdings, which has yet to decide whether to make it open to the public or keep it private.

No64 Kennedy Road may also end up off-limits to the public. The owner applied to allow for higher-density land use, but is facing objections from concern groups.

In addition, the fate of the Wan Chai Police Station is still up in the air. The government has said police would vacate the building, but it is unclear whether it will be preserved.

The Old Wan Chai Market, shophouses on Burrow Street and Mallory Street, and the Blue House have been designated for revitalisation, but when they will be ready is uncertain.

The convenor of the revitalising committee, Stephen Ng Kam-chun, said members were still studying the details to come up with a design for the heritage trail. The committee has suggested putting up signs and decorating two historic temples with special lights to improve the area at night.

Anthony Siu Kwok-kin, a research consultant to the committee, said the trail should take about two to three hours.

Professor Siu suggested starting the route in the east along Queen's Road East, zigzagging through the heart of old Wan Chai along Tai Yuen Street and Spring Garden Lane to end on Johnston Road. "But signs would not be enough to tell history. We need well-informed guides," he said.

Ho Pui-yin, a historian at Chinese University, also said a trail with signs about the buildings would not be enough to put them into proper context.

People on the fringes of society gravitated to Wan Chai in the 19th century, she said. "It was those who could not set foot in Sheung Wan and Central, like coolies working at the piers, that came to live on Queen's Road East."

Buildings such as the Blue House were examples of "primitive" housing. "People cramped in these small buildings. Balconies were narrow and lacked decoration.

"The drainage pipes exposed on the exterior walls are symbolic of the contemporary sewerage," Professor Ho said.

Spring Garden Lane was a red-light zone, said the historian, and there was an orphanage on the same street, run by nuns, to take care of abandoned babies.

Towards the west of the trail, Wo Cheong Pawn Shop and Nam Koo Terrace, with western-style facades and wider balconies, signalled the rise of the middle class by the turn of the century, she said.

"Wan Chai is an important part of modern Hong Kong identity. When the government says this is its first district-based conservation project, it should use the trail to show how society evolved."
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Old July 22nd, 2009, 04:11 PM   #5
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Source : http://www.pbase.com/specialteam/wan_chai_market





















































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Old July 25th, 2009, 07:25 PM   #6
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重建舊區變黃金地 富豪第二代灣仔稱雄
5 July 2009
星島日報

市建局於港島最大規模的利東街重建計畫發展權,日前揭盅,由灣仔大地主合和及地產大好友信和雙劍合璧,撼贏各大地產商,成功投得。負責這片港島地王重建的,是30多歲的富豪新一代胡文新及黃永光,加上早前劉鳴煒負責的尚翹峰,富豪新一代紛紛在灣仔插旗顯實力,灣仔這市區重建的寶地,成了他們大顯身手的舞台,老地方老建築加新思維新搞作是他們最大的挑戰。

中文大學曾做過一個富豪新一代的研究,報告顯示,香港家族企業在向後代交接的8年期間,股票回報率降低80%以上,香港豪門第三代的「敗家率」,高出台灣及新加坡一倍。不是偏見,但香港豪門後代往往被形容為只懂揮霍拍拖的「二世祖」。當然,世事無絕對,很多富豪第二/三代表現其實不差,胡文新、黃永光、劉鳴煒均極力將家族企業推向高峰,尤其致力時下流行的舊區重建/保育改造,紛紛插旗灣仔,改造舊區。

自從年逾七旬的胡應湘近年逐漸退下火綫後,第二代掌舵人胡文新即走馬上任,擔起大旗,他最為人所樂道的是合和中心二期(前稱MegaTower)的興建,令這與城規會拉鋸30年的項目得以綠燈放行,落實興建一幢55層高級酒店及商業物業,總樓面逾109萬方呎。

胡文新擅打溫情牌

36歲的胡文新,去年底就旗下擾攘近30年的灣仔合和中心2期發展計畫與政府展開談判,最終果斷地大幅降低發展規模,親自去區議會接受質詢,向居民解釋疑慮,面對傳媒的激烈追訪……文質彬彬的他,性格比老父溫和,不打硬仗卻大玩溫情牌,和發展局局長林鄭月娥講數有商有量;親力親為落區去灣仔中小學軟銷合和二期對社區及對下一代的好處;還找來人氣笑匠詹瑞文上鏡,拍短片宣傳合和二期,能以新思維和新姿態處理問題,提出一個令政府和社會大眾皆喜出望外的方案,最終解決問題,既可完成胡應湘的理想,又順應了社會的要求,更對解決失業問題作出貢獻,可說是一個多贏方案,實在值得一讚。就連發展局局長林鄭月娥,亦私下大讚這位富豪第二代勇於了解市民訴求,甚有企業精神。

事實上,合和為灣仔區的大地主,在區內發展多個項目,包括早期的合和中心等,近年胡文新上任後,更加致力發展灣仔,陸續發展了以城市綠洲為發展概念的服務式住宅項目Garden East及銀座式商場QRE Plaza,大賣中西文化和優質消閒概念,大大洗脫舊區形象,將這一區重新整合,加入新動力元素,將老化多年的灣仔活化發展為金融商業消費區,在舊區重建可謂做得有聲有色,成績理想。大家對胡太子寄予希望,消息一公布,合和股價即日上升2%。

最近,胡文新還和黃永光合力演了一齣好戲,競投利東街(俗稱喜帖街)重建項目,成功打敗長實、新地、恒地等大發展商,勇奪發展權。兩位同是30多歲的新一代接班人信心滿滿,勢必全力以赴發展這可興建逾1,200個住宅單位連商場的港島地王。

黃永光活化古迹

記者會上,黃永光賣花讚花,表示喜帖街屬於代表性地標,不但深入民心,且具歷史價值,直言會運用本身的保育和發展環保建築的經驗,致力發揮該區獨有的傳統特色,達到保育、活化和改善社區環境的終極目標。這位「太子爺」誇下海口,也不是隨便說說,他早有「往績」,已露頭角,尤其致力保育,談吐溫文的他說:「香港有好多古舊建築,透過保育,可以保留、活化、重現東方文化,所以我們全力以赴去做,之前做大澳警署,現在做喜帖街,我相當高興有此機會。」

31歲的黃永光在大學主修經濟,畢業後即加入信和,05年出任執行董事,翌年即於公司內成立藝術專責隊伍策畫活動,於旗下奧海城商場和中環廣場大堂設立藝廊,展出本地藝術品,並贊助藝術創作包括「伙炭藝術工作室開放計畫」,為日後競投保育項目鋪路,他的代表作,是從香港歷史文物保育建設有限公司手中,取得大澳警署營運權,計畫活化古迹,將百年警署變身成4星級精品酒店,並計畫改建酒店餐廳,提供融入大澳特產鹹魚鹹蛋的辣椒蟹等菜式,讓旅客一嘗大澳美食,滿肚密計的他,還與同事通宵編寫大澳旅遊指南,定期舉辦藝術活動及大澳產品烹製等以吸引遊客增收入。

劉鳴煒力保灣仔街市

至於華置劉鑾雄兒子劉鳴煒,亦在灣仔顯過身手。

華置接手當年土發公司的灣仔項目尚翹峰,本來要拆卸灣仔街市,但這個有德國包浩斯風格的建築物,深受環保人士重視,這在城規與發展商都是個難題,因項目已經批出,要保育必須要與發展商建立共識;華置方面皆因項目部分已經出售,發展商不能說了算。結果林太和劉鳴煒多番談判,終於達成在街市原址加建上蓋的保育方法。華置本來已準備清拆灣仔街市,大可不理外界的批評,但最終仍願意互相遷就,雖然有人對該保育方案依然有所批評,但總算保住灣仔街市,劉鳴煒功不可沒。

在以寸金尺土的當代社會價值觀中,能夠不崇尚開動推土機大興土木的發展,而傾向重視人文價值的保育改造,這班富豪新二代對於這種表面看來成本效益較低的發展方式似有更深的體會,明白當中可以創出更多收益,亦符合社會和政治上的訴求,香港要保持國際都市地位,正需要多一點這類有新思維的年輕企業家。

由灣仔街市、合和二期發展到喜帖街的重建,連同區內其他項目如船街,這班太子爺將令殘舊破落的灣仔,開創另一番光景,灣仔變身在望。

胡文新 1972年出生,胡應湘的長子,合和實業執行董事、副總經理及營運總監。

學歷:美國普林斯頓大學機械工程及太空工程學士,美國史丹福大學工商管理碩士。

婚姻:未婚,年前曾與吳旭茱拍拖,06年傳出與袁彩雲相戀,同年分手,年前與趙式明結伴出席公開場合。

生活愛好:熱愛冰球、保齡球等運動。

黃永光 1977年出生,是黃志祥的長子,為信和置業執行董事。

學歷:紐約哥倫比亞大學文學學士。

婚姻:已婚,太太是位工業設計師。

生活愛好:熱愛藝術,是「厚多利」馬主。

劉鳴煒 1980年出生,劉鑾雄長子,本是華置執行董事,去年辭職陪妻子分娩,現為香港華人置業非執行董事。

學歷:英國倫敦大學國王學院法律學士,倫敦經濟及政治科學學院的法律碩士,倫敦大學博士。

婚姻:01年於英國結婚,妻子Wendy為其同學,是英國華僑。

生活愛好:生活樸素,出入乘搭港鐵,在公立醫院產子。

◆胡文新致力重建灣仔舊區,其中船街亦將面臨大變天。

◆黃永光與合和雙劍合璧將喜帖街發展成灣仔新地王。

◆劉鳴煒將新思維注入舊建築,成功將灣仔街市大改造。

◆胡文新性格比父親胡應湘溫和,喜以協商形式解決事情。

◆胡文新向傳媒展示灣仔的未來新面貌。

◆重建後的喜帖街將設有喜帖商場、婚嫁文物館及婚嫁公園。

◆黃永光(右)被父親黃志祥(左)視為接班人。

◆劉鳴煒備受父親大劉器重,在地產生意上大顯身手。

◆華置最終保留灣仔街市,改為在原址加建上蓋。

◆大澳差館將被改建為酒店。
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Old July 31st, 2009, 09:59 PM   #7
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Interesting piece on historic heritage from 2000 :

Wan Chai facelift to keep old charm
24 December 2000
South China Morning Post

Architects have drawn up a blueprint to give Wan Chai a facelift that would introduce pedestrian zones and special theme areas and also exploit its "run-down" character.

Central to the proposal are 10 pedestrian areas between and around Queen's Road East and Johnston Road.

The plan by Urban Watch, a pressure group made up of architects, planners and academics, aims to maintain the area's character and characters, including the old women under the Canal Road flyover who offer the da siu yan ritual - in which paper effigies of customers' enemies are symbolically beaten. The plan has been presented to the Wan Chai District Council and Land Development Corporation.

Urban Watch chairman Wong Wah-sang, also associate professor of architecture at Hong Kong University, said the design proposal would be relatively inexpensive - about $10 million to $20 million - but would attract tourists and residents alike.

"Wan Chai has the characteristics of an old town and a commercial centre at the same time. Much of the area is run-down, but being run-down could be a feature that is to its advantage," Mr Wong said.

Mr Wong said pedestrian zones could be extended, with each street highlighting existing characteristics. He said that, for example, Tai Yuen Street could become a dry groceries street, while Tai Wong East Street, where there are now several pet shops, could be turned into a "bird street".

The pavements along Lee Tung Street and Wan Chai Road, strategically located between Queen's Road East and Johnston Road, could be further widened to accommodate trees and bushes. The group singled out Lee Tung Street for special attention. It said the street's 1950s-style buildings should be turned into museums and hotels with ground-floor shops and roadside cafes.

Wan Chai Road should be widened and planted with trees, the proposal says. The road has the potential to be turned into a cultural walk extending to Stone Nullah Lane with heritage sites and small retail plazas on both sides.

Heritage sites on Wan Chai Road and Stone Nullah Lane include the 1930s Wan Chai Market, the Blue House from the 1940s, and Peh-Te Temple from the 1860s.

Mr Wong said consideration should be given to turning Johnston Road into a pedestrian zone, but still allowing trams in to enhance a "holiday mood". "Then a series of big flea markets, open performances as well as exhibitions could be held for locals and tourists," he said.

Three theme areas in Lun Fat Street, Tai Wong Street East and Hennessy Road have also been proposed. The one proposed for Hennessy Road near the C. C. Wu Building would highlight the extent of harbour reclamation by focusing on a rock wall that was part of the Wan Chai shoreline in the 1920s. In front of the wall, a pond could be built to symbolise the area's former relationship with the harbour, Mr Wong said. A tourist information centre could also be provided.

The proposal also recommended lighting and decorating the six footbridges along Gloucester Road so that "driving a car (in the area) won't be so boring", Mr Wong said.

Exhaust air ducts should be installed under the Canal Road flyover, while an area on the side of Hennessy Road, which has been a place favoured for da siu yan, could be turned a permanent site for the traditional ritual.

Wan Chai district councillor Ada Wong Ying-kay applauded the design and said she thought it could make Wan Chai an "outstanding town". But she said the final plan would require the co-operation of various government departments and the future Urban Renewal Authority.

Previous Urban Watch proposals that have been adopted include increasing pedestrian areas in Causeway Bay.
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Old August 1st, 2009, 04:40 AM   #8
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 05:09 PM   #9
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Old November 4th, 2009, 05:45 PM   #10
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Opinion : Preservation in name only
19 October 2009
SCMP

In an act of hypocrisy, Chinese Estates and the Urban Renewal Authority having trashed our heritage by removing all but the facade of Wan Chai Market, have now had the gall to cover the scaffolding with the message "Core Elements Preservation".

Luckily, Rutonjee Hospital is close by as citizens who cherish such unique buildings that define our city might suffer an apoplectic fit upon viewing the signage.

Retaining merely a cartoon cutout frontage of the market is an affront to the sensibilities of the community. Boasting that this represents preservation is scandalous.

The only message befitting this development is a very prominent dollar sign. Go on Chinese Estates/URA, tell it like it is because this fake posturing is fooling nobody.

Candy Tam, Wan Chai
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Old November 29th, 2009, 05:58 PM   #11
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Taken from : http://proconservation.blogspot.com/...ai-market.html

image hosted on flickr


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Old November 30th, 2009, 05:02 PM   #12
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9/19



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Old December 7th, 2009, 04:54 PM   #13
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11/29



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Old December 29th, 2009, 02:34 PM   #14
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Opinion : Preservation in name only
19 October 2009
South China Morning Post

In an act of hypocrisy, Chinese Estates and the Urban Renewal Authority having trashed our heritage by removing all but the facade of Wan Chai Market, have now had the gall to cover the scaffolding with the message "Core Elements Preservation".

Luckily, Rutonjee Hospital is close by as citizens who cherish such unique buildings that define our city might suffer an apoplectic fit upon viewing the signage.

Retaining merely a cartoon cutout frontage of the market is an affront to the sensibilities of the community. Boasting that this represents preservation is scandalous.

The only message befitting this development is a very prominent dollar sign. Go on Chinese Estates/URA, tell it like it is because this fake posturing is fooling nobody.

Candy Tam, Wan Chai
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Old January 18th, 2010, 05:40 PM   #15
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Wan Chai Market : Rediscovering Streamline Moderne Architecture
http://www.inmediahk.net/files/wan%2...chitecture.pdf
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Old February 14th, 2010, 05:50 AM   #16
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Old July 22nd, 2010, 06:13 PM   #17
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Tonnes of bars saved from historic site stolen
28 May 2010
South China Morning Post

Four tonnes of 74-year-old iron and steel bars salvaged from the historic Wan Chai Market building have been stolen.

The bars, described as representing the best of 1930s construction technology, were taken on Saturday from a farm at Nam Chung in the New Territories where they had been stored by conservation activists.

"We suspect a waste collector took them and sold them to a recycler," Keith Au Kwok-kuen, a member of Save Wanchai Market Action, said. "I guess someone had eyed them up for some time."

Metal waste recyclers in the New Territories said such material could fetch HK$2,000 to HK$3,000 a tonne.

The bars previously formed part of a steel framework at the rear of the market that was so strong contractors had difficulty knocking it down when part of the building was demolished in June last year to make way for an apartment block.

A University of Hong Kong conservationist described the frame at the time as "the most advanced construction technology of the 1930s", derived from shipbuilding and bridge engineering.

Au said he was saddened by the theft. "They are historic and worthy of conservation. You can still see from the marks that they were manufactured in 1936 and 1937 in England," he said.

The activists took the bars after the Urban Renewal Authority said it could preserve only a small portion for display later.

Staff of the Antiquities and Monuments Office went to the site to take photographs for records and the demolition was also photographed.

A police spokeswoman said nine metal bars had been stolen from a site on Luk Keng Road and the case was being handled by the border district investigation team. No one had been arrested last night.

The market was built in 1937 and is known for its streamlined moderne architectural style.

The site's developer, Chinese Estates Holdings, agreed in 2008 to preserve the facade after public calls for preservation and negotiations with the Urban Renewal Authority.

According to the authority's preservation plan, 40 per cent of the market area - including the facade, main entrance, canopy and fins - will be preserved.
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Old July 23rd, 2010, 03:19 AM   #18
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Nice.
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Old February 13th, 2011, 04:28 PM   #19
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A heritage exhibition in Kowloon Park depicting Wan Chai Market and the types of stores in a traditional wet market :























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Old May 31st, 2011, 10:33 AM   #20
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5/8







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