Toa Payoh Dragon Playground

The dragon-shaped sand-based playground used to be a popular design for playgrounds in Ang Mo Kio and Toa Payoh.

After 1993, they were phased out due to safety concerns and it is believed that this Dragon Playground of Toa Payoh (located at Blk 28 Toa Payoh Lorong 6) is the only one of its kinds (sand-based) left in Singapore (The other two are laid with rubber mats).

The dragon playground was designed in 1979 by Housing and  Development Board’s (HDB) in-house designer Khor Ean Ghee (born 1935), who got his inspiration from the Oriental dragon commonly seen among the Chinese community in Singapore.

Beside the majestic dragon, there are two little plastic rides in the shapes of a seahorse and a pony for children to sit on.

The long body of the dragon is made of steel rails which form a passage for kids to get to the dragon head.

Using the slide, kids can descend from the dragon head to the sandy ground.

Not far away at Blk 240 of Toa Payoh Lorong 1, there is another similarly designed playground (a smaller dragon) but its sandy ground is replaced by rubber mats.

The third dragon playground (its sandy ground is also replaced by rubber mats) is found along Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3.

The fourth dragon, sand-based but a much simpler one and nowhere as majestic as the three mentioned above, is located at Circuit Road.

More information on other types of playgrounds in Singapore.

Published: 25 October 2010

Updated: 06 January 2012

34 Responses to Toa Payoh Dragon Playground

  1. cecilia says:

    hello!

    this is really interesting and it actually ties in with a current project i am working on. would you be able to provide me your email address so that i can further liaise with you and ask you more stuff?

  2. sarahkaur says:

    Hello, I love the old dragon playground on Circuit Road. Can you give a more exact address so can visit it?

  3. Hi, if I remember correctly, it’s located beside Block 58 of Circuit Road..

  4. wilson says:

    oh man. toa payoh blk 2 “stone elephant , horse and duck” really miss those good old days.

    • Aleysha says:

      Yes, I fondly remember the times I went there with my late mum as a young kid. Those things are huge and I’ll always have problems getting down.

      • Maryann says:

        Could still remember the stone duck, maybe the elephant in block 2 playground.
        The best time was the Latern festival where we bring our lanterns there.
        Extremely fond memories

  5. Hungryass says:

    Hi Remember Singapore , appreciate your effort and hard work to go out of the way and extra miles in order to bring us what it now called ” Remember Singapore ” blog and we love it because it certainly bring back our fond memories of our childhood times and very entertaining .
    I used to play with the dragon playground between block 115 and 116 of Jalan Bukit Merah near Jalan Membina and Kim Tian Road , and the vintage animal playground also being built in Block 90 Redhill Close behind the Shell Station ( now is SPC ) along Jalan Bukit Merah , We miss those good old days of the early era of 80’s . thank REM-SG :)

  6. Gary Ng says:

    Wow! I grew up in the Queenstown, Strathmore Ave in the 80s. There was a playground ROCKET shaped structures? Wonder who has the pics of it….. Then just outside Queenstown NTUC is a another iconic playground but i really cant remember how it looked :P

  7. Thomas Ng says:

    Hi Remember Singapore,

    In case you are interested and/or not aware, there is a small sand base playground at Clementi Central. Just beside the ex-A&W, in front of blk 444. Sad to see that no kids were playing. Guess it will be demolished soon.

  8. ashera says:

    thats the dragon playground opposite safra in toa payoh? my mom said the block behind it could not be demolished for many years, not even the playground. She lived in toa payoh since the 70s when she was a teen.

  9. Amie says:

    This chapter of your blog made me cry. Recalling back all those bitter sweet memories I shared with my long lost brother. We’d take turns to push each others’ swing and we’d sometime bring along our “masak masak” toys there to play sand. I was born in the 70’s and the playground back then played a major part of my growing up years. A 20minutes time spent at the playground is the happiest retreat we rewarded ourselves after the tedious homeworks, revisions and private tuitions at home.

  10. Satomi says:

    My parents moved in Blk 28 Lor 6 in 1969, months before I was born. I’ve only moved out in 2008 when the blocks 28, 30, 32 & 33 were enbloc around this period. I seriously thought all these blocks will be demolished, imagining my horror, these blocks are sort of “renovated” and rent out. I wonder why they need us to move out and then move others in? But I also seriously missed that beautiful and colorful dragon in front of my block, very retro :D

  11. elroygoh02 says:

    This playground has a lot of red ants around it so be careful. When I went on top of Block 28, it was so tall that I could even see Marina Bay.

  12. Calvin Tan says:

    talking abt toa payoh, there is a old sch at braddel rd. its call braddell-westlake sec sch which was close on 2005. I explore the sch around 2011. Its very bad condition

  13. Patricia says:

    I remember National Garment Factory, Blue Box Factory – my older cousins used to work there in the 70s. Also back then Potong Pasir (in front of block 9 and now lorong 8) was a huge farmland – a wired fence and tall lallang ran all around it to demarcate it from the HDB flats. And I remember that after the flyover between TP and Bishan was built, adults would take evening walks on the flyover while the kids just ran around – we were all quite sad when it was finally open to traffic.

    Discovered this awesome website only today but THANK YOU, RemSG!! Now the Singapore of old will not be forgotten.

  14. sophiazz says:

    there’s sand playground in punggol waterway :)
    many kids play

  15. fafa says:

    Hey! I remembered there is a sand playground at hougang ave 10. I used to play there,when i was still a child,with my neighbours. But now,it has been converted to a normal playground. I grow up in hougang,when i was still a baby…but since i was at the age of 3 years old,i moved out. But,i went back there recently..it reminds me of my childhood. Its kinda sad,to see the sand playground gone just like the wind. :(

  16. Marcus says:

    Sadly, the flats has now been returned to state property as of 31 March. Hopefully that this playground could be preserved, with the sand of course as it actually reflects the heritage of toa payoh and its surroundings.

  17. JOSHUA says:

    Hi there, I have seen the toa payoh playground before. It looks very old. i felt like i was travelling in the time travelling machine when i saw the playground. it gives me an inspiration of what my father’s times looks like and it gives me a feeling of how the old days felt like… :-) I am looking forward to other stuffs, places and stories you are going to tell. I enjoyed the stories and photos very much. For your awareness, there is a abandoned school near the highway turning left towards bendemeer. The school reads ST. JOSEPH INSTITUTION. But if my memory did not fail me, last time it was called ST. VICTORIA INSTITUTION. The school is in a very bad condition now and i strongly believe that there are many evil and wandering spirits inside of that school now . Hope that you will check out the stories and histories behind this school. THKS.

  18. Hon says:

    Thanks remembering singapore for the efforts .. all your writeups are something that those new citizens can never fathom, feel or emotionally attached to …..

  19. Jay says:

    Hi I’m working on a project on nostalgic places. I’m interested in visiting the playground at AMK. Do you know if it still exists?

  20. aearthr says:

    Hi, actually I came across the Dragon Playground at Lorong 1 Toa Payoh, near Blk 202 Bus stop. It is mat-based though.

  21. The toa payoh dragon LIVES ON while four blocks of flats nearby will be demolished from oct 2013 to march 2014. (:

  22. Trancesend says:

    What a great article, brings back memories. I used to live right there, block 28, Lor 6 in TPY. Spent the first 6 years of my life there & loved every minute of it. I remember playing on the dragon very fondly. I think there might be an old photo of me on the dragon somewhere. Even tho we moved away and I now live in Chicago I still love that old playground.

  23. yeo josephine says:

    SERS for Block 95, 94, 92 Toa Payoh Lorong 4. Building in bad condition.

  24. Sam. says:

    They are preserving the Dragon playground. But the surrounding HDB blocks have been demolish. The playground has also appeared in a few PSA ads on littering.

  25. F T Liu says:

    Hello Everyone, I am working on a project about the Fairchild Singapore factory at Lor 3 Toa Payoh. Know of anyone who worked there and stay in the flats next to it?

  26. missqiu says:

    I just visited this dragon playground a few days back. the children loved it!

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