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From "real-life" dragons at the Singapore Zoo to temple ornamentation, playgrounds and more, here are some places in Singapore where you can see dragons. IMAGES (CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT): MANDAI WILDLIFE RESERVE, MARCIN KONSEK / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS, NICHOLAS YONG

Dragons In Our Midst: Mythical Beasts Around Our Little Red Dot

With the Year of the Dragon just around the corner, we thought it fitting to pay tribute to the mythical beast at the heart of the Lunar New Year.

With that in mind, we've put together a round-up of prime spots in Singapore for dragon spotting.

1. Singapore Zoo: Komodo dragons

For a glimpse of "real-life" dragons, head to the Singapore Zoo's Reptile Garden and check out the Komodo dragon siblings, Mario and Taro.

(Okay, technically they're lizards and not dragons, but dragons are just huge lizards anyway, right?)

Fun fact: Although Komodo dragons can't breathe fire, they have a deadly bite, with saliva containing over 60 strains of bacteria. Victims of a Komodo dragon's bite usually die within a week of being bitten.


2. Toa Payoh: Dragon playground

The legendary Toa Payoh dragon playground needs no introduction, of course.

Designed and built in 1979 by Khor Ean Ghee, this playground consists of a dragon's head decorated with terrazzo tiles and a body made of colourful steel rings for kids to crawl through.

Fun and aesthetically pleasing, the iconic landmark is loved by both kids and the young at heart.


3. Thian Hock Keng Temple: Dragon ornamentation

Singapore's oldest Hokkien temple is home to several dragons as part of its architecture and design.

Four dancing dragons symbolising justice and power greet visitors to the temple from atop the roofs of the entrance hall and main hall, while the interior of the temple itself also plays host to dragon figures.

4. Whampoa: Dragon Fountain (Defunct)

Built in the early 70s, the Whampoa dragon fountain's centrepiece consists of a majestic 4m-tall Chinese dragon covered in porcelain.

Sadly, this beautiful piece of craftmanship has been abandoned, with the fountain having been shut off years ago. Nonetheless, the dragon still remains standing, albeit worse for wear over the passage of time.

If you want to pay a visit to this relic from the past, it's located at Block 85 of Whampoa Drive.


5. Gardens by the Bay's Flower Dome: Dragons galore

Gardens by the Bay's annual Dahlia Dreams CNY display is back.

To usher in the Year of the Dragon, this year's display boasts a magnificent centrepiece: A 7m-tall dragon that stretches 15m in length, whose scales are adorned with both cut and preserved flowers in striking yellow and red.



That's not all: Flanking the dragon centrepiece are four colourful dragon lantern sets, each symbolising the elements of metal, water, fire and earth.


In addition, you can catch a glimpse of a pair of dragons in mid-dance, embodying the traditional dragon dance performed during Chinese New Year.


Last but not least, feast your eyes on The Bearer of Infinite Blessings, a 6m-tall dragon sculpture specially created by British sculptor James Doran-Webb.

Breathing out smoke and set amidst a water feature, the sculpture is constructed from approximately 2,000 pieces of wood repurposed from dead trees as well as recycled stainless steel, and took 9,000 hours to put together.


If the Dahlia Dreams dragons aren't enough to whet your appetite for dragon sculptures, check out the permanent Wyvern sculpture amidst the Baobabs in the Flower Dome, also crafted by James Doran-Webb.

The wyvern is a mythical winged creature known for its endurance and strength, and is often associated with dragons. Envisioned by the artist as a paternal guardian figure, the wyvern's posture and well-built physique radiate dynamic strength and power.

6. Marina Bay Sands: Imposing turquoise dragons

Here's another set of dragons at Marina Bay. Upon stepping into the mall, you'll be greeted by a ferocious turquoise dragon suspended above the atrium, stretching across the canal and towards the escalators.

You can also spot its smaller but just as fearsome counterpart in the MBS hotel lobby. This dragon (also turquoise in colour) is twisted in a loop and appears to be greeting visitors with a toothy smile.


7. Funan Mall: Mall-wide dragon art exhibition

Last but not least, head down to Funan Mall for a mall-wide dragon-themed art activation.

Hosted as part of Singapore Art Week 2024, this spectacular exhibition features artworks and installations inspired by Yeow Kai Chai's poem "On the Trail of the Dragon".

From animated light art installations to dragon "eyes" in a spectacle shop, origami dragons, dragon eggs and more, you're invited to explore every nook and cranny of Funan Mall in search of these draconic delights.

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