9.00am: Meet your friendly guide at Exit C of the Braddell MRT Station. You will be introduced to the original Toa Payoh, its notorious beginnings and its unique spots found nowhere else in Singapore.
9.15am: We arrive at the Dragon Pillar at Block 91. Two dragons have been standing tall at the heartlands of Whampoa and Toa Payoh for more than 40 years.
The Toa Payoh dragon pillar stands at the entrance of a carpark along Toa Payoh Lorong 3. Entwining a red pillar of about 4m tall, the Chinese-style dragon has been a distinctive marker in front of Block 91 since the late sixties after the development of the housing estate was completed. Over the years, the dragon and its pillar have been subjected to the constant exposure to sun and rain. Today, it appears neglected with faded colours and peeling paintwork.
9.35am: A short walk takes us to Block 53 at Lorong 5. The 19-storey Block 53 features a prominent Y-shaped design and remains the only block of flats in Toa Payoh with this layout. It has played host to a series of foreign and local dignitaries; the most prominent one being Queen Elizabeth II. Their visits to this block and its rooftop viewing gallery have led it to be dubbed a "VIP block". Let us visit this block to take in a little of the view that the VIPs experienced.
10.00am: We next take SBS Transit Service 232 to the Lorong 7 neighbourhood where we will take a break at the neighbourhood food centre.
10.45am: A short walk from the food centre takes us to Block 12 Lorong 7. This is the block where the gruesome ritual murders were committed by Adrian Lim and his two ‘Holy wives’ in 1981. The seventh-floor unit where the murders took place still exists and has changed ownership a few times since. One site related to the murder, namely, Block 11, which has since been rebuilt.
11.00am: Another short bus ride on SBS Transit Service 238 takes us to Block 27. Often overshadowed by the popular Dragon Playground, the Dinosaur Playground is a hidden heritage gem that calls Block 27, Lorong 6 Toa Payoh its home.
11.30am: A 7 minute walk across the overhead bridge to the other side of Lorong 6 takes us to the Toa Payoh Dragon Playground.
11.45am: We next take a 5 minute walk to Toa Payoh Town Centre. Do you know that the Town Centre was the SEAP (Southeast Asia Peninsular) Games Village in 1973? The 1973 SEAP Games Village opened in the heart of Toa Payoh, with four HDB point blocks serving as accommodation for athletes before being sold to the public after the Games.
12.20pm: Our final stop is the legendary Tree Shrine at Block 177. This ficus tree has been regarded as sacred since the kampong days of Toa Payoh.
12.30pm: End of tour. Head to the many food establishments in the Town Centre for a nice lunch at your own expenses. What a better way to end the morning after discovering so much about Toa Payoh Estate.
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