“Six decades ago, not long after the end of Second World War, an enterprising Chinese man by the name of Mr. Tan Gua Chua decided that he wanted to share his home with these unloved reptiles. Thus, he set to work, with the help of his family, he transformed the one acre of land that surrounded his home at Upper Serangoon Road into a crocodile farm, which was the first of its kind in Singapore.They started with only ten crocodiles, and with careful breading, the numbers grew rapidly, Being the entrepreneur he was, Mr. Tan opened his farm to the public. Within its premises he set up a factory and a gift shop, where the crocodile skin was processed, made into products then sold at the gift shop. Visitors were free to come in to take a look around without having to pay an entrance fee and this is still the case today.
We cycled from my house in Serangoon to visit the crocodile farm off Upper Serangoon Road. Upon reaching the farm, we cycled through the main gates, parked and locked our bicycles by the fencing around the farm’s perimeter (there are plenty of car parking lots but no bicycle stand…). The main compound is occupied by an old Chinese mansion (this serves as the main office and gift shop) which is not quite befitting for a farm. Interestingly, no one came forward to “entertain” us and neither was there a visitor counter nor a visitor book for us to sign-in except for a few welcome signs around the compound. It seemed to us that the owner/operator is giving visitors the liberty to roam around the main compound without the need to inform him.
We walked through the corridor of the mansion and saw a series of pits and trenches on the outer side of the corridor. Inside these pits were various species of live crocodiles and alligators for public viewing. Most of the crocodiles were not big, mostly about 2-3 metres in length from head to tail. They were bathing under the sun with their mouth wide-opened. Some were so motionless that they could be passed off as replicas. We followed the corridor to the back of the mansion where there are a few more pits with crocodiles. Altogether there were about 20 plus crocodiles in the various pits opened for public viewing. I read from somewhere that there are dozens more crocodiles being kept in the backyard that were closed for public viewing, but we didn’t verify this with the farm staff as they were having lunch in one corner of the gift shop and we didn’t want to interrupt them.
The farm had a very big gift-shop inside the mansion selling a variety of crocodile related items from leather wallets, key chains to crocodile replicas. After browsing through the shop, we rested on one of the benches along the corridor before proceeding with our cycling trip to Serangoon Park Connector.
Crocodiles do not have sweat glands and release heat through their mouths, hence they often sleep with their mouths open.
There is an open space in front of the office (within the farm compound) where visitors can park their cars.
How to get there
The crocodile farm is located along Upper Serangoon Road between Serangoon and Kovan MRT Station. It is about 15 mins walk from Serangoon MRT Station. Bus services around the farm’s vicinity are #136, 153, 80, 81, 82, 101 and 107.
790 Upper Serangoon Road
Open 09:00–18:00 weekdays, 09:00–17:30 weekends, closed public holidays