My Home Town, Chong Pang.

I had stumbled on The Wondering Wanderer‘s blog yesterday, and one of his posts left me feeling very nostalgic.

It was a post on the old Chong Pang village, with photos circa 1970s.

I was born and raised in Chong Pang. It’s located in the northern part of Singapore and in an area called Sembawang.

Looking at the photos of old Chong Pang brought back lots of memories. It was the place where I had grown up and I lived there since I was born till when I was about 11 years old.

The truth is I never really knew the places looked like what was captured in those photos. I guess I was too young then, so I remember only the experience and have a vague memory of the places.

To see these photos made everything old and meaningful in my memory click into place.

Everyone, welcome to Chong Pang. This was the main roundabout of the village, where everyone passed by every day.

My father and his friends liked the beer at the 雪水档, I just liked the Fanta Grape. Yum.
 

And this was Chong Pang Road. I loved this road. Some of my friends lived in the shops on the left side. And I grew up trashing *grin* playing in their homes.

See the huge creepy looking tree? That’s our “thousand years old” tree. It had a huge long beard and I thought it had magic. Miraculously, I got closer and closer to grabbing its beard ends every year. I did The Jump every time I passed that tree. And one day, I really did catch the beard ends. Wow.. the tree made me taller! *grin*
 

And we had the Sultan cinema. The one and only source of entertainment in the village. The place where my parents held hands, snuggled and watched romantic movies at before they were married.

This place was most probaby not a wide screen cinema, and most likely didn’t have Dolby surround sound or luxurious cushioned seats, but I think for some, the smelly leather seats and kacang puteh style rocked.

For me, it was running up and down those stairs that always made my day. Yeah, I had no life.
 

The junction of Chong Pang Road and Sembawang Road. We passed this junction every day to go to school.

Somewhere along these shops was one that sold Icee ice blended drinks. Back then, if I could have those crushed ice thingies every day, I would have. I loved my stained blue tongue.
 

Just one of the many coffee shops in the community where my family used to eat at. I only remember all the lecherous uncles who gawked at me alot. Haha!

Big thanks to The Wondering Wanderer for his efforts!

 

 

54 Comments

  1. We quite similar in terms of kampong life and playing near retro cinema :)
    Glad you shared your childhood story with us.

    Btw, Fanta grape rocks! :D

    • Fanta Grape and Kickapoo were the best. =)

      • i am one of those uncle sitting at tht coffeeshop, but i dont think we are lecherous, lol

  2. It is always nice feeling to see an article that can always link/bridge the past the present & the future with excellent pictures too. Simply because of the past we are what are today and similarily we will be what we plan for from now on. Let us treasue the memories in our living lives. Thanks to all the contributors. Smile & Cheers.

    • You’re right, Seng Chen. Memories must be treasured! =)

  3. Hi Bing. Great post! It’s wonderful to discover a link to and a personal story in some of the old photographs. :)

    • Thanks for providing the photos. It was a good walk down memory lane. =)

  4. (like)

  5. Like you and others, I, too, lived in a kampong before, i.e. during my childhood days.in the early sixties. My kampong was located at towards the very end of Tanjong Pagar Rd at Chin Lye Street area. It was quite close to the sea and the kampng was facing the old Singapore Harbour Board’s (SHB) Gate 1. Sad to say, SHB wanted the land and all the kampong’s folks had to resettled somewhere else. The land my kampong once was is now the PSA container port zone. BTW, I had also visited your former village at Chong Pang in 1966 (my secondary school days) and another time during the mid-80s on working duties. I still can recall the old charms of the village !

    • I miss the old charms too. Look at what’s become of Sentosa!

  6. Hi Bing,

    I heard Chong Pang is famous for nasi lemak..is it true?

    • Actually, I don’t know.. I moved out of Chong Pang at the age of 11 or 12 and I don’t really remember what I used to eat there before that!

      • Chong Pang Nasi Lemak came much later when the wet market moved from the old Kindol area to the new one opposite the Police Station. There was however a malay coffee shop which had really fantastic nasi lemak located just next sembawang road opposite the new wet market.

        I remember within the round about was a laksa stall. I used to get my Laksa fix there and we would just pile on the chilli paste.

        So much memories – I studied in West Hill Primary and graduated in 1984

        • Hi leonard, r u mrs Thio’s son? I studied west hill school from 1979 n graduated in 1984:)
          u may want to go West hill school page in FB.

          • Actually, I am.

            And I can’t find the FB page

            • Hi Leonard,

              will you be brother to Ms Thio May Yan. I was classmate to her.

              Regards

              Cheng Loong

  7. The picture bring back many memories which is missed

    • They do, don’t they? I miss the old Chong Pang too. =)

  8. Wow, I don’t believe anyone have colour photos of Chong Pang village, until I found this site! I was born and raised there too, further back along Chong Pang Rd, we shifted out around 1975. All my cousins were at West Hill Primary too (not the Xi San Primary which was also in Chong Pang village). My brother and I went to Canberra, just next door and next to the old Naval Base Secondary School. I guess the place is now Sembawang HDB flats. But the Indian temple behind Canberra School might still be around.

    The hawkers at and around the 雪水档 (bing is probably cantonese to use this term) were, in my humble opinion, the best in their days (even by today’s standard, but alas, we can only look back fondly, the one I can never forget is the fried carrot cake where you can bring your own egg, and the laksa which someone already mentioned, but many others too). Maybe we can start a post on Chong Pang food another time.

    But I never knew Sultan cinema had leather seats, the few times we were lucky to go there, we always sat along the aisle, on the floor. I do know that in its earlier incarnation, it was roofless. And until the Kindol came along, that was the only cinema we ever knew.

    The creepy tree you had there on the 2nd photo, they used to have Pasar Malam at night along that muddy side road, on weekends. My sister got lost once during one of our outings, took us the whole night to find her. And another time, it rained heavily and covered the drains, she fell into the deep water back and we nearly lost her. Hmmm, too many memories.

    • hi wai meng
      i was from canberra pri 1968-1972
      which yr were u there?

      bernard wong nyuk loy

      • Hello Nyuk Loy
        you will surely remember my elder brother Kim Meng, you were class mates! Our family and cousins remember well you and your family and your porridge.

  9. I grew up in the same area, I knew every road in those photos, I went to West Hill school between 72 to 77 ha haaa

    Thanks for the photos that brought back many found memories, life was very simple than but much more interesting than today..

    God bless
    Paul Wan
    Singapore

    • You may want to visit west hill school page in FB

      • please join Facebook Account: –

        West Hill Primary (Singapore)
        Old Sembawang Naval Base Nostalgic Lane

  10. Looking back at this old nostalgic photos of the 80′s and early 90′s brought shudder to my body. I am only 26, not born there and I do not have the privilege of living those kampong and close unity lifestyle, but I am someone who will look up to those old street directory (dear me I know it is weird) and I can see myself that Singapore nows surely is progressing very rapidly, time fly with no kampong in particular left in Singapore (except one or two, like Lorong Buangkok and Kheam Hock Road). I think from the photos it sure look like a carefree and stress-free Singapore days, and until now I will try to google and find all those roads which no longer exist but still give me the goosebump feeling when seeing the road names, the old cinemas, the old market, dispensary, etc. Road names such as Vampire Road (near Sungei Tengah Road), Jalan Ulu Sembawang, Punggol Pig Farm which have no longer exist excite me and make me recall back what and who am I on that particular era and what is the feeling to live on that era..:)

  11. gosh what a small world Karen! never thought i had a “chong pangian” friend in my midst! i remember running up and down those same steps…buying kachang puteh and then falling down….bruises on the hands and knees…those where the growing pains…eh? Cheers!

  12. Thanks to all for these precious photos that added another dimension to my faded memories :)

    I grew up in that area, stayed in Canberra though.

    However that Chong Pang village had lots of sweet little memories for me… the busy roundable with the little lane inside, the bookshop where I get my new school books each year, the watch shop opp the thousand years old tree for my first watch, the pasa malam and its yan-wor bird’s nest drinks, the auntie saloon for my first perm :p .. so many..

    And the sweetest of all? Gotta be my dear West Hill Primary school and its great teachers and all my treasured classmates who studied and played together, not forgetting the “thousand steps staircase” all the way up the hill (that’s why call west HILL right?) from Canberra road side.

    It’s a blessing to find people who shares the same part of history one moment in time….

    • Hi which year were u? Me from 1979 to 1984. U may want to visit West Hill School page in FB

  13. I was from Chong pang till t end n my dad had a barber shop(Indian).
    It’s was great place till now I cld talk n share abt t memories of my life in a kampong to my kids.

    • Indian Barber huh? Was your dad’s shop initially around the vicinity of Bah Tan Road? Which later moved to a row of shop houses located opposite the now Sembawang Shopping Centre.

      Holy crap – I remember cycling up Jalan Ulu Sembawang to a big cross road with rubber trees, picking up live blank ammunition and cutting them up for their gunpowder (don’t ask.. LOL). Cycling further on past some fish farms and onto Hua Min Primary school.

  14. I use to live at Lorong Maha, Does anyone want know where the family which used to sell their famous fried prawn mee in front of the laksa.stall at the Sultan roundabout.

  15. At the end of the alley of the roundabout, the mother of one of my classmates and friends (from blk 5, Naval Base) sells her nice (hainanese) laksa & scrapped ice ball

    Just across to the coffee shop on the left (Lim Tua Tow Rd) has one of the best wanton noodles of our time! Not forgeeting the two char kway teow stalls and the chicken porridge…….simply nostalgic

  16. 近来很想在网络里找回儿时住过的旧路Jalan Ulu Sembawang 的旧地图。
    没想到地图找不到,切意外的在你的博客上,看到這些珍貴的忠邦村照片,太开心了!
    我也曾经住过这里,第二張照片,巨大的長鬍”千年老树”就在我家左正对面。。。
    这些照片,帶回許多美好的回憶。。。感谢!!

  17. Today I met a colleague who told me he stayed at chong pang village more than 20 years ago and his neighbor own the sembawang fishing pond.I live at yishun now an
    d am very interested in chong pang story… Great photos!!

    • We call him Soo Koon and he sells ornamental fishes. I used to buy the fighting fishes there.

  18. Ah yes, i stayed at Scharff Road
    i studied in Canberra School from 1968-1972.
    Used to walk a long interesting n adventurous journey to school
    my mother used to sell the Famous Cantonese porridge at Sum Wah Chee Dr
    before moving 1978 to the new market opposite the Police Station.
    Moved out in 1988..
    thank you so much for the memories

  19. thanks for the memories.. i once lived at Teo Lee Road :)

  20. I was from Naval Base Blk 1,moved to Teo Lee Road,studied in Canberra Primary,cycled from my house to Sembawang Rd bus-stop to catch Tay Koh Yat Bus #3 to RI at Beach Rd(the old RI which is now Raffles City)Chong Pang Village and Sultan theatre are interesting memories.

    • J Tan, u must be tan jet s…. Thanks for visiting chong pang V site n my place, sharing your adventure of the recent past with me n other 1/2.

      Do show and share us photos of your cats..

      I hav to admit you hav been the most helpful buddy to me in my studies.

      • Wong Yock Song, was your brother Yock Tong? If he was, then we were classmates in Canberra Pri. school between 1962 and1967.

    • @ J Tan…..sounds like you have 4 older brothers and a sister? And one of your bros was an ex-apprentice in the Dockyard.
      I suppose you would know the Ho family and another neighbour downstairs of the Blk whose son …?.. Yew was an ex-apprentice in the Dockyard

      I use to live in Blk 14 and later moved to Blk 6

      • You are right. I have 8 other siblings.My brother who was the Dockyard apprentice is now in the oil rig building industry.He has become a keen golfer.I am into competitive tennis.At Naval Base,I used to enjoy games with the neighbours-rounders,marbles,spider/fish catching,swimming in the spring water pond…..
        I moved to Seletar Hills in 1986.The NavalBase-Chong Pang kampong lifestyle is really missed.

        • @ J Tan… are you on FaceBook? I’m on FB (ChanPeew Wan). If so, you may connect with me there….also, now I’ve a little glimpse of your features….not very big built but fair for us a Chinese

  21. Your eldest brother is Kim? previously working in the hospitality (F&B) industry, the second was a staff working in the Hospital (is he still in it?;) the ex-apprentice bro, I remember we call him ‘Lee’…..your sister was a nurse too wasn’t she and married Chee Yip’s uncle?

    • I am not on facebook-will sign up eventually!Your memory is good.Both my eldest bros have retired,in good health and enjoying their travels to Hainan and China regularly.I was in Canberra Primary 1962-67.Was a school prefect,not a sportsman-skinny and fair then.Became active in sports during NS-badminton,squash and tennis.I am the inter-constituency tennis captain/player for Seletar-CS.I was from the marine and now in the aerospace industry,exhibited in this month’s Singapore Airshow.

  22. Thanks for the photos which brought back wonderful childhood memories! Grew up there on the other side of chong pang and left sembawang in adulthood. Will show these pictures to my daughters who always think Sembawang is “ulu”. Remembers the sembawang road bus-stop that i needed to walk to, the junction opposite chong pang every morning at 6am to catch bus to a well known girls’ school in town. Those were the days!

    Will show these lovely pixs to my daughters who have lived overseas in the west as well as in the east.
    Cheers

    • I grew up at Jalan Pasar in the 70s. Great to see the photos on the other side of Sembawang road i.e. Sultan Theatre etc. I went to school at Canberra Primary and NBSS.

      Just wondering has anyone got old pictures of the other (forgotten?) cinema i.e. Kindol cinema and the surronding areas, the old and new market, sum wah chee drive ?

      It will provide me with a complete memory of the entire area on both sides of Sembawang Rd. Thanks

  23. Precious precious photographs. I lived along Jalan Sendudok, and my grandparents’shop can be located in picture 4. Besides Sultan cinema, there was another cinema by the name of 京都 along Jalan Sendudok. Yes, there was a wet market at Sum Wah Chee Dr (now Sembawang Shopping Centre)

    If I recall correctly, there was a laksa stall in picture 1. Studied in Canberra Primary between 76 to 81. Moved out in 1988.

    Thank you so much, Bing.

  24. I used to live in Chong Pang area (Kee Ann Road) and studied in Canberra Primary (1974 to 79). I am pleased to see the photos as it brings back so many happy memories. If anyone has any other pictures of the old Chong Pang area, we should think of collating it before this part of our childhood history is lost forever.

  25. thanks alot for the writeup, i grew up in chong pang staying at sembong road. the pictures really brought back some fond memories, especially walking to canberra primary school and pass by sultan cinema! ever since i moved away from chong pang in the late 70s, i really missed this place.

  26. Thanks for the posting.

    I was born around 京都 area and studied at 培才学校.
    Got to know about 张娟校长 whereabout 1 week ago and immediately visited her. She is currently 89 years old.

    Here is the link to 培才学校 which ws posted by someone else.
    http://www.friendsreunited.com/poi-chai-primary-school/b/3e39d36b-12d6-4dc0-a431-c0b51ee5d767

    Cheers.

    Eng Ling

  27. There seems to be a long gap since the last post in 2010 on Chong Pang. I studied in Naval Base School from 1963 to 1966. Every schooldays, I walked on Chong Pang and Bah Tan Road. I knew many classmates who lived around the school and the various pictures and stories brought back vivid and nostalgic memories. Thanks for all the contributions by the various people who shared their thoughts.

    It would be great if I can catch up with those who graduated from NBSS in 1966.

    Cheers

  28. Thank you so much for these precious photos, it certainly bring back so many happy memories from my childhood that I almost forgotten. It just keep remind me of the happy place that I grew up in. All the food, drinks, cinema, playing zero point etc, is so different how the kids grew up today , mainly accompanied by technology related gadgets…. Thank you bing! Hope to meet u again one day soon !

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>