Public toilets in any major city see their fair share of surreptitious gay cruising activity and Singapore is no exception. However, with the relative official tolerance of gay saunas and other open air cruising grounds even though male gay sex remains illegal in the republic with the retention of Section 377A of the Penal Code, the amount of toilet cruising has been reduced a great deal since the early 2010s.


Public toilets, especially along the Singapore River where their density was highest as the area was the busiest hive of activity on the island since its early history, were thought to be the first local venues where gay men could meet and therefore hold the ignominious distinction of being the cradle of the nascent gay community in Singapore.

The most well known one was the rectangular structure with the most unique location of any toilet in Singapore - it was situated smack in the middle of North Canal Road and South Canal Road at their junction with Chulia Street, next to OCBC building. It was known colloquially in Hokkien as "sang chai tang" and lay next to the Hock Lee Bus Terminus where one- and two-digit number bus services eg. 4, 8 and 19, ended their journey. Its proximity to Hong Lim Park may also explain why the latter became Singapore first well known cruising ground and the first Singaporean one to be listed in the Spartacus International Gay Guide.

The toilet was not only used by bus drivers and conductors after their shift, but also by alighting passengers and homosexual men from around the island. When Hong Lim Park became a well known gay cruising area shortly before the 1950s, homosexuals had an additional venue to adjourn to after visiting the toilet. The back alleys parallel to the right bank of Boat Quay (looking downstream) also became popular nocturnal haunts.

SouthCanalRoadToilet001 SouthCanalRoadToilet002 SouthCanalRoadToilet003 HockLeeBus004

ClarkeQuayToilet001 ClarkeQuayToilet002

Shopping mallsEdit


Shopping mallsEdit

MRT stationsEdit

See alsoEdit


  • Thimbuktu, "Ways Done in the Past - Public Toilets", Blog To Express, 16 September 2012[1].
  • Jerome Lim, On a little street in Singapore, Facebook, 8 November 2015[2].