Long Ya Men, (Chinese: 龙牙门) or Dragon’s Teeth Gate, refers to a series of granite outcrop in Keppel Harbour. Known locally by the Malays as Batu Berlayer (Malay: Sail Rock), the historic rock formation, comprising two rocky outcrop near the present site of Labrador Park and its opposite shore of Tanjong Rimau on Sentosa Island, served as a gateway to the western entrance to Keppel Harbour.

 

 

The origins of its name can be traced to the 14th century when ancient mariner and trader, Wang Dayuan, is said to have sailed through this passageway. In his travelogue, he recorded that mariners from Fujian recognised these two granite outcrops as Long Ya Men because they reminded them of ‘the two pegs at the bow of their ships.’ These two pegs were known to the mariners as “Dragon’s Teeth.”

 


The rocky outcrops became important navigational aids to Asian and early European sailors and traders who used Keppel Harbour to sail past Singapore. Beween 1405 and 1433, prominent admiral, Zheng He, made seven voyages to more than 30 countries  to establish trade relations with countries west of China. He is believed to have sailed through Keppel Harbour. However, in the 17th century, the passageway was abandoned in favour of the wider Singapore Straits, which lies south of Pulau Satamu.


These two granite outcrops were eventually destroyed by the Straits Settlements Surveyor, John Thomson, in August 1848, to widen the channel for larger vessels to sail through.Alexandra Road.