Wordtravels

Wordtravels

Haw Par Villa

Haw Par Villa is a theme park containing more than a thousand statues and 150 giant dioramas depicting scenes and characters from Chinese mythology and folklore. Located along Pasir Panjang Road, Haw Par Villa was previously known as Tiger Balm Gardens and subsequently renamed after its original owners. The Aw brothers, Boon Haw and Boon Par (who made their fortune from the well-known Tiger Balm ointment) opened the park in 1937. This is an odd tourist attraction which will appeal to those who enjoy the weird and unique. Some of the statues are grotesque and all are gaudy. The coup de grâce of the park is the Ten Courts of Hell exhibit, which features gruesome depictions of torture, pain, suffering and all sorts of physical degradations in accordance with the descriptions of hell in Chinese legend. There are also milder attractions like mythical creatures, sumo wrestlers and the animals of the zodiac. It is a bit rundown but provides laughs and some wonderful photo opportunities and children love the bright colours and magical stories - although if you are visiting with kids you may want to keep them out of the Ten Courts of Hell, which is enclosed in its own area and can be easily avoided.

Address: 262 Pasir Panjang Road

E-mail: orientmgt@pacific.net.sg

Telephone: 6872 2780

Transport: To get there take by MRT to the Buona Vista stop (W7); by bus SBS No.10, 30 or 188 from the World Trade Centre, No. 143 from Orchard Road or No. 51 from Chinatown

Opening times: Daily 9am to 7pm

Admission: Free