Haw Par Villa, commonly known as the Tiger Balm Gardens, has over 1000 statues and 150 dioramas depicting various Chinese folklore and mythologies.
Brothers Aw Boon Haw and Aw Boom Par, built the Haw Par Villa with the intention of making it a place where parents can take their children to teach them about morality and proper conduct. The founders intentionally withheld from making the illustrations “child-friendly” to make the lessons more memorable.
Haw Par Villa Singapore – Admission Fee, Opening Hours & MRT
The park has statues of armed monkeys, giant crabs with human faces and a range of other weird and wonderful statues. It also has a diorama of the “Ten Stages of Hell”. According to Chinese mythology, a soul passes through a series of courts before it can enter heaven – of course, punishment awaits those who are proven unworthy.
Please note that some of the depictions are very detailed, making the place a little creepy for children, and even for some adults too! Most visitors will find the displays both grotesque and hilarious, all at the same time.
Due to its innate uniqueness, the park became a huge hit when it opened its doors to the public in 1937. However, with the opening of many other parks and tourists attractions in Singapore, Haw Par Villa is now almost deserted. Nevertheless, those who are into unconventional attractions may still find Haw Par Villa worthy of their time.
Overall, Haw Par Villa may not be your average tourist attraction but it is still a must see especially if you are fond of Chinese culture and mythology. Efforts to restore the park to its former glory are also in the way.