Friday, May 12, 2006

Haw Par Villa

About a few weeks ago, I took a bus and travelled to Haw Par Villa. Haw Par Villa was formerly known as Tiger Balm Garden. Actually, my intention was to visit the Hua Song Museum nearby, but it does not hurt to visit Haw Par Villa which was just very nearby.

Haw Par Villa has a rather interesting history behind how it first came about. It was built in 1937 by entrepreneur, Mr Aw Boon Haw, for his younger brother Mr Aw Boon Par. I think it is a display of brotherly love. This place is a nice place to visit for those of you who wishes to have an encounter with Chinese Mythology. For your convenience, I have consolidated a few links as seen below:

I have visited it many years ago. It was a Theme Park then. I remembered taking the roller coaster ride, and a boat ride through the Ten Courts of Hell. I remembered that at that time, admission charges into the park can be rather expensive. Reflecting, I shall be grateful that my father was willing to spend the money for the admission ticket for myself and my brother back then.

Currently, there is no admission fee to visit the Haw Par Villa. But on my most recent visit, I noticed that one may have to pay S$1 to enter the Ten Courts of Hell section of the villa? Or was I wrong because my eyes had played a trick on me? This site offers a good description of the Ten Courts of Hell, click on the link please.

If you have been there, you may wonder like I had of how someone so many years ago could be so rich to build this villa and have commissioned the making of the many statues in the park.

The gesture of this statue represents the Chinese saying "Zhi Dian Mi Jin", give advice to those who are lost. You will find this statue near the main entrance. Maybe its location is trying to imply that one will not be lost in the villa?


Maybe this statue should share its secrets on how it could make itself laugh so heartily.

This work depicts the story of the Chinese folklore "Madame White Snake".

One could also find larger size works like this in Haw Par Villa

I think the memorial of Mr Aw Boon Par has an important place in this villa.

The memorial of Mr Aw Boon Haw.

I could simply not resist highlighting the contributions that these two brothers have made to the community of this region. You can see this near the main entrance of the villa.

It was a nice walk about the villa that afternoon. I did not spend too much time there however. Instead, I proceeded to the Hua Song Museum nearby after spending some time at the villa.

If you would like more glimpses of the villa, I think this URL that I have indicated earlier is worth your time to visit:


noelbynature said...

nice post! wanna link it up to yesterday?

emily said...


I've always passed by Haw Paw villa every week gg back from PGP but I've always thought it closed down ages ago!

the 10 stages of hell still freaks me out. I remember coming out crying when I went there as a kid. Maybe I shall revisit the place and see how it affects me now.

Yay! at least I know its open =)

oceanskies79 said...

Hi Noel. Yes, please.

I was thinking if I should readapt the post for so that it will be of greater interest to the heritage-inclined readers though.

Ayush said...

great post and info here, cheers!