The Mythical and Demented Haw Par Villa Park of Singapore

Posted on July 12, 2010

Haw Par Villa, originally known as the Tiger Balm Gardens, is a theme park in Singapore that caters to all aspects of Chinese folklore and legend, including the demented.

The Tiger Balm Gardens were built in 1937 by brothers Aw Boob Haw and Aw Boon Par as a way to celebrate Chinese culture. They later sold the park to the Singapore Tourism Board, who then renamed it Haw Par Villa (“Dragon World”) and replaced many of the most popular scenes with fairground rides.

Nowadays, the strange park is mostly empty, though tourists sometimes stroll through to take pictures that they can then upload to their Flickr account. Speaking of pictures, let’s take a closer look at what all Haw Par Villa still has to offer.

Although most of the exhibits (like the one above) are merely curious, there are some that truly boggle the mind. For instance, pictured below is a woman nursing her father-in-law as her son stands by watching.

That however is merely child’s play compared to the horrors that await below in the Ten Courts of Hell. It is here that a sinner is tormented by ‘Yama attendants’ for the offenses committed in his or her past life.

Then of course there’s the topless mersnail and the creepy mercrab, both of who I suppose are close cousins to the mermaid.

And don’t forget Bugs Bunny’s evil twin who guards the gates of Hell.

If you don’t mind combating a magical bunny, then take a gander at the video below. Or see here for additional photos.

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Links (1 2 3 4)

V Saxena
I hail from Raleigh, North Carolina. I was raised in America and intend to bring up my children as proud Americans because I am defined by neither my past nor the color of my skin, but rather by the path I choose to take in life. It is this option to be who and what I want that has me so enamored with my Mother country: the United States of America. For more information, please visit
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11 thoughts on “The Mythical and Demented Haw Par Villa Park of Singapore

  1. leafre

    peeps,if they are less travelled place then how is it maintained?shouldn’t someone make this place a better or more interesting place to go to?don’t let this end like van kleef aquarium…

    1. Ann

      There is an ivory statue from China in the San Francisco Asian Art Museum of a woman nursing her mother-in-law while her son waits his turn. It has to do with the notion of filial piety and probably a common act in poor rural communities.

  2. Faith

    hey. haw par villa is still open? i went there once when i was young and idk , i feel like reminiscing the place! haha. can someone please tell me if the place is still open. thanks!


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