Singapore's Theme Park Haw Par Villa

The pictures here were taken two years ago when I last visited Haw Par Villa with my parents after a long hiatus of more than twenty years!

It was first published on my other blog link (which explains the different watermark) but I thought it was a shame for it to be buried and lay forgotten under the archives hence, I decided to reproduce it here to remind other Singaporeans, visitors and *cough* STB about the existence of this theme park.

Haw Par Villa, formerly known as the Tiger Balm Gardens, was originally constructed in 1937.

Aw Boon Haw created the park which depicts Chinese mythology, heroes, folklore, legends and history to teach and preserve Chinese values.

The gate, which was built originally for the Villa

Do you know why Haw Par Villa was named as such even though there was no Villa anywhere in the park?

Actually, there was.

Initially, Aw Boon Haw bought the site to build a grand Villa for his brother, Aw Boon Par. However, distraught by the loss of his brother after the war, Aw Boon Haw had the Villa demolished but continued to improve and expand the grounds until his death in 1954.

Haw Par Villa was later sold to STB (Singapore Tourism Board) in 1979.

The running tiger is the trademark of Tiger Balm

This Panda greets you near the entrance as you walked up the slope into the park

Rabid-looking Panda cubs peeking out of the cave

The entrance to the Hua Song museum, the latest addition to the park

Hua Song, meaning 'in praise of the Chinese', bring alive the dreams, sacrifices and achievements of the Chinese who went in search of their fortunes overseas. It is a one stop center for visitors to learn stories of the Chinese from around the world.

I should have accepted Omy's invitation during the Mid Autumn's celebration. Now, it costs S$8 to enter the museum!

What is Haw Par Villa, without it's Chinese folklore and mythology characters?

Lin Ze Xu (林则徐)

A court official from the Qing Dynasty who fought against foreign invasion and also putting a stop to the opium trade.

Read his wiki here

Fu Lu Shou dieties

Fu Lu Shou diorama

Guan Ying (观音), the Goddess of Mercy

My guess, from left to right is Sun Wukong (孙悟空), Guan Yu (关羽) and Bao Zheng (包拯)

These giant masks adjourned the wall next to the Guan Yin statue. There's something about them that makes me uncomfortable. I had to flee right after taking these pictures.

Budai (布袋)

Buddha watching over the Pasir Panjang Wharves

Rulai Buddha (如来佛祖)

While walking through the park, I was astonished to stumble upon three woman sun bathing topless! Instead of feeling bashful about their brazen behavior, they were acting nonchalant as if it was the most natural thing to do!

Flustered by the sight of these brazen hussies, I hurried my way but not before sneaking a few pictures to admire prove what I had just witnessed.

Remember, you have seen these exclusive pictures from this blog! NSFW alert!

You can leave this blog now if nudity is offensive to you otherwise, scroll further down.

(Photobucket has removed the pictures due to inappropriate content thus I had to host them somewhere else)


*drum rolls*

the hussies!

lai, lai, join us!

Did you see my hums? So embarrassing... NOT!


Other than being a Chinese mythological theme park, Haw Par Villa also houses statues from other regions and influences, like the Sumo wrestler below.


It was quite nerve wrecking getting up close and personal with Sumo San

This is Garuda, a bird-like creature from Indonesia

There were other statues like the Thai Dancer and the Statue of Liberty but I didn't take pictures of those.

What is a theme park without it's very own mascots albeit non moving ones?

The 'Haw' and the 'Par', representing the two Aw brothers

Tigerbalm's spokesboy

Tigerbalm's spokesgirl

Mr Aw Boon Haw's vintage car which was dressed up like a tiger to promote Tigerbalm

Haw Par Villa's main gate bearing the name of the park

At the end of our tour, we only met four other visitors in the park which is such a shame because Haw Par Villa definitely has seen better days!

Back in the 80's it would be near impossible to capture any of the above shots without having any random stranger walking within your viewfinder!

I still recall that when my parents brought me there during my younger days, the park would be swarming with families and visitors!

It used to be such a boisterous place but now, it is eerily deserted.

I believe STB is more than capable to bring Haw Par Villa back to it's heyday. Include Haw Par Villa as a tourist attraction instead of letting it waste away and becoming a distant memory.

UPDATES (09 Oct 2011):

With the completion of the Circle Line, visiting Haw Par Villa is much more easier now. Let's hope the newly opened Haw Par Villa MRT Station will bring in more traffic to the theme park.