Haw Par Villa

Heading 2: The Origins of Haw Par Villa

Haw Par Villa, formerly known as Tiger Balm Gardens, is a cultural park located on a hill in Pasir Panjang. It was built in 1937 by Aw Boon Haw, a Myanmar-born businessman, for his brother Aw Boon Par. The park was named after the Tiger Balm medical ointment that their father had created. The villa was opened to the public, showcasing Boon Haw’s deep passion for Chinese culture and mythology.

During the construction of the villa, Boon Haw personally supervised the artisans who created many of the park’s original fixtures. He aimed to provide moral guidance to the public through the park’s depiction of traditional virtues. However, when war broke out, the Aw family fled singapore for Yangon, and the park was used as an observation point by the Japanese army. It was only after the war that Aw Boon Haw returned to Singapore and began to rebuild the park.

In the following years, from the 1940s to the 1970s, many members of the Aw family contributed to the park’s development. Aw Cheng Chye, Boon Par’s son, made various additions to the park’s dioramas. His passion for travel led to the establishment of the park’s International Corners, which pay tribute to the cultures of the countries he visited. In 1985, the Singapore Tourism Board took over the management of the grounds, leading to the park’s modern transformation.

Heading 3: The Cultural Richness of Haw Par Villa

Haw Par Villa is renowned for its vivid depictions of the Ten Courts of Hell from Chinese folklore. Many Singaporeans have fond memories of visiting the park as children, where they learned about traditional Chinese morality. Apart from this iconic attraction, the park houses over 1,000 statues and 150 dioramas, showcasing scenes from legendary works of Chinese literature such as Journey to the West, Madame White Snake, and the stories of the Eight Immortals.

Following a nine-month closure for upgrading works, the park reopened in 2021 with enhanced night lighting and extensive conservation work on its iconic statues. The park’s most famous attraction, the Ten Courts of Hell, is now part of Hell’s Museum. Spread across 3,800 square meters, this new space offers visitors the opportunity to explore global beliefs and traditions about death and the afterlife.

Heading 3: Immersive Experiences at Haw Par Villa

For those looking to delve deeper into the stories of Haw Par Villa, the park offers guided tours that provide a comprehensive understanding of its history and significance. One such tour is “Tiger Tiger Burning Bright,” which tells the riveting story of the Aw family, Tiger Balm, and Haw Par Villa. Visitors can learn about the turbulent tragedies and meteoric rises to success that shaped the park’s legacy.

If you prefer to explore the park at your own pace, consider downloading the Hop! Par Villa Trail Guide. This guide provides detailed information about iconic spots and hidden spaces within the park, allowing you to have a more immersive experience.

After a day of exploration, you can relax and enjoy a meal at The Sixth Milestone, a charming bistro overlooking the Pagoda Pond. The bistro offers a range of beverages, alcohol, and light bites, providing a perfect setting to unwind and reflect on your visit to Haw Par Villa.

Heading 3: Visitor Guidelines and Recommendations

It is important to note that due to the graphic nature of the exhibits, visitor discretion and parental guidance are advised. Hell’s Museum, which includes the Ten Courts of Hell, is not recommended for children aged 8 and below.

To fully experience the cultural richness and historical significance of Haw Par Villa, it is recommended to allocate sufficient time for your visit. The park’s extensive collection of statues, dioramas, and cultural displays will transport you to a world of ancient traditions and captivating stories.

In conclusion, Haw Par Villa stands as a testament to the rich Chinese culture and mythology. Its origins rooted in the passion of the Aw family, the park offers visitors a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the vivid depictions of Chinese folklore and legendary tales. With its recent upgrades and enhanced offerings, Haw Par Villa continues to be a must-visit destination for history buffs, culture enthusiasts, and anyone interested in exploring the fascinating world of Chinese tradition.

Address And Location:

262 Pasir Panjang Road, Singapore 118628

  • Operating Hours

    Haw Par Villa:
    Mon – Sun, 9am – 8pm (last entry 7.30pm)

    Hell’s Museum:
    Tue – Sun, 10am – 6pm (last entry 5pm)

    Visitor Centre:
    Mon – Sun, 10am – 6pm

  • 262 Pasir Panjang Road, Singapore 118628

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