I spent the second day of 2012 visiting Haw Par Villa ( or Tiger Balm Gardens)
Initially built by Au Boon Haw – who created Tiger Balm – for his brother Au Boon Par, this place became a tourist attraction in the 80’s and then slowly became a forgotten place in Singapore. I haven’t been there since I was a kid, so this trip was pretty nostalgic. I wore a hat and took cheesy touristy photos.
It’s a mish mash of colours, and cultures —in some parts of the garden, there was a Statue of Liberty, and some Sumo wrestlers. Many people think it’s a strange place with its many statues depicting chinese folklore, and some rather frightening ones depicting Hell. BUT i really like Haw Par Villa!
I remember going through the Ten Courts of Hell, and reading what punishments one will deserve if we were to lie or cheat in an exam. Those scenes were harsh, and really gruesome. I think a lot of asian families liked to bring their children there in the 80’s, just to scare them a little. It’s so visual i wonder how many children had nightmares. i leave you with not-so-scary photos ( i hope!)
those asian mermaids cracked me up. so did the statue of liberty. and yes that’s me trying to sit on a kiwi.