Haw Par Villa (Tiger Balm Gardens)

Imagine a peaceful garden featuring over 1000 carved statues, steeped in Chinese mythology. Now imagine it’s been ambushed by Banksy, in a world depicting crazed monkeys with guns, anarchy driven rats and decapitated serpents heads in molten lava. Haw Par Villa is like a nostalgic fairground mixed with a trippy scene from Alice in Wonderland. Nightmarish but brilliant.

Originally build at as mansion by the Aw Boon Haw & Aw Boon Par brothers of Rangoon; it was a 1937  symbol of their wealth as founders of the famous Tiger Balm brand. You definitely feel as though you’ve sniffed slightly too much of it walking around this place. It has its graceful side with ‘The legend of the Grateful Tortoise,’ as well as a cute wishing well and many distinctive Burmese Buddhas. The crowd pleaser however has to be the ’10 Courts of Hell!’ with my personal favorite; a montage of  a women breast-feeding her grandmother as a giant cockroach looks on?! It’s all hauntingly surreal, beautifully sinister to photograph, and let’s face it – an utterly terrifying place to freak out kids :)

Haw Par Villa MRT stop is on the yellow circle line, free entry, 9am – 7pm.   

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ohhhoney
    Jan 22, 2013 @ 04:04:06

    I was just at Haw Par Villa station yesterday. It’s a nostalgic place, used to go there as a kid. I have to go visit it again! Hope you enjoyed it :)

    Reply

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An.an.tas.in : The Anantasin is the name of a shipwreck just of the coast of the Sensi Parasise, Mae Haad Bay, Koh Tao, Thailand. It’s one of my many favorite places.

Lit.tle: Just because it’s cute.

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