Haw Par Villa is undoubtedly one of the most unique attractions in Singapore. Located along the Pasir Panjang Road, this mythological theme park contains more than 1,000 statues and 150 dioramas depicting scenes from Chinese mythology and various religions. Built in 1937 by the Aw family, the inventors of Tiger Balm (the park was originally called Tiger Balm Garden), it was intended to serve as a place to teach traditional Chinese values. As Singapore became more modern over the years, however, Haw Par Villa gradually became more of an attraction for curious tourists.
Haw Par Villa is divided into various themed sections, the most popular of which is the 10 Courts of Hell. Reached via an enclosed, dimly-lit tunnel, it presents, in gruesome detail, a tableau of the tortures and punishments issued for various sins and crimes committed. While it’s possible to visit the park on your own for free, it’s a stop on many Singapore round-island sightseeing tours that also include visits to other area attractions such as Henderson Waves, Bright Hill Temple, Kranji War Memorial, and the Changi War Museum.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The park is a must-see for visitors looking to get off the beaten path.
- Some of the sculptures within the park are rather graphic in nature and may not be suitable for kids.
- Admission to the park is free.
- Don’t forget your camera, as the park is filled with interesting photo ops.
- Bring along some water and snacks, as not much is available inside the park.
How to Get There
The easiest way to reach Haw Par Villa is to take the green line to Haw Par Villa MRT station.
When to Get There
Haw Par Villa is open daily from 9am to 6pm. Since the park offers limited shade, it’s best to visit in the morning or late afternoon when Singapore’s heat isn’t quite so intense.
Chinese Folklore at Haw Par Villa
If the gruesome dioramas of the 10 Courts of Hell aren’t your cup of tea, there’s still plenty to see in this Chinese mythological park. Many of China’s great folktales are depicted, including Journey to the West and Madame White Snake.