Haw Par Villa was built in 1937 by the world renowned charismatic by the name of Aw Boon Haw as a gift to his brother Boon Haw. Haw Par Villa is said to be the quintessential resident of Chinese folklore and traditions. Haw Par Villa was described by a lot of spectators to be fascinating, delightful, entertaining and bizarre. It is considered to be no other place in the world.
There are twenty five anthologies of original figurines and statues that imitate Chinese mythology characters like the Fu Lu Shou and the Laughing Buddha. This great exhibit and a must-see for everybody is the Ten Courts of Hell. It showcases the ten steps of judgments before you experience reincarnation. This is a display of literal and exact imagination of the statues that sets immortalize moral values as well as Chinese cultural heritage for the coming generations.
Haw Par Villa, before, is also known as the Tiger Balm Gardens. It was originally constructed by the Tiger Balm King who helps enhance their fortune by the use of analgesic balm. Haw Par Villa stands for the fortress of the Tiger and Leopard.
Aw boon Haw constructed an entertainment park to showcase and preserve Chinese values. Morality tales included vintage battles between good and bad and pays a tribute to Chinese cultural heroes. One good example is the famous pugilist by the name of Wu Sung who perfectly tamed a wild tiger by his two bare hands.
Tiger Balm Gardens was used as a venue for teaching traditional norms and conducts. The Haw family sold the whole area to the Singapore Tourism Board in 1979. The Park was renamed Haw Par Villa in the year 1985,. It was closed and slightly renovated and later reopened after five years. It was then converted into an amusement park and changed its name into “Dragon World”, with a lot of statues and scenes that is replaced with fun rides. Majority of the old features have been replaced, including the dragon side. Some of the statues have also been removed in safety and was relocated to the Chinese Gardens.
The Park has been free of charge since 1996, but prior to that, the charge was sixteen dollars. The proceeds go to the construction of the Chinese Heritage Center within its grounds.
Highlights and Attractions
- Monstrous sumo wrestler
- Statue of Liberty
- 7000-kg gorilla
- Water Gardens and live fishes
- The ten courts of Hell
- Thai Dancers
- Koala Bear
The Tiger Car
This is said to be the newest attraction in Haw Par Villa. This is a vintage car which is dressed up to look like a tiger. It is considered to be the replica of the “Tiger Car” which is owned and operated by Aw Boon. The viewing of the said attraction in the garage is free. The Garage is open daily.
The Jade House
This is one of the latest additions to the Haw Par Villa. It showcases a big anthology of jades that the Aw family has collected and compiled all through out the years. The jade house is inside the Haw Par Villa, just a couple of walks away from the main entrance. The jade house is open daily. However, you have to buy a token in order for you to get inside it.