Sunday, September 11, 2011

Backpacking Singapore: Haw Par Villa

One of our goals for our Singapore trip was to look for cheaper alternative in touring around. We researched on some places that offer free admission and we had Haw Per Villa on the list which is located at Pasir Panjang Road. We got there by their bus system which was about an hour ride from our place in Clarke Quay.

We got up at around 7am in the morning so that we can leave the in at around 9am. We have a lot planned on that day and we need to start early so that we can do everything. We went to North Bridge Road, near Funan DigitaLife Mall and waited for SBS 51 bus at the bus stop there. We should have waited at South Bridge Road at Boat Quay because it was just across the street we are staying in. Waiting for Bus 51 takes time and so you need to wait for a while before it arrives.

We dropped off at Pasir Panjang Road which is just across Haw Par Villa, our destination for that morning. We crossed the street to get there and from the entrance, we stated taking pictures, the trigger happy us just took pictures of everything there.

Haw Par Villa entrance

The park was built by brothers who also developed the Tiger Balm that is why it was originally named as Tiger Balm Gardens. It features mainly about Chinese Mythology and it has a lot of statues that showcases all of this. It is described in Wikipedia as:
Haw Par Villa (Chinese: 虎豹別墅) is a Chinese mythological theme park in Singapore, located along Pasir Panjang Road.
The park contains over 1,000 statues and 150 giant dioramas depicting scenes from Chinese folklore, legends, history and illustrations of various aspects of Confucianism. The attractions include statues of the Laughing Buddha and the Goddess of Mercy, as well as dioramas of scenes from Journey to the West. The most well-known attraction is the Ten Courts of Hell, with gruesome depictions of hell in Chinese mythology, all set in a 60 meter-long trail of a Dragon.
Map of the whole place
Tiger Balm Mascots

Official Tiger Balm Car

We got ready for our tour there and our first stop is 10 Courts of Hell. this is said to be where the dead goes. There are different punishment for the crimes committed by human when they were still alive. It is a bit gore but it was nice way to remind yourself to be a good girl so that you don't need to suffer in the after life.

10 courts of hell. How people are punished

We rested after that and continued to go around the park. We saw a lot of different statues all showing the Chinese Mythology. Some Includes the tale of Monkey King which I was familiar with because of some of the cartoons I watched. Here is a visual tour of the place:

Generally, the place is entertaining and you can learn a lot about Chinese culture. I also love taking pictures here because of how the images turned out. It seems that the lighting here is very nice and it shows in our photos.

So if ever you wanted to tour around Singapore, visit this place, it is free of admission. For more information:

Haw Par Villa
262 Pasir Panjang Road Singapore 118628
Open: 9am - 7pm(daily)
Admission: free
Approximate Touring Time: 2 - 3 hours
Getting There: Take SBS bus 200 from Buona Vista MRT Station (EW21), SBS bus 10, 30, TIBS bus 188 from World Trade Centre, SBS bus 143 from Orchard Road or SBS bus 51 from Chinatown.

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