Singapore Haw Par Villa – Tiger Balm Garden

I was here first time with my BFF, Sharon from Malaysia many years ago. Coming back here again recently has brought me so much fond memories.  I remembered the first time I was here was a hot afternoon but it was drizzling with rain in the evening when I came the second time, the park is about to close.

Free Admission to Haw Par Villa

Haw Par Villa

I heard about Haw Par Villa when I was a child and know there is an entrance fees to enter the park, these day the entrance is free.  The operating hour is from 9 am to 7 pm.  I arrived at 6 pm and only have about one hour to explore before it closes.

Haw Par Villa

The park originally called Tiger Balm Gardens, was built in 1937 by the two Burmese-Chinese brothers who also the founder of Tiger Balm oil.  The Haw Par in the park’s name is based on the Aw brothers’ personal names,  Aw Boon Haw  and Aw Boon Par /胡文豹.

Haw Par Villa

Why did Aw’s brother build the Park?

They built the Park for educating Singaporean Kids about the traditional Chinese values and back then there is no theme park at all in Singapore.

Haw Par Villa

There are over 1,000 colorful statues and figures on display, from animals to human and deity.  You name it, they have it in Haw Par Villa.  You are about to embark a Chinese folklore and mythology journey.

Haw Par Villa

Memorial dedicated to the Aw brothers’ parents

Haw Par Villa

Home for the Monkey King, Hua Guo Shan

Haw Par Villa

Laughing Buddha

Haw Par Villa

Haw Par Villa is divided into many areas, with each portraying different stories based on famous Chinese mythological personalities, deities and legends.

Haw Par Villa

Jiang Taigong Fishing, Those Who Are Willing to Hook

The story goes like this, the old man Jiang fish in an unusual way. He hung a straight fishhook, without bait, three feet above the water.   Nowadays, people use this old idiom “There are always fish willing to be caught by angler Jiang Taigong” to describe someone who willingly falls in a trap or does something regardless of the result.

Haw Par Villa

A little pagoda behind me, pagoda is used as Taoist houses of worship, so it is not uncommon to find one in Haw Par Villa.

Haw Par Villa

Two most iconic animals : Tiger and Leopard in the Park

Two most iconic animal represent Haw Par Villa, one is the tiger and the other is the leopard, representing the two brothers.

Haw Par Villa

The Famous Dragon Wall

Haw Par Villa Dragon Wall

Guan Yin

Haw Par Villa Guan Yin

Chinese Moon Gate

Haw Par Villa Moon Gate

It was late and I could not find the most famous site, the Ten Courts of Hell.  Be prepared, some of the sculptures were completely weird and can be very frightening.

Haw Par Villa

In its early years, the grounds were opened to the public, and even had a zoo. Now, no more zoo, only animal figuring scattered around the top of the hill.

Haw Par Villa

It’s quite strange to see the emu carrying the turtles at the back and to see kangaroos and koala and emu in Haw Par Villa.

Haw Par Villa


Is Haw Par Villa Haunted?

I heard about haunted stories about Haw Par Villa since I was young.  This place comes alive at night, and that the statues are actually dead humans covered in wax.  It was raining when I was there, the sky was quite gloomy but there are still people around the park.  I didn’t have any strange encounter.

Haw Par Villa

Fu Lu Shou 

Haw Par Villa

These days majority of the visitors are Indian, I saw a group of Indian visitors are resting at the pavilion while waiting for the rain to stop.

Wu Song vs tiger

How long do you need to spend in Haw Par Villa?

Normally one hour is enough to walk around the whole park.

Who own Haw Par Villa now?

The Singapore Tourism Board took over the management of the villa. The Aw family donated the statues in the garden to the nation on the condition that the name of Haw Par and the family memorials located within the garden grounds be retained.

Haw Par Villa

A Buddha sitting at the top of a pagoda

Haw Par Villa

How to get here?

Nearest MRT is Haw Par Villa station, about 2 mins walk to Haw Par Villa Theme Park.

  • Address : 262 Pasir Panjang Road, 118628
  • Operating hours : 9 am to 7 pm
  • Admission : Free

Haw Par Villa

The gate has closed but not locked yet.  It was almost 7 pm and the old man was waiting patiently for all the other visitors to come out from the park.

Haw Par Villa

Singapore Haw Par Villa – Tiger Balm Garden

  • Free Admission to Haw Par Villa
  • Why did Aw’s brother build the Park?
  • How long do you need to spend in Haw Par Villa?
  • Who own Haw Par Villa now?
  • How to get here?

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