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Haw Par Villa: A Spooky and Forgotten Park

Need a winter escape or a holiday with lots of things to capture? Best of all, free admission? Then, read on!

Originally built in 1937, it was first named “Tiger Balms Garden” then renamed “Haw Par Villa” after Aw Boon Haw and Aw Boon Par, after the makers of the medicated ointment Tiger Balm. It was big and magnificent, filled with statues of all kinds about different themes and dioramas. The makers used to live in that very park and had a grand villa built, which was used to host many great parties.

Sadly, the villa was destroyed during World War II. The Singapore Tourism Board managed to salvage much of it but it’s pretty much rundown, void of visitors, and much of its luster gone. Many of the statues and dioramas are still there and this is where it gets interesting. The statues come in a wide range of themes and are generally bizarre (imagine a replica Statue of Liberty beside a Pagoda)! I do recommend checking out the “Ten Gates of Hell” diorama. Sadly, my camera wasn’t able to capture the horrific scenes as the diorama is inside a tunnel. Really spooky!

Please do check it out. Just a walk away from the nearest MRT (subway) station which is called “Haw Par Villa” too! Lots to shoot at, but bring lotsa water and a snack. Enjoy!


  1. herbert-4


    Would love to see this!!

    about 1 year ago · report as spam
  2. buckshot


    'Forgotten', maybe - but I'll never forget my visit there in 1994! I have an album of shots from then here: http://www.lomograph(…)rts-of-hell I really like your medium-format shots too! Thanks for the memories :-)

    about 1 year ago · report as spam
  3. muhamad_haiz_shamsudin


    @herbert-4 Please do. It's unique and bizarre specially coming from our small island of Singapore where theme parks and casinos are the 'in' thing now... :-/

    about 1 year ago · report as spam
  4. muhamad_haiz_shamsudin


    @buckshot Wow, you've been here. RESPECT! Thanks for sharing your album, those things still creeps me out and I'm a grown ass man, hahaha!

    about 1 year ago · report as spam

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This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: Deutsch.