Polaroid of the week: Creepy statue at Haw Par Villa in Singapore

Posted on 17. May, 2012 by in Polaroid of the Week, Singapore

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polaroid of the week singapore hawper villa statueHaw Par Villa was definitely one of the more bizarre sights we have visited during our travels and is hands down definitely the oddest attraction in Singapore (if not in all of South East Asia!)

Built in 1973 by the millionaire brothers who started the Tiger Balm brand, the ‘villa’ features over 1,000 statues depicting Chinese folklore, history and mythology. These brothers were not afraid to get graphic with it, either!  Opened as Tiger Balm Gardens, this was supposed to teach traditional Chinese values. Back in the day, Tiger Balm Gardens was a popular tourist destination with regular theater plays and puppet shows, but today it’s just a strange, strange shadow of its former self.

If you follow us on Facebook, you might have already seen the weirdest statue we came across there – a grandpa milking on a woman’s breast (apparently her father in law!).  But there were so many more statues that left us confused… rats with their feet cut off and bleeding stumps, a pig in underwear, armed monkeys, turtles riding on the back of ostriches, and then there were the elaborate scenes of the 10 courts of hell.  This showed cruel images of people downing in the pits of hell, sawed in half, and being stoned with big rocks. Familiar with Chinese mythology? Then maybe these scenes make sense. As for us – we left pretty confused, and wondering what the parents were explaining to all the kids we saw there.

Have a look through our Flickr photo album for more of the crazy statues at the Haw Par Villa – and let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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18 Responses to “Polaroid of the week: Creepy statue at Haw Par Villa in Singapore”

  1. Gerard Walen

    17. May, 2012

    Wow! Just wow!

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  2. Barbara

    17. May, 2012

    LOL! Grotesque art is one of the most interesting!
    Barbara recently posted..The Male Porn Star

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    • jess

      18. May, 2012

      Definitely can’t take your eyes off it at first, that’s for sure! One of the strangest places we’ve ever visited!

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  3. That first pic is such an awful statue! I love it.
    Scott – Quirky Travel Guy recently posted..There’s a volcano in the heart of Portland, Oregon

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    • jess

      18. May, 2012

      Yeah, and these millionaires paid loads of money to build an entire theme park of really awful, strange things!

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  4. Ruth (Tanama Tales)

    17. May, 2012

    Would be interesting to find out what all these means.
    Ruth (Tanama Tales) recently posted..A Tale of Two Aquariums in San Francisco

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    • jess

      18. May, 2012

      We definitely wanted to know more, but it didn’t seem like anyone worked there. But it was also fun to let our imagination run wild, too. :)

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  5. Alex Jones

    18. May, 2012

    Blimey, that is seriously weird. How about putting together a blog post of sicko travel photos?

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  6. Denise

    18. May, 2012

    I can’t believe I missed this place. I had no idea it existed!!!
    Denise recently posted..Down in the Mekong Delta

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    • jess

      20. May, 2012

      We didn’t either! We met up with Jen from Directionally Challenged and she recommended it to us!

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  7. Arti

    18. May, 2012

    Gross. Thats the word, I guess!!
    Arti recently posted..Raman Reti or Raman Van in Old Gokul, Vrindavan

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  8. Megan

    19. May, 2012

    The 10 levels of hell is a big thing in Southeast Asia, and I never figured out exactly what it was all about. I unsuspectingly went into a ’10 levels of hell’ exhibit once, which was quite an experience. I never new kitschy and gruesome could coexist so well!
    Megan recently posted..We’re back!

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  9. Wanderplex

    21. May, 2012

    Okay, yeah that’s pretty creepy! And definitely not the kind of thing a bit of tiger balm will fix either :P
    Wanderplex recently posted..How to make ancient ruins seem more interesting

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    • Dani

      22. May, 2012

      Haha, that is true! I was surprised not to find more items related to Tiger Balm, but these guys just wanted to educate us on Chinese mythology … or creep us out ;-)

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