I am not sure if to categorize this park as bizarre is appropriate although the original intention of construction is to impart morality by depicting scenes from Chinese folklore, myths and Confucian ideology.
Another entrance free place to visit in Singapore, previously named as Tiger Balm Gardens and now popularly known as Haw Par Villa, named after its creator the Aw Brothers- Haw (tiger) and Par (leopard).
Not your typical park of koi pond and trees, instead Haw Par Villa is a theme park of 1,000 colorful statues and 150 giant dioramas.
From the mythical figures of Laughing Buddha to the 12 animals of Chinese Zodiac and the Legend of the White Snake, before Sentosa, Haw Par Villa was once a popular theme park particularly for parents who wanted to teach their kids lesson about the consequence of bad action.
Out of all the statues in the park, the most bizarre of all is the statue of a woman breastfeeding her mother-in-law. The statue depicts an important Confucian philosophy of “filial piety”, a virtue of respect for one’s parents and ancestors.
Everything that you imagine what hell would look like is well-depicted if not exceedingly meet anyone’s worst nightmare.
The succeeding Second to Ninth Court of Hell are the punishment stage facilitated by different Kings that handed out the corresponding verdict.
Straight from a horror movie, expect to be thrown into a volcanic pit for causing physical injury, heart cutout for ungratefulness, pounded by a stone mallet for being a tax dodger, body sewn into two for a misuse of books, heads and arms chopped off for robbery, murder and rape.
The Tenth Court of Hell is a ‘Wheel of Reincarnation’ and the ‘Pavilion of Forgetfulness’ (Men-Po Pavilion), where the prisoners has a chance to forget their past lives and be reincarnated to either human or animal.
Bizarre, Weird, Odd, Strange- no matter what choice of words is use to describe Haw Par Villa there is one underlying fact- it is, if not one of the most unique and interesting place in Singapore.