Haw Par Villa

Singapore, Singapore

Haw Par Villa

8.2

Haw Par Villa (Chinese: 虎豹別墅; pinyin: Hǔ Bào Biéshù) is a theme park located along Pasir Panjang Road in Singapore. The park contains over 1,000 statues and 150 giant dioramas depicting scenes from Chinese mythology, folklore, legends, history, and illustrations of various aspects of Confucianism. During the 1970s and 1980s, the park was a major local attraction; it is estimated that the park then welcomed at least 1 million annual visitors, and is considered as part of Singapore's cultural heritage. As of 2018, under the park operator, Journeys, efforts to revitalise the park are ongoing with the holding of themed events and the planning and construction of ancillary museums.

Burmese-Chinese brothers Aw Boon Haw and Aw Boon Par, the developers of Tiger Balm, moved their business from Burma to Singapore in 1926. The site, which is in front of a small hill and faces the Singapore Strait, was deemed suitable based on considerations of feng shui, and was purchased in 1935. On the site, a Har Par Villa was being built for the next two years. The villa was designed by Ho Kwong Yew and was of Art Deco architecture. The villa was bombed by the Japanese during the World War II, and was subsequently occupied by them. After the war ended, the villa was demolished. Between 1937 and his death in 1954 (when the garden was declared public property, and turned into a park), Boon Haw commissioned statues and dioramas in the garden that served to teach traditional Chinese values.

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