stories from singapore: haw par villa

/ happy goat dance /

these buzzfeed goats made me think of one thing - haw par villa.

why? you may ask. well this is why:

/ happy goat! /

and after this photo, holly made her goat face impression, which i will not share with the interwebz because i would never want her to do the same to me. i will keep that one all to myself. and giggle allll to myself :D

/ the entrance /

when i initially read about haw par villa, it sounded like a kitchy, run-down amusement park and had little interest in visiting, but when holly suggested it for one of our outings since she had yet to go there, we did a little bit more research. and the more we looked, the more bizarre it sounded. nothing prepared us for how bizarre it actually was!

/ the tiger balm connection /

right outside of the subway station, you are met with a sculpted mountain and an elaborate entrance with multiple statues even before you get through the gates. as you enter, you pass one unusual statue after another. some are by themselves, some are set in narratives. signs accompany most of the scenes, which are primarily tales of morality. as you continue, a small exhibit relays the story of the two brothers involved in the tiger balm fortune who built these bizarre gardens. and then you move on to the biggest draw: the ten courts of hell.

/ one of the many punishments in the ten courts of hell /

my camera does not operate well in dark environments so i don't really have many decent pictures from the ten courts. but you can find them all over the web and they are generally pretty grotesque. yes, the ten courts of hell depicts the various punishments that one would receive in the afterlife based on the crime committed while living. this includes all sorts of boiling, impaling, crushing, flaying, etc. it's all very comically gruesome.

/ yep, that's a rat with a pistol /

after leaving the ten courts, we found many animal statues and couldn't figure out the story behind any of them! we just kept wandering and the gardens and bizarre statues just kept coming and coming, it really was a huge complex! we had a such a good time laughing and posing with random statues that i decided to take dominique back there when she got into town. it is a place that you just have to see to believe.

/ what's the story here? /

/ even lady liberty is represented /

/ so many posing opportunities /

/ some kiwi make an appearance /

/ scary happy pandas /


Unknown said…
Hahaha! These made me laugh all over again, just reliving the HPV (Ew. Terrible acronym, actually.) shenanigans. Another friend visited recently, and I tried to explain why we should go. But the place totally confounds explanation...there are just no words. Thankfully, your photos told the story nicely! :)

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