As well as loving everything cute, I also love anything brightly coloured. It cheers me up and makes our surroundings more beautiful, I think. My boyfriend would probably disagree with me as he thinks my taste can be tacky at times but each to his own, eh? This post is about something colourful but not necessarily cute. Actually, part of it is downright disturbing – I went to the “ten courts of hell”. The Haw Par Villa or Tiger Balm Gardens is a sculpture park depicting scenes from Chinese mythology. Some of them are pretty gruesome, I’m not going to include pictures of those, but you can find them easily by Googling.
I nearly decided to pass on this attraction as I was feeling lazy. I’m really glad I didn’t as it was one of my favourite things in Singapore, after the turtle park. And entrance is free too!
This sculpture park was built by the developers of Tiger Balm. Have you ever used it? I know it’s very popular, even in Ireland where I’m from, but I’ve never tried it.
Unfortunately I’m not familiar with any of the stories on which the sculptures are based. I could have read the plaques but I was very warm and sweaty (tropical Singapore weather is crazy) so I wanted to rush through as quickly as possible and get back into the cool subway station.
Since it is slightly run down, and was almost completely empty when we visited, I found it a little creepy. Boyfriend didn’t though, so I guess it depends on the person. It reminds me a lot of the Bruno Weber sculpture park we visited in Switzerland, but nobody could dispute that that one is creepy!
I saw a middle-aged man with a group of friends doing the pose above for a photo before me so had to copy him. Wearing black in really hot weather is not a good idea…
This is the tunnel showing the “Ten Courts of Hell”. It had a diorama for each level of hell, and listed the punishments for each sin, for example – stealing and gambling will get you frozen into a block of ice, for prostitution you will be thrown into a pool of blood and drowned, con-men and robbers will be thrown into a volcanic pit. There’s no messing around here, the punishments are harsh!
The picture on the right was part of a weird scene with rats (?) having their legs cut off. No wonder they look so sad. This wasn’t even in “hell”, just the regular part of the park!
It’s a really big park, containing over 1000 sculptures! I stayed more than an hour and I think I missed a lot, as I couldn’t find some of the sculptures I had seen online.
I have no idea what this statue of liberty is doing there.
Some areas are genuinely beautiful…
…and some just look a little “off”, don’t you agree?
You can read more about Singapore here