Haw Par Villa holds plenty of memories personally. Growing up, we would visit the hillside attraction along Pasir Panjang Road as a family and, as kids, we would glance nervous gazes at the various human and animal figures depicted around the park while trying to pluck up the courage to enter the infamous Courts of Hell.
Also known as Tiger Balm Gardens, Haw Par Villa closed for a refresh in December 2018. Now, Haw Par Villa 2019 has reopened on 1 March 2019 and a visit to this octogenarian (the attraction opened in 1937) was like getting reacquainted with an old friend.
Visiting Haw Par Villa 2019
Following the red brick path that leads in to Haw Par Villa, a familiar Main Archway welcomes those who have trudged up the hill.
The Har Paw Villa of 2019 now sports new signboards (that come in the four national languages) in front of key attractions around the park. Pause and read the signboards to interpret the dioramas and tableau of Chinese folktales and legends in front of you.
HEADS UP: Esplanade has a new children's festival from the 10 to 14 March. Book your tickets before they sell out.
And of course, the most terrifying of Haw Par Villa’s attractions, the Ten Courts of Hell, still awaits the curious (and courageous) visitor.
This latest 2019 revamp seems to have lifted the colours of most of the statues at the park. On a previous visit, we recall that some statues had parts broken off and cobwebs decorating odd corners. Now, with the 2019 renovation of Haw Par Villa, the iconic statues appear to have been re-accorded the respect they deserve.
Walking About the Renovated Haw Par Villa 2019
From the signboards around Haw Par Villa, it appears that there are plans for shops and F&B outlets to be located within the park. None of these units were occupied or operating when we visited.
Perhaps the most anticipated opening is that of Hell’s Museum. This museum is earmarked to be (appropriately) located along the way to the 10 Courts of Hell.
As of now, the main draw of Haw Par Villa 2019 is still its age-old statues and reliefs.
Its craggily grottos and criss-crossing pathways are fascinating to explore. Even though we are nowadays overtaken by the flash and shine of modern attractions, with a dash of wonderment, Haw Par Villa can still be an interesting place to visit in Singapore.
Haw Par Villa
Where: 262 Pasir Panjang Rd, Singapore 118628
Admission is free