Forget Disneyland, if you want to go to a theme park which will utterly confound you, best head over to Pasir Panjang Road in Singapore where you’ll find Haw Par Villa (虎豹別墅). Originally named ‘Tiger Balm Gardens’, it’s a theme park focused entirely on Chinese mythology and various levels of Confucianism. In short it’s home to some of the most alarming and unnerving statures you’re ever likely to see.
Monkeys armed with guns, people drowning in ‘Filthy blood pools’ murderous deities slaughtering villagers, crabs with a human heads oh and did we mention there’s even a pig in underpants? It’s all extremely bizarre, utterly nonsensical and yet strangely absorbing. There’s around 1,000 mythological statues within the park along with 150 ginormous dioramas littered around the place – everywhere you look, you’re sure to come face to face with some colourful form of the underworld. Did we mention you’ll find the Ten Courts of Hell there? All setup inside 60 meter-long trail of a Dragon, naturally.
It’s now owned and operated by the Singapore Tourism Board and entry is free, so if you’re in the area and fancy not sleeping that night – you now know where to go. The fact that it’s free is a major bonus, because you’ll probably need expensive therapy afterwards. Here’s a little preview of what you can expect to see, viewer discretion is advised.