As a curious newcomer, the weekend is always the right time to explore new places in Singapore. And just in time in October, which is famous as the Halloween month, I spent a day in one of this October's weekend visiting Hell in Singapore. Yes, literally. Hell.
It is called Haw Par Villa, the 1937 theme park that is famous for its ghastly depictions of Chinese folklore’s 10 Courts of Hell. This place has slowly forgotten by Singaporeans. People may know this place exist, but just don't visit. I placed myself as a tourist here, because I didn't share any memory with this place. KL, however, felt more connected to this place more than me as he has visited this place before and said that Haw Par Villa was one of the famous theme parks that Singaporeans would like to spend a weekend or holiday in, back in the 90s before the popular Universal Studio arrived upon their shores. He visited this park with his parents and it was a long time ago.
Haw Par Villa is more a theme park of cautionary tales than a tourist attraction spot. Besides the 10 Courts of Hell, this theme park also contains thousands of statues and hundreds giant dioramas, illustrating various aspects of Confucianism and depicting scenes from Chinese history, mythology, folklore, or legends, such as Madame White Snake and Journey to the West.
Now let's take a look at the most interesting part of this park: 10 Courts of Hell
NOTE: Please be forewarned! The following images may not be suitable for the faint-hearted.
This place basically describes each stage of hell for each sin one commits in their lifetime. However, I think youngsters might find this place a little bit too scary because of its explicit depiction of torture and punishment. Beyond the grotesque collection of statues and sculpture, I found the 10 Courts of Hell very fascinating because it's always interesting to find out what's there in the afterlife. I mean, where else can I get to see such detailed explanations about what happens in hell, according to Chinese's belief.
Haw Par Villa is surely one of the bizarre kind of park I have ever visited. While walking through the park, I felt like I have visited another realm, not just a normal theme park. The quietness and the standstill emotion of the park gave me a strange feeling. As a tourist, I surely find this park interesting, but also creepy at the same time.
Watch my vlog below to get a closer look of Haw Par Villa:
Haw Par Villa262 Pasir Panjang Road, Singapore 118628
Daily: 9am – 6pm