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Singapore Tourist Spot: Haw Par Villa Ten Courts of Hell

second court of hell cold ice pond
Back in old days, Singapore parents love taking their kids to one of Singapore’s oldest tourist attractions – the Haw Par Villa ( 虎豹別墅 ). Located along Pasir Panjang Road, the bizarre theme park was built in 1937 by the developers of Tiger Balm as a venue for teaching traditional Chinese values.

singapore tourist attractions haw par villa halloween
Not sure what’s with the old folks those days, but they seemed to enjoy “scaring” their children by telling them horror stories of the famous Ten Courts of Hell ( 十殿阎罗 ), and if that is not enough, they would bring them there to witness the different levels of torture.

Our parents’ intentions were nothing bad of course. These exhibits are meant to educate visitors about the values and beliefs that were highly regarded in Chinese culture such as filial piety, resisting temptation and evil-doing, loyalty and fidelity etc. The idea worked, at least for me, as gruesome images of the Ten Courts of Hell still flash vividly in my mind till to date, often reminding me not to be bad.

haw par villa ten courts of hell
For those who haven't heard, the Ten Courts of Hell are each ruled by a judge collectively known as the Ten Yama Kings with each court dealing with different punishments.

tiger balm garden haw par villa adventure
Along with two other friends whom I have known for over 30 years, we rekindled our childhood memories as we revisited the old Tiger Balm Garden. Let the pictures speak for themselves at Haw Par Villa!

singapore tourist promotion board haw par villa
Haw Par Villa ( 虎豹別墅 ) - Free Admission

chinese traditional cultural values ten courts of hell
Entry to the Ten Courts of Hell ( 十殿阎罗 )

hungry ghost festival haw par villa gruesome images

ten courts of hell hu fa shi zhe
Hu Fa Shi Zhe ( 护法使者 )
A greenish face with eyes as large as lanterns. He is believed to to have control over ghosts and devils. He also upholds the laws of the Ten Courts of Hell.

haw par villa ox head horse face
Ox-Head and Horse-Face ( 牛头马面 )
Guardians of the Underworld in Chinese mythology, escorting the dead to the Underworld.

First Court of Hell - King QinGuang ( 第一殿 秦广王 )

ten courts of hell silver bridge
First Court of Hell
Those with virtuous conduct in their past life will be led over the " Golden Bridge " to reach paradise, while those whose past good deeds outweigh crimes committed will be sent to the " Silver Bridge " to reach paradise.

pasir panjang haw par villa attractions
First Court of Hell - Mirror of Retribution ( 自照镜 )
Those who were evil doers in their past life will be sent to repent before the " Mirror of Retribution " and then taken to a subsequent Court of Hell to be punished.

tiger balm ten courts of hell different torture
Second Court of Hell - King ChuJiang ( 第二殿 楚江王 )

haw par villa second court of hell punishment
Second Court of Hell - Volcanic Pit ( 火山地獄 )
Those who were conmen and robbers will be thrown into a volcanic pit for their crimes.

second court of hell cold ice pond
Second Court of Hell - Cold Ice Pond ( 第二殿 寒冰地獄 )
Those involved in corruption, stealing and gambling in previous lives will be thrown into the Cold Ice Pond.

haw par villa third court of hell yama
Third Court of Hell - King SongDi

third court of hell yama king songdi
Third Court of Hell
Those who do not wish to have their heart cut out, remember to always be grateful and to show respect to others.

fourth court of hell yama king wuguan
Fourth Court of Hell - King WuGuan ( 第四殿 五官王 )
Tax dodger and those with business frauds will be pounded by stone mallet, while those who lack filial piety will be grounded by a large stone.

sixth court of hell yama king piencheng
Sixth Court of Hell - King PienCheng ( 第六殿 卞城王 )

sixth court of hell body sawn into two
Sixth Court of Hell
Your body will be sawn into two if you misuse books, posses pornographic materials etc.

ten court of hell yama king zhuanlun
Tenth Court of Hell - King ZhuanLun ( 第十殿 转轮王 )

ten court of hell wheel of reincarnation
Tenth Court of Hell
Wheel of Reincarnation and Pavilion of Forgetfulness

tenth court of hell men po forgetfulness pavilion
tenth court of hell samsara magic tea
Tenth Court of Hell -
Bridge of Helplessness ( 奈何桥 ) and Meng Po ( 孟婆 )
Sinners after serving their sentences are brought to a Pavilion of Forgetfulness or Hell of Oblivion where an old lady named Meng Po, hands them a cup of magic tea to drink to forget their past. They will then go through the Wheel of Reincarnation or Samsara to determine whether they would be reborn as human or animals.

Other Exhibits Spotted Outside the Ten Courts of Hell:

tenth court of hell men po drinking milk
haw par villa tours free admission
halloween haw par villa attraction
singapore free tours haw-par villa sightseeing

haw par villa sakyamuni siddhatta
haw par villa buddha sakyamuni the awakened one
Siddhartha Gautama Buddha The Awakened One ( 释迦牟尼佛 )

haw par villa eight immortals chinese folklore
haw par villa eight immortals story
The Eight Immortals ( 八仙过海 )

haw par villa laughing buddha bu dai luo han
Laughing Buddha ( 笑佛 )
One belief popular in Chinese folklore - rubbing his belly brings wealth, good luck and prosperity.

singapore travel blogger explores haw par villa
So, what do you think of Haw Par Villa? Have you been to the forgotten theme park? Do you have any memories of this place, be it fond or gruesome? Even now, some speak of how the place comes alive at night. Admission is free. So why don’t you visit this tourist attraction the next time you visit Singapore?

Haw Par Villa
262 Pasir Panjang Road
Singapore 118628

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  1. What a cool place to visit.

  2. This is interesting yet also scary.

  3. What an intriguing destination! I know my kids would love to check this out!!

  4. I enjoy attractions that combine culture and history so this would be right up my alley!

  5. Such original and interesting park to visit!
    I'd love to check it out too sounds very fun! ^^

  6. It must have been fun to revisit this place now, but I can also imagine how it must have been scary for a child. For a hell themed park, it does look rather nice and I would totally be interested in visiting if I ever decided to visit Singapore. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Wow Shirley what an interesting place. Can't imagine how terrifying that would have been as a child. Especially the stage of having your heart ripped out. That was fairly graphic! Hahaha! Still if I'm in Singapore, I wouldn't mind seeing this!


  8. Oh wow, I had to stop reading quite quickly, what a horrifying place to take children! That would give my little ones nightmares for sure!

  9. Its a must do, have heard of it too, when I visit Singapore.

  10. Wow ... that’s a beautiful writeup of a scary place :P I love it! They should make you the ambassador :D

    1. Wow, I’m honoured to have you popping by & leaving us your thoughts! We should do it again in another 10 years? Hahaha! xoxo

  11. The place looks so fun and beautiful! i want to travel there! I wish I could travel more

    Inside and Outside Blog

  12. I remember this place. Visited it as a kid!!! I remember seeing the photos in my family album. Haha. I were around 6 or 7 years old then.

    Wow. This place still exist? I do agree, it is a intrigue place with lots of those Chinese statues around.

  13. lo habreis pasado genial, que bonito que es todo

  14. This is an interesting place in Singapore. I think you are right everyone would be scared to go to hell especially after seeing these sculptures. This is worth visiting.

  15. Looks like lots of fun! Really cool.

    ♘ ♘

  16. As usual very interesting! Thanks a lot for sharing)

  17. Amazing images thanks for stopping by

  18. Interesting place dear. Heaven and Hell!


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