Sunday, October 02, 2011

Haw Par Villa: revisited after 20 years

Taking the free rides on Circle Line MRT discovery journey, my family and I revisited Haw Par Villa. Can you imagine the last time when I visited Haw Par Villa, it was exactly 20 years ago! At that time, I was so excited as a little boy, playing the water rides centred on a dragon theme and still remembering the very impressive movie shows on Chinese deities and myth there.

In a flick of an eye, 20 years have passed. Haw Par Villa, Singapore's first local and very own theme park is now nothing of the theme park 20 years ago. However, I was surprised that many of the statures I saw 20 years ago were still there, except the gigantic and emblematic dragon! These statues have seen the annals of time!

Haw Par Villa is now open free to members of the public and is still upkept by cleaners. Can you imagine the whole theme park was once a huge mansion of the Aw Brothers? Tiger Balm Oil, the most famous brand name of the Aw Brothers is still making its footprints around the world. There were 4 iconic memorial pillars for the kins of the Aws in the park.

I think it is a pity that Haw Par Villa has to be closed down (as a theme park). Haw Par Villa, in my belief, is a gem of a Chinese theme park, which Singapore created, which showcases the rich Chinese culture and imparts good Chinese moral values to visitors.

Instead, we have replicas of Western theme parks (Universal studios in Singapore).

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