Haw Par Villa, a Chinese sculpture park, is one of Singapore’s more unusual tourist attractions. Created by the producer of Tiger Balm, it features brightly coloured sculptures depicting many Chinese myths and legends, as well as other seemingly random sculptures, such as a mini Statue of Liberty and some sumo wrestlers. There is a lake with a pagoda, giant memorials to the siblings of the man who built it, and the most popular attraction, the Ten Courts of Hell, a cave of dioramas showing people being punished (gruesomely) for their sins before being reincarnated.
Haw Par Villa is free entry and open every day, so this is a great attraction if you’re visiting Singapore on a tight budget. A little off the usual tourist trail, Haw Par Villa is definitely one of Singapore’s weirder places to visit! Simply get off the Circle Line MRT at Haw Par Villa and the gardens are right next to the station.
Spending a day wandering Malaysia’s capital city, Kuala Lumpur (KL for short), I had visited plenty of museums and Kuala Lumpur Butterfly Park offered something a bit different. I had already visited zoos and bird parks, but had never been to a butterfly park. I paid the RM 20 entry fee and entered the lush green park, where possibly thousands of butterflies were flying around, settling on leaves and flowers, or hiding up in the corners of the green netting that acted as the high ceiling of the park, preventing them from escaping.
The KL Butterfly Park is not as big as I expected, but I guess it is hard to cover a large area in green netting. Detail is the name of the game here, spotting the different butterflies as they flit around, catching photos if they land, and creeping up to snap unsuspecting butterflies as they feed. The best way to show you the park is through images:
This was my first Lunar New Year (or Chinese New Year) in Singapore, in fact my first in a Chinese-majority country. Despite the almost incessant rain I wanted to see how Singapore celebrates this festival.
We started at Uncle Ho’s River Hongbao at Marina Bay Float, where we saw enormous models of Chinese deities and other symbols. Then we moved on to Chinatown where stalls were set up along the side of the road selling all sorts of colourful decorations, food and flowers. The following day we visited Sentosa Flowers. Sculptures covered in flowers taught us some Chinese legends, with garden sections devoted to the four seasons and a giant sand snake sculpture on the beach.
Photo Gallery – please click on the images to view as a slideshow and read the captions.
If you are planning where to spend your next lunar new year, check out my recent article on Worldette: 10 Places to Celebrate Chinese New Year