This Belongs in a Museum

Once called the "Stephen Fry of Museum Blogging," this tumblog, written by a frustrated museologist, is dedicated to the small, random museums and weird attractions of the world. Always informative, usually funny, sometimes offensive.

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If you’re in Singapore with either your own or somebody else’s children and looking for something to do, then why not take them to the most disturbing theme park of all time (yes, even scarier than the It’s a Small World ride at Disneyland). I am talking about Tiger Balm Gardens, which is supposed to help relieve muscle soreness and stiffness, but just leaves you sore and stiff from freaking the fuck out. Since renamed Haw Par Villa Dragon World, the place opened in 1937 by the the developers of Tiger Balm (hence the name) as a venue for teaching traditional Chinese values. The best known attraction amongst the 1,000 fiberglass statues and 150 giant dioramas is the Ten Courts of Hell. Down a dark musty cave, the court features gruesome depictions of hell from Chinese mythology and Buddhism in graphic detail. If you visit a prostitute, you’ll be “thrown into a pool of blood and drowned.” Always finish your dinner or your body will be sawn in two. Don’t even think of escaping from prison or disrespecting your elders, because  your heart will literally be cut out, kind of like that scene in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. If the kiddies can handle these scenes of severe punishment, then they’re probably ready for anything, including the cruel world we live in right now. What I find fascinating is there are a number of statues sitting abandoned right outside the park. I think I’d like to see that stuff too. It should be part of the official tour along with the bloody gore. I wrote about this place once before, but many of you weren’t around two years ago so why the *hell* not?


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  5. g00kie-m0nster reblogged this from shazaza and added:
    The stuff of nightmares (the theme park, not the company). I can’t believe I forgot about visiting this place once more...
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    Was so damn scared when I visited this when I was young. Now I’m dying to visit it again though the photos are freaking...
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  22. runicv reblogged this from icantgetanythingelse and added:
    My friend lives in Haw Par Villa… I must really go there sometime. I’l probably have the shit scared out of me, but this...
  23. icantgetanythingelse reblogged this from fragmentsofescape and added:
    I remember how I used to so afraid of going to hell because I didn’t finish all the rice on my plate. And that I didn’t...
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    Every student in Singapore in the 80’s has been psychologically scarred by Haw Par Villa. Not kidding.
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