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Haw Par Villa

Haw Par Villa is a bizzare, crazy, interesting & unique sight in Singapore. It is a very traditional part of Singapore and has a lot of history. The Park was built by the Haw Brothers (of Tiger Balm fame) in 1937 as a way of teaching Chinese values. In 1988, Singaporean Tourism took control, turned it into a theme park, and charged a high entrance fee. Poorly managed, it took huge losses, over $30million, and was eventually closed and later reopened to the public as a park without the rides and with free admission.

There are over 1000 statues and figures in the park, based on the stories of Chinese Folk Lore and important figures. Singaporean parents used to take their kids to see the “10 Courts of Hell” section, which depicts the punishment one would receive in hell after committing certain crimes in life. They are brutal to say the least, for the “crime” of ‘Misuse of books, posession of pronographic material, Breaking written rules & regulations, wasting food’ the punishment is ‘Body sawn into two’!

While some of the figures are a little worn, this park is definitely worth a visit, if not just for the weird factor! It’s free, will take you 1 or 2 hours to walk around if you read the information, and right by the MRT.

Free admission
Right at Haw Par Villa MRT station.
Daily 09:00 ~ 19:00

Rain Oculus

Rain Oculus is a large whirlpool fountain by Ned Kahn, that sits just outside MBS shopping centre. Water in the 22m diameter acrylic bowl is turned on for about 15min every hour throughout the day, flushing water two stories below to the canal inside the mall. People have taken to the installation as a wishing fountain, attempting to roll or throw coins through the hole at the base of the bowl.

As a result of its design, sound easily carries across the bowl (when water is not flowing), meaning you can speak normally and someone standing directly opposite can hear you clearly, give it a try!

Bayfront MRT at MBS

Merlion @ Marina Bay

The 8.6m, 70 tonne, half-lion-half-fish Merlion statue is a symbol of Singapore and hugely popular. The fish tail symbolises Singapore’s origins as a fishing village called “Temasek”, meaning “sea town” in Javanese, by which Singapore was known before Prince Sang Nila Utama re-discovered and re-named it “Singapura”, meaning “lion city” in Sanskrit, hence the head of a lion.

At the edge of Marina bay, with the Fullerton Hotel and CBD on one side, and MBS Hotel on the other, the statue is a prime photo spot. The statue also spurts water into the bay and is lit up at night. There is a smaller Merlion “cub” a few meters behind the main statue, inside Merlion Park.

Raffles Place or Esplanade MRT, walkable from Clarke Quay also.

Wonder Full – Light & Water show

Marina Bay’s “Wonder Full” is Asia’s biggest Light & Water show. In front of MBS Hotel and set in the bay itself, fountains work to music and create walls of water for light projections. The video content of the projections is actually quite dull (basically propaganda), but overall the show is worth watching and takes about 15min. Its a little bit like the Bellagio fountains of Asia. Take a seat on the board walk steps, but don’t sit too close to the water or you may get a little wet from water spray.

Bayfront MRT, in front of MBS and the whirlpool fountain.

Sun – Thurs – 20:00, 21:30
Fri – Sat – 20:00, 21:30, 23:00

Helix Bridge

The Helix Bridge connects Marina Centre with Marina South and MBS and has a nice panorama view over Marina Bay, Singapore Flyer, and Gardens By The Bay. The design, as the name suggests, resembles DNA and includes subtle references like the letters c,g,a and t that represent the four bases of DNA. It looks even better at night when lit up.

Bayfront and Promenade MRT