Tiger Balm Gardens, Hong Kong
I decided to visit Tiger Balm Garden because it was a famous site in Hong Kong when I visited the first time (however its popularity might have gone down as a tourist spot in recent years due to several other new spots- according to my good VT friend, SL Liew)
It opened to the public in the 1950’s. Also, Tiger Balm itself is a famous product which I have used for years --- it is a nice heat rub used for several ailments like headaches and muscle aches…
You do see a big Buddha here – like the one you see when you eat in a Chinese restaurant – but bigger. There are several other sculptures set in a wonderful artificial Chinese landscaping, and dominated by a 7-story White Pagoda.
For just HK$16 million at the time, Aw Boon Haw and family built this nice garden in 1935 – a place which I reached through a bus tour. Actually, there are three Tiger Balm Gardens in the world – this one in HK, and also in Mainland China and Singapore.
Tigerl Balm Garden is one of the tourist attraction in Hong Kong. The garden was built in 1935 by Aw family and at a cost of $HK 16 million. I think this garden is one of the colorful garden in the world with different sculptures, artificial chinese landscaping, dragons and pagoda.
The gardens were created by the wealthy manufacturer of Tiger Balm Mr Aw Boon Haw in 1935 at a cost of 16million HK dollars. Tiger Balm is that that fragrant Chinese ointment that my mother even used on me to cure the myriad of rashes, spots and mysterious skin disorders that one can get in humid climates!
Mr Tiger Balm created a magical garden of sculptures depicting scenes from Chinese legends and mythology - some call it the Chinese Disneyland, but I am not sure that Mr Disney would ever have dreamed up this place! Some of the images here were not really suitable for childrens' viewing and I remember feeling physically sick at some horrific depictions of torture and maiming being inflicted on "naughty children who disobeyed their parents" - terrifying for a shy little English girl! It must have had an impact if I can remember it all these years later!
The Aw Boon Haw - Tiger Balm Gardens are filled with garishly painted statues and models of Chinese gods, mythical animals, and scenes depicting fables and parables. Quite a different place to visit although some scenes of Taoist and Buddhist mythology are a bit gruesome. Also 7- story pagoda.
Open from 9.30am to 4pm daily. Admission free.
N.B. Check to make sure its still open... I read somewhere that in 2001 it closed down.
Built in 1935 with profits from sales of a popular menthol balm, the gardens were the pet project of two Chinese brothers, who also built a mansion here. Eight acres of hillside are covered with grottoes and pavilions filled with garishly painted statues and models of Chinese gods, mythical animals, and scenes from fables and parables. An ornate seven-story pagoda contains Buddhist relics and the ashes of monks and nuns. It's great fun to explore, especially for children. Be forewarned: some Taoist and Buddhist scenes are decidedly gruesome.
In 1932, when Aw Boon Haw started construction of the Hong Kong mansion and gardens, public parks were nonexistent for Chinese. Before China became a Socialist country in 1949, people of lesser means had to make pilgrimages to Buddhist and Daoist monasteries to enjoy nature. The rich, however, enjoyed pleasure gardens built in imitation of imperial parks for hundreds of years.
Guarding the neighborhood from the top of the site is the Tiger Pagoda. Until high-rise building were built in Hong Kong in the 1960s, the Tiger Pagoda was one of Hong Kong's tallest structures and a key site. Because the pagoda was so impressive, some have tried to attach special significance to it. Rumors that the pagoda housed a relic of the Buddha or ashes of monks and nuns were popular but untrue.
Free. Open daily 9:30-4.
An ever laughing Buddha at Aw Boon Haw Gardens, an incredible amusement park with pagodas and statues from the chinese mythology. Called also Tiger Balm Gardens, because the founder made his fortune with the world famous Tiger Balm.