Monday, December 19, 2011

Introduction to Haw Par Villa

Here is the link to the mythological theme park that we will visit on the first day, Haw Par Villa, built by the Tiger Balm brothers Aw Boon Haw and Aw Boon Par. And a small intro: The Tiger Balm brothers Aw Boon Haw and Aw Boon Par were born in Rangoon, Burma in the 1880's, to a herbalist, Aw Chu Kin and his wife, Lee Kim Peck.  Their elder brother and father died when they were still young and they were left to run the family business.  Tiger Balm was a simple ointment claimed to be a cure for almost anything.  The original Tiger Balm formula was refined in the Aw's kitchen in Rangoon, but the business soon grew with their aggressive marketing tactics.  By 1926, the headquarters of Eng Aun Tong 'House of Eternal Peace' had been transferred to Singapore.

In the 1920's the Aw's Tiger Balm business grew rapidly.  Through innovative marketing it went on to become an extremely successful business venture throughout Asia and the world.  Today, sales of the ointment total over 20 million jars per year.

1. The Aw brothers; 2. Aw Boon Haw relaxes in the formal sitting room with his son, Aw Hoe, c. 1949; 3. The Aw family photo

Aw Boon Haw bought this very site to build a house that would be a unique and fitting residence for his beloved brother Aw Boon Par.  He commissioned Ho Kwong Yew, a brilliant young architect, to design a house that would complement the gardens which were to feature thousands of statues and tableaux depicting Chinese myths and legends and were to become well known all over the world as Tiger Balm Gardens.

No comments:

Post a Comment