Haw Par Mansion, which is well-known in Hong Kong for housing the famous Tiger Balm Garden, will reopen to the public for free guided tours from June 9. The 1.5-hour-long tours will be held every Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and public holiday, except for the first three days of the Lunar New Year.
There will be four tours on each day, starting at 10.15am, 12.15pm, 2.15pm, and 4.15pm. Visitors will get to explore the mansion’s private garden and most of its interiors, while learning about its history, architectural features, and heritage value.
Visitors can only attend the tours by making an appointment online, which will be approved on a first-come-first-served basis. Each group can accommodate 24 people, but bookings can only be made for two people at a time at the moment.
The mansion grounds previously housed the Haw Par Music school, which closed in December 2022. Haw Par Music’s tenancy agreement was supposed to expire in March 2025, but the foundation that ran the school faced financial difficulties and decided to return it to the government early.
Haw Par Mansion was built by entrepreneur Aw Boon Haw and his family in 1935 in the Chinese Renaissance style, and was opened to the public in the early 1950s, who flocked there to get a look at the sculptures that dotted the garden. In 1985, the garden was converted into the Haw Par Villa amusement park and many of the sculptures were replaced by rides.
The Tiger Balm Garden was demolished in 2004, and many of the garden’s murals and statues were salvaged by the Antiquities and Monuments Office. The mansion was accorded Grade I status in 2009.
Header image credits: Wpcpey via WikiCommons