Oliver is…

He that hath a beard is more than a youth, and he that hath no beard is less than a man

…done with hell/Singapore

Of all the countries I’ve visited on this trip, Singapore is by far the worst. It’s not that there’s necessarily anything wrong with it, it’s just little more than a city that really loves air-conditioned shopping centres.

It’s nice that, for south-east Asian standards, it’s so clean and that there’s no glaring poverty facing you everywhere you go (until someone explains to you that the tiny cupboard off the kitchen is a standard feature in Singaporean homes and it’s where the Filipino maid lives) but with that comes boredom and incredibly high prices.

Luckily it does have one redeeming feature: the 10 Courts of Hell at Haw Par Villa. Easy to get to on the surprisingly cheap public transport system, it’s a place that just seems completely at odds with everything else in the country. Dave did a much better write up here than I ever will, so I’ll just drop in a few of my favourite photos.

Here’s the “filthy blood pond”:


Each exhibit gave a brief description of the torture/death, in case the pictures weren’t clear enough, and a list of crimes that would lead to this punishment. Often they’d be a mix of clearly horrible things mixed with something that you’d think didn’t fit: murder, child abuse, because you were once late for work; treason, deliberately infecting people with a deadly disease, told a lie to your parents. Here’s one of the more gruesome ones:


People were ground by the large stone for “disobedience to one’s siblings” or “lack of filial piety”:


This one’s just sore. Hell looks like a nasty place.


On the plus side, because of family connections (not mine), I got free accommodation rather than having to pay stupid prices for a dorm bed. And I got to look after this guy while I was there:


Filed under: asia, , ,

2 Responses

  1. Dave says:

    We need to check out Brunei, I feel it could give Singapore a run for its a-lot-of-money in the Worst in SE Asia stakes, especially since they reintroduced death by stoning for ‘same sex sexual activaty’:


    I’ll keep spamming you with these lists until you never want to travel anywhere again.

  2. Oliver says:

    I thought about (‘will think about’ if you’re pretending these blogs are current) going to Brunei when I had (will have) airport problems. It was mainly just to tick it off/not be in an airport, but the accommodation there was ridiculously expensive. That’s all I really care about. Stone all the gays you want, I’ll still visit.

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