Haw Par Mansion was built in 1935 by Aw Boon Haw, also known as “The King of Tiger Balm”.
The Burmese-Chinese entrepreneur made his fortune with Tiger Balm ointment.
The Aw’s family mansion was restricted to private use, while the Tiger Balm Garden constructed next to the mansion used to be open to the public.
Tiger Balm Garden effectively became Hong Kong’s first theme park focusing on the concept of hell in Chinese folklore.
In 1998, the family’s heir Sally Aw sold the land to Cheung Kong Holdings – owned by billionaire Li Ka-Shing – for US$13 million amid the Asian Financial Crisis and an ongoing corruption scandal.
The Garden and iconic pagoda were subsequently demolished to make way for a gargantuan residential development known as “The Legend”.
The government then stepped in to secure the remaining mansion and listed it as a Grade 1 heritage building.
It remained dormant and sealed off for many years.
In 2017, construction began to convert the Mansion into a private music school known as “Haw Par Music Farm”. Only time will tell how much of the original building will be preserved.

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