It is not often that I will visit tourist attractions when I go back to Singapore for a holiday. I have “been there and done that” through my teenage years and early adulthood so the precious time I have in Singapore is usually spent catching up with friends and family. However, during this latest trip, I decided to take the children to Merlion Park, to visit the famous Merlion statue.
This mythical creature is half lion and half fish. From what I remember from school, a Malay prince landed in Singapore and saw a beast that looked like a lion. He then renamed the city to Singapura, meaning “Lion City”. So, the head of the Merlion represents Singapore’s original name, Singapura and the body represents the Singapore’s humble beginnings as a fishing village when it was called Temasek.
Currently there are seven Merlion statues in Singapore but only five recognised by the Singapore Tourist Board. There are two in Merlion Park, a giant version on Sentosa, one at Tourism Court near Grange Road and another at Mount Faber. The two unauthorised Merlions are located in Ang Mo Kio.
We took the MRT and alighted at Raffles Place. During these years that I’ve been away from Singapore, there’s been a lot of development and I didn’t know my way around anymore. In fact, navigating anywhere I find I have to rely on all the signs and information like other visitors. Nevertheless, after asking an ‘uncle’, we managed to find the place with an approx. 10 minute walk with two young children. We were all baking by the time we got there!
It was so busy and packed with tourists but we were so thrilled to see both of the statues. This iconic statue was moved in 2002 to the current location due to completion of Esplanade Bridge in 1997 that blocked the view of the statue from the waterfront.
Both of my children were delighted to see the Merlion statue that stands at 8.6 metres tall and weighs 70 tonnes. The smaller Merlion statue in this park stands at 2 metres tall and weighs three tonnes.
We didn’t spend much time there as it was too hot and packed with many tourists. So we decided to go back home before the rush hour. It is definitely one of the must-see attractions so next time you are in Singapore, why not pop by and see it for yourself.
We had recently drew the Merlion’s pictures for the BIC competition, click to read more about it.
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