Complete!! As of 7/7/16
Did you know that the mascot/national personification of Singapore is the Merlion? The head of the Merlion represents Singapore’s original name Singapura, meaning “lion city.” Singapore used to be called Singapura because (according to the Malay Annals, or Serajah Melayu) the Sumatran prince Sang Nila Utama thought he saw a lion when he first arrived in Temasek (Singapore’s old name). Lion in Malay is called “singa,” and he gave the island a new name, Singapura. The fish tail represents Singapore as a port city. Singapore’s old name Temasek means “sea town” in Javanese.
There are 5 official (and 2 unofficial) Merlions in Singapore, and my goal is to take a picture with every Merlion before I leave.
1. Merlion Park
How I got here: I went on a half-day tour with the other students in the SERIUS program, and Merlion Park was our last stop. After this picture, most of my friends went back to NUS for the day, and I went on my first solo adventure!
2. Merlion Park Baby
How I got here: Solo-adventure day! Got off at City Hall MRT stop and walked 5-7 minutes back to Merlion Park. I had forgotten to take a picture with the mini Merlion last time I was here.
3. Mount Faber
How I got here: Got off at Harbourfront MRT stop and climbed up Mount Faber through the Marang Trail. This Merlion was on top of Mount Faber Peak. On the way to this particular Merlion, I saw the Sentosa Island located across the water.
4. The King of Beasts in Sentosa
How I got here: Went to VivoCity (at Harbourfront MRT) and took the Sentosa Express to Sentosa. I got off at Imbiah Station, and BAM the King of Merlions was there.
5. and 6. Ang Mo Kio
How I got here: Took the MRT from Kent Ridge to Ang Mo Kio, then took bus 262 to Opp Blk 220. I had to cross a bridge to get to the other side of the street. This was the least crowded Merlion statue I’ve seen yet- because these Merlions aren’t official! Yup, these are the two unofficial Merlions in a Singaporean suburb.
7. Tourism Court
How I got here: Because I didn’t know that the statue was outside the Singapore Tourism Board headquarters, I took a Grab car to get here from lab. It was $9, which wasn’t too bad. I’m pretty sure some people inside the headquarters were watching me take selfies with this Merlion, but eh I didn’t care. I was just happy that I got my last Merlion picture! I thought this Merlion was kinda the weirdest looking of the bunch, but the abundance of plants surrounding it make it look nicer.