If you haven’t seen the Merlion, you haven’t fully seen Singapore. An imaginary creature with the head of a lion and the body of a fish, the Merlion is the most important trademark, and symbol of the country.
The original statue at the Merlion Park measures 8.6 metres high and weighs 70 tonnes, and is one of Singapore’s most well-known icons. The lion head represents the lion spotted by Prince Sang Nila Utama when he re-discovered Singapura in 11 AD, as recorded in the “Malay Annals”, and the fish tail of the Merlion symbolises the ancient city of Temasek (meaning “sea” in Javanese) by which Singapore was known before the Prince named it “Singapura” (meaning “lion city” in Sanskrit).
The Merlion is representative of Singapore’s humble beginnings as a fishing village, and is a national icon that you must visit on your trip here. Don’t forget to capture a view of the seafront and the Merlion set against the backdrop of skyscrapers in Singapore’s Central Business District while you’re here.