Merlion: The Iconic Statue of Singapore

Sunrise at Merlion Park, Singapore 

Whenever I think about Singapore, aside from shopping, theme park, and waterfront gardens, Merlion always comes to my mind and I know everyone else thinks that too. It makes me wonder where Merlion came from.

Every nation has chosen an animal to represent their culture, roots, and who they are; our country chose the Philippine Eagle as our national bird and Carabao for the national animal, Americans chose the Bald Eagle, Thailand chose elephant but one of the strangest and unique is in Singapore, they have chosen Merlion to represent their country.

Merlion is a mythical creature with a lion’s head and the body of a fish.  Its name combines "mer", meaning the sea, and "lion". According to their history, Singapore was founded by a Malay prince. One day while he was hunting for animals, the prince spotted a strange creature moving furiously and was identified as a Lion by his advisors, and voila! That’s where Singapore came from; a lion city.

However, as per their record, there were no lions native to Singapore. It might have been a tiger that he saw, for tigers used to be found in the wild in Singapore, up until the 1930s.

How many Merlion statues are in Singapore?

There are six Merlion statues in Singapore that are approved by the STB (Singapore Tourism Board) Approval must be received from STB before it can be used.


1.    The 8.6-meter-tall original statue at Merlion Park

2.    The smaller two-meter-tall statue standing behind the original statue weighed 3 tons and was commonly referred to as the "Merlion cub". It was inlaid with Chinese porcelain plates and bowls as part of its design.

3.    The three-meter-tall glazed poly-marble statue at Tourism Court (near Grange Road) was completed in 1995

4.    The three-meter-tall poly-marble statue placed on Mount Faber's Faber Point

5.    A pair of Merlion statues were constructed by the Ang Mo Kio Residential Committee in 1999. Those sitting at the entrance of the car park along Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1.


The most famous statue is at Merlion Park. The Merlion Park is located at 1 Fullerton near the waterfront at Marina Bay. This must-see Singapore attraction is just a short walk from Raffles Place MRT Station, and can also be visited by availing day tours. Entrance to Merlion Park is free. Several cafes, restaurants, souvenir shops, and restrooms are available around the area. You can’t say you visited Singapore without having a photo taken with the national landmark. 

Merlion Park at night 

Singapore is not just only about Merlion but also a location for various activities such as dining at trendy restaurants, eating at Michelin-starred street foods at hawker centres or even experience dragon boating. You may also visit the Supertrees at the Gardens by the bay or the world's tallest indoor waterfall in Singapore's Jewel Changi Airport. Singapore is continuously evolving and reinventing new exciting experiences for everyone. 

What are you waiting for? Plan your Singapore trip and fly with us soon.


Blog Contributed by: Almira Amaca

Photos by: Rakso Travel


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