[Updated 23 October 2019: The Sentosa Merlion was officially closed to the public on 20 October 2019. :( While you can no longer visit and enter it, keep reading to find out where else you can see the Merlion in Singapore!]
Besides famous attractions like Marina Bay Sands, Gardens by the Bay and Universal Studios, one Singapore icon that many travellers know and love is the Merlion!
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This mythical creature with a lion head and a body of a fish isn't just Singapore's official mascot, but it has also won the hearts of many travellers all around the world and even made guest appearances in Japanese commercials ?
Credit: @oakonestop3444 on Instagram
Just last week, it was announced that Singapore's tallest Merlion, the Sentosa Merlion will be demolished as part of the resort island's new developments ?
Credit: Gerard Piamonte Sanchez-Hisoan Pacete on Facebook
At a towering 37-metres, the Merlion has been a significant landmark of Sentosa Island since 1995 and visitors can even go all the way to the top of the Merlion to get a bird's eye view of the island and the Singapore skyline. Unfortunately, the last day of operations will be on 20 October (that's very soon ?) so if you're visiting Singapore anytime soon or are planning to pay tribute to the Sentosa Merlion, do take note! The actual demolishing date is not confirmed but it's expected to be at the end of 2019 so you might still be able to catch a glimpse of this iconic monument if you're in Sentosa.
Quick history of the Merlion
For the uninitiated, the Merlion's history dates back all the way to the 14th century when Sang Nila Utama, a prince from Srivijaya, reportedly saw a lion and named the island, "Singapura" which means lion city in Sanskrit. But it was not until 1964 that the Merlion became the icon for the Singapore Tourism Board (STB). Fast forward to today and the Merlion has become a significant part of Singapore's culture and identity!
Where else can I see the Merlion?
Although we soon have to say goodbye to the tallest Merlion, fret not! You can still catch a glimpse of this famous icon at these 5 other places in Singapore! Ready for a Merlion hunt? ?
1. Merlion ParkCredit: @zuliarni06 on Instagram
This one is hard to miss! If you're around the Marina Bay area, it's impossible not to stumble upon this Merlion at the Merlion Park ? This was the first-ever Merlion statue to be built in 1972 and most people will remember the image of it sprouting water out of its mouth into the Marina Bay. If you're here, be sure to have fun and try out different shots and poses with the Merlion!
Credit: @marwellazhangf1 on Instagram
While you're busy snapping photos with that recognisable Merlion, don't miss out the mini Merlion located just behind it! This 2-metre Merlion cub was erected together with its larger counterpart so it's equally worth a visit ?
1 Fullerton Rd, Singapore 049213 (in front of The Fullerton Hotel and Esplanade Bridge)
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2. Mount FaberCredit: @topdog2811 on Instagram
Soon, you won't be able to go up the Sentosa Merlion to enjoy the view but did you know there's a Merlion statue that's overlooking Singapore's skyline and harbour with an equally stunning view? We're talking Mount Faber!
Credit: @geniebj on Instagram
The 3-metre tall Merlion statue is located at the highest point of Mount Faber (94 metres). There's no water sprouting out of the Merlion's mouth here but rest assured, you'll get to enjoy some fresh air and get a great view of the city ?
101 Mount Faber Loop, Singapore 099201
Take bus 131 or 145 from Vivocity bus stop (HarbourFront station) and alight at "Aft Telok Blangah Hts". From there, walk up the steps to Mount Faber and follow the directions to Faber Point.
3. Tourism Court, STB HeadquartersCredit: @reikow on Instagram
If you're in the Orchard area, you might want to swing by this 3-metre tall Merlion located at the Tourism Court at the STB Headquarters. You can find it near the taxi drop-off point of the headquarters. Fun fact: This Merlion statue was manufactured in the Philippines!
P.S. There's actually one more Merlion statue situated at the lobby of the STB Headquarters.
1 Orchard Spring Ln, Singapore 247729
From Orchard MRT station (Orchard Boulevard bus stop), take bus 7, 106, 111, 123, 174, alight at Grange Residences bus stop. Cross the road, walk through Cuscaden Rd till you reach the STB headquarters.
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4. Ang Mo KioCredit: @una.222 on Instagram
For those of you who want to go a little bit off the beaten path, why not hunt for the Merlion in Singapore's housing estates? Believe it or not - there's not just one but two of these Merlion statues located in the Ang Mo Kio housing estate. The pair of Merlion statues are located at the entrance of the carpark for blocks 216-222 and it seems as though they are standing guard!
Guess what - these Merlion statues have also been officially authorised by the Singapore government ?
Carpark of Blk 216-222, Ang Mo Kio Ave 1
Take the MRT to Ang Mo Kio station, then take bus 74 or 88 from "Opp Ang Mo Kio Station" bus stop. Alight at Blk 304 and walk for about 7 minutes to the Merlion statues.
5. WoodlandsCredit: @sevenpiggies on Instagram
Another housing estate that proudly shows off its Merlion statues is Woodlands! Located around Blk 718 in Woodlands Ave 6, there are 3 Merlion statues here, which is more than anywhere else in Singapore. Plus, they even come in varying sizes and designs - try to look out for the mini Merlion! Your Merlion hunt here will definitely be a breath of fresh air and you'll get to see a different side of Singapore too ☺️
Blk 718, Woodlands Ave 6, Singapore 730718
Take the MRT to Admiralty station and walk for about 3 minutes to Blk 718.
So, there you have it! 10 Merlion statues other than the Sentosa Merlion that you can find in 5 locations around Singapore. The next time you visit Singapore, it's time to add these places into your itinerary and hunt for the country's official mascot ? Don't forget to SHARE this with your travel buddies who love the Merlion too!