Monday, February 22, 2010

The Iconic Singapore photo: The Merlion

It only took me two years, but I finally went to see the Singaporean equivalent of the American Statue of Liberty.

This is Singapore's Merlion. It is has the body of a fish and the head of a lion. The head represents the original name of the country: Singapura, which means "Lion City". It is said that the founder of Singapore, Sang Nila Utama, gave the city its name after seeing a large beast resembling a lion. Today's experts will tell you that lions probably never inhabited Singapore and that the beast Utama saw was most likely a Malayan Tiger.

Eh. Can't win 'em all. It's a good story though.

The Merlion is a popular icon on all Singapore souvenirs and has become the international symbol of Singapore. The country actually has five different Merlions that are recognized by the Singapore Tourism Board.

This one is the most popular...I think.

Yep. We're going to go with that.

I've seen the most popular Merlion in Singapore. It's just one more thing I can check off the long list of things to do before we leave.


Ken said...

Is using a squat toilet in the list somewhere? I think I'd rather get caned than use one.

Megan said...

Ken, sadly that one was one of the first crossed off the list. Actually, that one was never even officially on the list. However, when you've been standing in line at a checkpoint in Johor Bahru for three hours and finally find a bathroom and then wait in THAT line, you'll get over just about anything.

It was a little traumatic at the time.

Brad Farless said...

Until right around New Year's Eve this past year I only thought there was one Merlion in Singapore. The huge one on Sentosa was the only one I'd ever seen or heard about.

By the way, this might be TMI, but I've used squat toilets in the Philippines. They remove all the toilet seats from the toilets in the malls there because otherwise people steal them. You also have to provide your own TP. Joy right?

Megan said...

I can't even fathom stealing something as vile and germy as a public restroom toilet seat. Even in clean bathrooms, I refuse to touch them, let alone sit down.

Brad Farless said...

I think what happens is they steal them, clean them and then resell them at roadside stores. Same with the TP. They steal it and resell it.

Anonymous said...

Actually there are 7 merlions in Singapore recognized byt he STB currently =)

Megan said...

Anon, I got that info from Wikipedia ( so if it's wrong on there, maybe we should change it! :) I tried to verify it since then, but can't find the exact information from the STB site.