Merlions and Where to Find Them
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The Icon of Singapore: Merlions and Where to Find Them

You would think that mascots are only reserved for sports teams and the like, but did you know some countries have one too? Singapore, in particular, has the iconic Merlion. 

The Singaporean government has really gone all out with the Merlion as an official mascot: the symbol has been trademarked since 1966, and it appears on souvenirs that tourists buy. 

There are even Merlion statues all over the nation—some approved by the Singapore Tourism Board and others that are not! If you want to spot them all, here’s a handy article that will guide you. 

The Story Behind the Merlion

— From: merlion.singapore

The decision to make the Merlion the official mascot of Singapore stems from the nation’s history. Before the arrival of the British, Singapore was once a fishing village, and its original name—Singapura—means “lion city” in Sanskrit. 

Even Singapura has a fascinating story behind it. Legend says that Sang Nila Utama, a Srivijayan prince, landed on the riverbanks of the Singapore River after a storm, and he saw a strange creature that looked like a lion, hence he named the place “lion city.”

Merlion signifies two important characteristics of the nation: “mer,” which means “sea,” represents its fishing village roots, while “lion” represents the creature in its founding legend. 

A logo of the Merlion symbol was designed for the Singapore Tourism Board by Alex Fraser-Brunner, a British ichthyologist who served as a member of the Souvenir Committee. Since 1966, the symbol has been trademarked.  

Where to Find Merlion Statues in Singapore

Merlion Park

— From: ts_lovestravel

Address: 1 Fullerton Rd, Singapore 049213

Operating Hours: Open 24 hours

Contact Number: +6567366622 

Located in Singapore’s Central Area, Merlion Park is the ultimate Merlion destination in Singapore. If you can only visit one, this should be it. 

Standing almost 9 meters tall and weighing about 70 tons, the Merlion statue is truly a sight to behold. 

One interesting thing about Merlion Park is that it was originally meant to be on Fullerton Road. Instead, it was placed near the mouth of the Singapore River and stayed there from 1972 to the late 1990s. 

But when the construction of the Esplanade Bridge was completed in 1997, Merlion Park was closed and relocated to the other side of the bridge and near The Fullerton Hotel. It was once again opened to the public in 2002. 

— From: ayurtnsr

The great thing about this move is that the park now has more space for visitors to roam about. There’s even a smaller version of the Merlion—only around two meters tall—somewhere in the park, so be on the lookout for that!

Additionally, you get a stunning view since you’re facing the Marina Bay Waterfront. Treat your eyes to the full glory of Marina Bay Sands!

I recommend coming here early in the morning or late in the afternoon to catch the sunrise or sunset. Nighttime is also a great time to visit; the Merlion statue is all lit up, matching the sparkling skyscrapers all around you. 

Singapore Tourism Board and Tourism Court

— From: simahiroj

Address: 1 Orchard Spring Ln, Singapore 247729 

Unsurprisingly, the main office of the Singapore Tourism Board has two Merlion statues.

The first is inside the office, and the second is outside on the Tourist Court. 

The latter is three meters tall and is made of glazed polymarble from the Philippines. 

Of all the official Merlion statues, this one is the skinniest. Many people also find it weird-looking, but to me, that’s part of its charm. 

Faber Point, Mount Faber

— From: sgrediscovered

Address: 109 Mount Faber Rd, Singapore 099203

Operating Hours

  • Sunday to Thursday—8:45 am to 9:30 pm
  • Friday and Saturday—8:45 am to 2 am

Contact Number: +6563779688


Another official Merlion statue can be found on Faber Point, which is the highest point on Mount Faber Peak. This one is also made from polymarble, and it was installed here in 1998 as part of the park’s redevelopment. 

This statue is three meters tall, and it’s quite a tourist attraction. In fact, it’s so popular that you’ll likely have to wait in line just to take photos of this Merlion. 

While you’re on Mount Faber, don’t miss out on the other attractions there. There are Poland’s Bells of Happiness (two bells gifted by Poland to celebrate 50 years of Polish-Singaporean diplomatic relationship) and, of course, the cable car.

Ang Mo Kio

— From: jalanjalanme 

Address: Carpark entrance of Blk 216–222, Ang Mo Kio, Singapore

Ang Mo Kio is far away from the city center, but you might want to come here just to see the two Merlion statues in this neighborhood. 

These statues are easy to overlook because they’re not in a park like the ones in Merlion Park and Faber Point. Instead, they’re located at the parking entrance of HDB Block 216–222; if you’re not careful, you might just pass by the statues without knowing.

These statues were built in 1998 by the Ang Mo Kio Residential Committee, but it’s believed that they were almost removed because the committee didn’t have prior approval from the Singapore Tourism Board. 

Whether this rumor is true or not, I’m just glad that they didn’t get removed. These Merlions add a charming touch to the neighborhood.

Sentosa Merlion (Now Demolished)

— From: imbalaja

Okay, this technically doesn’t count because it’s now demolished, but before its demolition in 2019, the Sentosa Merlion was quite a hit among tourists.

This Merlion statue was the tallest in Singapore—at 37 meters! It was designed and sculpted by Australian artist James Martin, and he used the bagua mold (an eight-sided feng shui motif that’s used to direct energy) to craft the 320 scales of the creature. 

Even though the Sentosa Merlion was a popular tourist destination, it was still demolished to make way for a new landmark: the Sentosa Sensoryscape, a pedestrian thoroughfare that links Resorts World Sentosa to the beaches in the south. 

Despite its absence, it still holds a special place for many older Singaporeans and tourists who have seen it before. 

“Unofficial” Merlion Statues

— From: merlion.singapore

Technically, the only “official” Merlion statues are the ones I mentioned above. They’re official simply because the Singapore Tourism Board—the one that owns the Merlion trademark—approved of their construction.

However, even though that is the case, that doesn’t stop people from creating their own Merlion statues. These unofficial Merlion statues are sneakily placed in various places, so you’ll need to have a quick and sharp eye. 

In my experience, I’ve found Merlions on Woodlands Avenue 6, an abandoned one at Changi Air Base (near the site of Changi Mural), and in several corners of Little India and Tiong Bahru.

I’m sure there are still more of them across Singapore, so keep your eyes wide open if you want to go hunting for them!