While Paris has the Eiffel Tower and New York City has the Statue of Liberty, Singapore's iconic attraction is the Merlion. The half fish, half lion statue -- which has water springing from its mouth -- has become a symbol of the Southeast Asian city-state. The fish body is a nod to Singapore's origins as a fishing village, while the lion head refers to the meaning of Singapore's name in Malay. (According to the tour guide, a prince found the land centuries ago and named it Singapura, which in Malay means Lion City. More information about the prince and the story about behind the name can be found on Wikipedia.)
The tour group spent about 20 minutes snapping photos of the merlion statue and several other Singapore attractions that can be seen off in the distance.
|The hotel and casino Marina Bay Sands towers above the water across the river.|
|Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay is a performing arts center.|
|The giant ferris wheel on the left is known as the Singapore Flyer. The lotus-shaped|
building on the right is the ArtScience Museum.
Personally, I enjoyed the view and the chance to get a glimpse of several attractions in one visit. If we had more time to spend at Merlion Park on the sun-scorching day, I would have sat under a nearby bridge with other tourists and sipped an iced beverage from one of the coffee shops at the park.
Alas, it was time for our group to get back on the shuttle and visit the next stop on the cultural tour -- a neighborhood bound to give us a glimpse of Malaysian culture. I'll share my experience exploring the neighborhood, called Kampong Glam, soon.