Thursday, December 22, 2011

The official five Merlions of Singapore and where to find them

Many of us know that there are several famous Merlions in Singapore but few of us have been informed that there are actually five Merlions officially recognized by Singapore Tourism Board. The two can be found at Merlion park, the Dad and his cub. Another one at Sentosa island which is the largest; you can even climb inside it and emerge from its mouth. The remaining two are located at not-so-familiar places.

Let me start by giving you the most famous Merlion of Singapore. Millions have seen it with their own eyes, including my father decades back when it was still standing on a different location. Yes, it was initially located at the mouth of Singapore river but eventually moved to its present site we we now call Merlion Park. It stands at 8.6 meter.

day shot

night shot

At the back of this is a 2 meter high Merlion, his cub.

Merlion cub at Merlion park

After the father and cub tandem is the largest Merlion in Singapore. You can see it even from afar due to its incredible 37 meter height. To all visitors of Sentosa Island, having their picture taken with this giant Merlion is a ritual. In fact, you can skip photo shoots of other Sentosa Island attractions but never with this Merlion.

Sentosa Island's Merlion

A few months back, I tried to complete my shots of the five Merlions but I wasn't successful due to not-so-famous locations of the remaining two Merlions.

However, during my last vacation, I visited for second time Singapore Botanic gardens. On my way I noticed the Tourism Court building; you'll notice the building when you're coming from Dhoby Ghaut station by bus. I immediately got off the bus and tried to search the Tourism Court building for a small Merlion; I couldn't find it. I asked the lady at the reception and she was surprised because tourists normally flock to Merlion park and Sentosa to have Merlions pictures. It was the first time that a tourist was looking for a small Merlion inside the Tourism Court building. She was more than happy to show me the place where my 4th Merlion was located. I actually entered the building from the back side while the Merlion was standing at the front entrance. I was immensely happy to have some shots of this 3 meter high Merlion.

This Merlion is made of glazed polymarble.

Tourism Court Merlion

A few months back, I tried twice to go to Mount Faber peak but due to my unfamiliarity to the place I wasn't successful. I thought I won't be able to complete and see the five Merlions. Surprisingly, this vacation, I got another chance to spend a few days in Singapore before going to Kuala Lumpur then Bangkok..

I took the opportunity to trek to Mount Faber peak for my last Merlion. I tried and got lost. On my last day in Singapore, I told myself that if I won't be successful then I should forget my aspiration in seeing the five Merlions. The experience in getting to Mount Faber peak on foot was thrilling and sometimes dangerous due to blind curves and unavailability of pedestrian lanes along the road. I followed the main road which was reserved for vehicles only. I never thought that there were several access trail to the peak without using the main road.

In addition, it was raining that afternoon and luckily there were several shades along the main road thus saving my bulky camera. Due to the difficulty I encountered in getting to the peak, I have decided to dedicate one post for Mount Faber.

Anyway, here is the last of the five Merlions officially recognized by Singapore Tourism Board.

Mount Faber peak
It took me six months to complete my 5 Merlions. I consider it a great feat and I am elated to share them with you.


  1. wow. im singaporean and have never seen all five merlions. thanks for sharing!

  2. You are welcome. It took me several trips to Singapore before I was able to compile all the pictures of the 5 Merlions. I am happy to have seen them all.

  3. Do I need to bring a tripod to have decent photo of MBS during night time?

  4. Normally, you need a tripod when doing night shots using DSLR but if you are using a PNS cam then there is no need.

  5. Thanks for sharing. The Merlion photo from Grange Road is rare.