The Merlion is a prominent landmark that solely belongs to Singapore. There are five official Merlions in Singapore; two in Merlion Park; one in Sentosa Island; one located at the head of Singapore Tourism Board and one at Mount Faber. It is a mythical creature with the head of a lion and the body of a mermaid. It is Singapore’s national icon and also the tourism board’s emblem. The fish tail of the Merlion symbolises the ancient city of Temasek and Singapore’s humble beginnings as a fishing village. The origin of the Merlion remains vague; however we do know that it was designed by Kwan Sai Kheong and sculpted by Lim Nang Seng and was completed in August 1972 at a cost of S$165,000. It was declared open by the late Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew on 15 September 1982, at the mouth of the Singapore River, opposite the Fullerton Hotel.
The Merlion Tower was later unveiled as a tourist attraction on Sentosa in 1996. Now, one of the many Merlions stands tall and strong in Sentosa Island and is mainly visited by many tourists from all over the world. It offers visitors a panoramic view of Sentosa Island, Singapore City and neighbouring islands from the ninth (the mouth of the lion) and twelfth (the head of the lion) floor respectively. Majority of the visitors find it charming, pleasing to the eyes and well-crafted by an outstanding sculptor.