Where do you want to go?

Merlion @ Marina Bay

The 8.6m, 70 tonne, half-lion-half-fish Merlion statue is a symbol of Singapore and hugely popular. The fish tail symbolises Singapore’s origins as a fishing village called “Temasek”, meaning “sea town” in Javanese, by which Singapore was known before Prince Sang Nila Utama re-discovered and re-named it “Singapura”, meaning “lion city” in Sanskrit, hence the head of a lion.

At the edge of Marina bay, with the Fullerton Hotel and CBD on one side, and MBS Hotel on the other, the statue is a prime photo spot. The statue also spurts water into the bay and is lit up at night. There is a smaller Merlion “cub” a few meters behind the main statue, inside Merlion Park.

Raffles Place or Esplanade MRT, walkable from Clarke Quay also.

Trafalgar Square

A landmark in London, Trafalgar Square is a large, open plaza with Nelson’s Column at its center, guarded by the Four Lion Statues and flanked by 2 fountains. There are also four plinths with statues, with the fourth having seen rotating artwork atop it since 2005, as the original statue was never completed.

The Square is used for many festivals, celebrations, protests and events throughout the year, and daily for people having lunch, relaxing, playing, etc. There is basically always a crowd here. It’s worth seeing just for the people watching, but aim to visit during good weather and/or an event.

While previously famous for the number of pigeons in the area (I visited in the 90’s when they were in the tens of thousands!), after laws banning the feeding of pigeons and the use of trained birds of prey, the numbers have dropped to the same as the rest of London.

Walk from Charring Cross or Leicester Square Station, or from Leicester Square, Chinatown, Soho etc.