Say bye to Singapore’s tallest Merlion – the Sentosa icon will open for the last time on Oct 20

Sentosa’s 37m-tall Merlion is going to be no more.
The Straits Times

In a fast-moving place like Singapore, hardly anything stays the same for too long. This time, one of Singapore’s most iconic tourist attractions is saying goodbye.

In a press release on Friday (Sept 20), One Faber Group announced that the Sentosa Merlion’s last day of operations will be on October 20.

It will make way for the S$90 million Sentosa Sensoryscape project, which includes a themed thoroughfare linking Sentosa’s north and south shores. This is part of redevelopment plans to rejuvenate Singapore’s southern tourist attractions, The Straits Times reported.

Read also: Singapore is getting a second Sentosa, where NTUC will build a ‘Downtown South’ – here’s what to expect

In an email, Sentosa Development Corporation told Business Insider that construction works in the area will begin by the fourth quarter of this year. Any demolition of the Sentosa Merlion will depend on these construction plans, which have not been finalised, it added.

To encourage Singaporeans to relive their nostalgia at the 37m-tall landmark, One Faber is offering tickets at half-price to residents and permanent residents from September 21 till the day it closes. The usual price for an adult ticket is S$15, and S$12.50 for a child ticket.

There is a condition though: You’ll need to book your tickets on the official website.

Senior citizens aged 60 and above can enter for free if they produce their NRIC for proof of age.

As part of its farewell, Sentosa Merlion will host a special edition of the Sentosa Merlion Magic Lights show four times nightly: 7.45pm, 8.20pm, 8.55pm, and 9.30pm.

It will also have interactive games, Instagrammable photo points and other activities from 10am to 10pm throughout the month.

Impressive S$8 million project

According to a 2002 Sunday Times article on Merlion statues found across Singapore, Sentosa’s version of the mythical creature was built in 1996 by Australian artist James Martin.

With 320 scales on its tail and two viewing galleries, it cost S$8 million to build and offers views as far away as Indonesia on a clear day.

When it was completed, the majestic creature was embedded with 16,000 fibre optic lights, and emitted smoke from its nostrils. It was even accompanied by a roaring sound, and till this day, shoots laser beams from its eyes.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article cited The Straits Times as saying that the Sentosa Merlion will be demolished by year’s end. Sentosa Development Corporation subsequently informed Business Insider that demolition plans have not been confirmed. The article has since been updated to reflect this.

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