Esplande Theaters by the Bay- the search for the Merlion

There were really only two tourist goals while I was in Singapore. To see the Supertree Grove at Gardens by the Bay and to visit the merlion. While on my first full day in Singapore we’d walked along the bay outside of the Marina Bay Sands and my friend scoured the bay looking for it we were unable to spot it and gave up for the day. On day two after wandering around Chinatown we returned with extra eyes to the bay to search for the Merlion.

On our way we wandered through Esplande theater which was having live concerts in the lobby and out on their outdoor theater which sits on the waters edge. It was a great place to sit and watch the water as rain clouds came and went. A band played on the outdoor stage and we sat on the steps listening to it and trying to figure out where the merlion was.

The merlion is half lion half fish and is a 8.6 meter tall (28 feet tall) fountain located along the bay. It was designed in 1964 by the tourism board to be “an emblem of Singapore” and sculpted by Mr Lim Nang Seng. It’s not like it can just disappear from the waterfront. But then one of my friends looked it up online we it’s location quite easily.


That box. Completely surrounded by tourists across the bay was the merlion.


It was under renovations. They were repairing cracks and cleaning stains off of it until the next day, by which time I’d be back in Korea. It really sucked. We’d spent so much time standing and sitting by the bay searching for it only to realize it wasn’t visible for the entire duration of my trip. One of those things were I should’ve looked it up before hand, but I just assumed it’d be there. It is after all, the symbol of Singapore.


After the failure of seeing the merlion we headed back towards the theater grounds and my friends spotted a little phone booth and we hurried inside as it began to rain. It wasn’t actually a phone booth, but instead a mini karaoke room. You pay by card and pick a song and with headphones and microphone sing your heart out for a certain amount of time. We sat crowded in and picked a Disney song and sang along for a bit which was really fun.

Esplande Theaters is worth a visit. They host a lot of events, many of which are free and they have a lovely view of the bay if you head outside. They host art, workshops, music, ballet and even a performing arts library on the third floor.


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