Souvenirs from Singapore
Singapore is a melting pot of Asian cultures, with unique handicrafts and souvenirs. A fun gift for a child is five-stones. This game is played with 5 sacks of beans, much in the same fashion as knucklebones. Handmade quilts, dolls in traditional costumes and silk paintings are perfect to decorate your home. Tiger balm, a medicinal paste used by athletes, originated in Singapore and comes in an exotic looking box. Looking for something more personal? Having your or a loved one's name printed in Chinese letters is inexpensive and a great memento of your vacation. Other popular souvenirs from Singapore are postcards, key chains and T-shirts, especially ones with important landmarks, buildings and funny sayings. You may see the slogan "Singapore is a fine country" often, playing on the many laws and fines imposed by the government. If you find you enjoy the local cuisine, boxed food products, such as chicken rice mixes and spice pastes, are plentiful and inexpensive.
Merlion: Symbol of Singapore
The half lion, half fish Merlion is a popular image in Singapore. Symbolic of the country's regal heritage and fishing history, it is trademarked by the Singapore Tourism board to appear on officially licensed souvenirs. Picture frames, plush toys, post cards, key chains, cell phone charms and more bear the mythic image. There are 5 officially recognized Merlion statues, including one in Merlion Park that has a continuous flow of water spewing from its mouth. Humorously, nurses have taken to calling patients with uncontrolled vomiting "Merlions," in homage to this particular statue. The Merlion Park statue originally sat at the foor of the mouth of the Singapore River until 2002, until it was moved to its current location. On Senatosa Island, you can find a 37 meter tall statue with 2 viewing decks and a Singaporean souvenir shop, as well as many unrecognized art works throughout the country.