The symbol is the merlion, a statue with the head of a lion and the body of a fish resting on a crest of waves. The original statue stands on the Singapore River, spitting water at those close by, and can be seen on land or by boat. There is a miniature statue close to the original and the giant version lives on Sentosa Island. The statue comes from the name "Singapura" (meaning "lion" (singa) "city" (pura) in Sanskrit). It represents Singapore's beginnings as a fishing village which is now the largest port.
Upon visiting,the Urban Redevelopment Authority, we learned fun facts about the planning of Singapore. One of the main things to understand is that their "conservation" is conserving the heritage of the people and older buildings- not the environment and sustainability refers to economics. As a result they are looking at reclaiming land so they can support their desired increase in population. They build up, underground, and merge things together to get the most out of the space.
Singapore is a mix of cultures supplying many delectable selections of food, but by far the greatest choice has been the prata. Luckily we have a 24 hr prata shop right around the corner for any cravings, rushed meals, or late night snacks. A prata begins as a square piece of dough that is flattened into a thin layer. Cheese, vegetables, or fruit are then added to the center and it is placed in the skillet. A few minutes later you are presented with a delicious meal. Fruit ones are topped with honey while the others are given a fish curry dipping sauce. The banana prata is my favorite. You can never have just one and don't forget to get coffee in a bag or some yummy fruit drink :)
Speaking of drinks, no visit to Singapore is complete without trying a Singapore Sling. If you are willing to pay a little extra, you can take a trip to the Long Bar in the Raffles Hotel where this pink drink was created for the ladies in 1915. While the rest of the hotel is quite swanky, this location allows you to sip in style while old fashioned fans wave air in your direction and you are encouraged to throw peanut shells on the floor. In case you wanted to try one at home the offical recipe is:
15ml Cherry Brandy
120ml Pineapple Juice
15ml Lime Juice
7.5ml Dom Benedictine
A Dash of Angostura Bitters
Garnish with a slice of Pineapple and Cherry