The Lion City
After an awesome experience in Japan, where I experienced my first encounter with a Zen Temple, Now I was bound to Singapore, The Lion City!
One of the most popular stories in Singapore is the tale of how it earned the nickname of The Lion City.
In 1299, there was a Prince named Sang Nila Utama. He was the emperor of the Srivijayan Empire, which included Malaysia, Singapore, and Sumatra.
One day, he decided that his empire needed a new capital and set sail with a number of ships to visit the islands off the coast of Sumatra. After several days at sea, he stopped his fleet at an island for a hunting trip. While chasing a deer, he reached the top of a hill from where he had a good view of the sea. A white beach caught his attention. His chief minister told him that this was the island of Temasek (meaning “Sea Town” in Old Javanese.
On their way across the sea to visit this island, they were caught in a violent storm, and the ship began to take in water. To prevent it from sinking, the prince ordered his men to throw all the heavy things overboard. Lastly, he threw his heavy golden crown as a gift to his grandfather, the Lord of the Sea.
The sailing party survived and landed at the mouth of the present-day Singapore River. Inland, while hunting, he suddenly saw a strange animal with an orange body, black head and a white breast. It moved fast and quickly disappeared into the jungle. His chief minister told him that it probably was a lion. As the lion was considered a sign of good fortune, he took this as a good omen and decided to stay and build a new city in Temasek. He renamed the city “Singapura” – derived from the Malay words “Singa” for Lion and “Pura” for city.
So now you know why Singapore is called ‘The Lion City’. However, studies of Singapore indicate that lions have never lived here and the animal seen by Sang Nila Utama was most likely a Malayan Tiger.
The Raffles Hotel Singapore
The year was 1887 when the doors to the Raffles Hotel Singapore first opened. Since then, this luxury five-star hotel in Singapore has become an icon that epitomizes the romance of the Far East – an intoxicating blend of luxury, history, and colonial design.
Situated in the heart of the business and civic district, Raffles Singapore is a veritable oasis in the city. It’s a classic colonial architecture has been perfectly preserved and provides a stark but lovely contrast against its modern-skyscraper neighbors.
Through the decades, liveried Sikh doormen have welcomed some of the most famous personalities, from writers to celebrities, politicians and members of royalty, such as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
No visit to Singapore is complete without a stay at this iconic all-suite luxury Singapore hotel. Choose to check into one of the six categories of suites available. Although situated in different parts of the hotel, the view will always be of lush tropical gardens best enjoyed in the comfort of the veranda. Each suite features period furnishings, lofty 14-foot ceilings and modern conveniences expected of a 21st-century hotel. Raffles butlers, legendary for their charming and graceful service are available to fulfill requests both ordinary and extraordinary.