'Singapot': Cambodia's water-spewing seahorse draws comparisons with Merlion

The Kampot province in Cambodia has been gaining attention of late, largely due to its latest tourist attraction.

On Kampot Bay sits a seahorse statue with water spewing out of its mouth, drawing parallels to the Merlion statue in Singapore.

While it isn’t an identical replica of the Merlion, both statues spout fountains of water.

Another uncanny resemblance is their sizes, with the Merlion standing at 8.6-metre tall against the other’s 8-metre frame.

Local and international tourists have flocked down to Kampot Bay and have named the brand-new statue, ‘Singapot’— a portmanteau of Singapore and Kampot — reported a Cambodian publication Khmer Times.

Governor of Kampot Province Mao Thonin inspected the statue last Wednesday (April 10), a day before its official inauguration date.

During the inspection, the governor stated that he regarded the southern city of Kampot as an “important tourist destination” and that the province has potential to boost its tourism sector.

He added that an improved tourism sector will “boost the economy” which will benefit both tourists and locals alike.

The seahorse statue is located in front of an old provincial hall and visitors who head down after sunset will get to witness “spectacular coloured lights”.

Symbolising patience and happiness, the statue serves as a reminder for visitors to enjoy the serene environment that Kampot has to offer, reported Khmer Times. 

Not the first time

There have been numerous instances of Merlion-inspired landmarks popping up around the globe.

In Japan and China, the statues erected are basically identical to the Merlion found in Marina Bay.

On Chinese social media app Xiaohongshu, a user posted images of what looked like the iconic statue located in Chuzhou, a city in China’s Anhui province.

Over in Hakodate, a main city in Japan’s Hokkaido province, sits another Merlion.

According to National Heritage Board, this Merlion “sibling” statue in Hakodate symbolises the long-time friendship between Hakodate and Singapore, which began in 1992.

This trend of recreating Singapore landmarks does not stop at the Merlion either.

A housing estate in the Percut Sei Tuan district of Medan City is littered with Singapore landmarks such as the iconic arches of the Fullerton Hotel, the Merlion, the Fountain of Wealth and the ERP gantry among others.

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