Millen the Otter and friend with the Merlion, Singapore’s national symbol.
Millen the Otter is Millennium Hotels and Resorts’ (MHR) new mascot, and it has gone an adventure! Other than bringing joy to the guests with special themed staycations at the Singapore hotels, Millen has also been busy exploring sunny city. It has even traversed the globe to explore other countries including China! Hi Life tags along on Millen’s journey as it shares where to visit in each country (when travel restrictions loosen)!
Hi! I’m Millen the Otter and since February, I’ve been travelling around Singapore and China taking in the sights and sounds. Here are some of my favourite attractions and destinations!
Millen and friend taking in the beautiful scenic view of the Singapore River.
For a leisurely exploration of the Singapore River, hop onto a river cruise, which will bring you along Boat Quay, Clarke Quay and Marina Bay. (Photo credit: City Tours Singapore)
I started my adventure from the iconic Singapore River that is home to many otters! It was formerly a fishing village and then trading port, and now a popular destination for dining and leisure. The entire Singapore River spans over 3km and includes three quays – Robertson Quay, Boat Quay and Clarke Quay. Many of our MHR hotels also overlook this iconic waterfront area – Grand Copthorne Waterfront, Studio M, M Social Singapore and Copthorne King’s! Other than dining, there is plenty to do along the Singapore River, including thrill-seeking fun like reverse bungee, to scenic boat rides along the river.
At Merlion Park lies the mythical creature the Merlion, with the head of a lion and body of a fish. It may sound scary but it Is Singapore’s national symbol, representing the nation’s humble beginnings as a fishing village, and its original name, which means ‘lion city’ in Bahasa Melayu. The one at Merlion Park stands at 6.8 metres tall and weighs 70 tonnes and is a must-see attraction for all tourists.
My fellow otter friends, the Giant River Otters (left) hanging out at River Safari, and the Small-Clawed Otters (right) at Night Safari. (Photo credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore)
Next up is Singapore’s award-winning wildlife park – Singapore Zoo! Spanning 26 hectares, over 2,400 specimens of over 300 animal species call the zoo home. Singapore Zoo is part of Wildlife Reserves Singapore, which comprises three other parks. Some of my Giant River Otter also live at River Safari, while my Small-Clawed Otter pals are at Night Safari, both of which are right next door to the zoo. Say hi for me if you visit! Jurong Bird Park, which is Asia’s largest avian park, will also be moving next door soon in 2022!
Millen and friend admiring the beautiful light display by the Supertrees at Gardens by the Bay.
Millen and friend at Orchard Hotel, the start of Singapore’s most beloved shopping district, Orchard Road.
Gardens by the Bay
This horticultural wonderland boasts two conservatories, art sculptures and gardens. But the most impressive might be the giant Supertrees! Measuring up to 50 metres tall, the large canopies are not only beautiful to look at during the day, but also come alive at night with an exhilarating light display. For the brave, there’s even a skyway at 22 metres with panoramic views of both the Gardens and the nearby Marina Bay skyline.
My last stop in Singapore might be the most important for shopaholics and foodies – the Orchard Road belt is a shopping and dining paradise, with thousands of establishments offering a wide range of lifestyle experiences. For a quick getaway right at this shopping district, MHR’s Orchard Hotel has staycation promotions and dining offerings from international fare at the Orchard Café, to Cantonese cuisine at Hua Ting.
Millen and friend resting up at Millennium Chengdu, located in the city’s urban district, after a day of exploring all the sights in the city.
Other than its cuisine, Chengdu might be most famous for being home to the Chengdu Panda Base, a breeding facility for Giant Pandas. Pictured above are panda cubs at a “Giant Panda Kindergarten” in 2019. (Photo credit: Xinhua)
My first stop outside of Singapore is Chengdu in China! The capital city of Sichuan Province is famous its spicy and tongue-numbing Sichuan cuisine that uses chillies and peppercorns, such as mapo tofu (麻婆豆腐), hotpot and dan dan mien (担担面). The city was recognised as a City of Gastronomy by UNESCO in 2010! However, Chengdu has more to offer than just its fiery foods, it is also where enchanting sights are located.
Millennium Chengdu, where I stayed, offers beautiful views of the city, and is a great base to immerse oneself into the sights and sounds. From watching Sichuan Opera, climbing the Emei Mountain (峨眉山), the highest of the four sacred Buddhist Mountains in China, and of course hanging out with Giant Pandas at the Chengdu Panda Base.
Gulangyu, one of the most popular tourist attractions in Xiamen, is known for its beaches and architecture. (Photo credit: Arrival Guides and South China Morning Post)
Up next in Xiamen in Fujian, China! The historic port city is known for its Hokkien culture and Gulangyu Island (鼓浪屿), a UNESCO World Heritage site. Just a short eight-minute ferry ride from downtown Xiamen, Gulangyu is a pedestrian-only island and is well-known for its beautiful beaches and rich architecture with Victorian influences.
The Wuyi region produces many well-known oolong and black teas that are grown in the Wuyi Mountains. (Photo credit: China Expat/Pinterest)
Millen and friend gearing up for a scenic hike to the Wuyi Mountains.
Wuyishan (武夷山) is also in the Fujian province, and sits at the Wuyi Mountain Range, a UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage site. The mountains are among China’s largest subtropical forests, with peaks as high as over 2,000 metres. The Wuyi Mountains are also where many popular oolong and black teas are produced, including Da Hong Pao (大红袍) and Lapsang Souchong (正山小种).
Millennium Resort Wuyishan was recently ranked among the top 10 resorts in China, and is located right at the heart of the Wuyishan tourist area, making it easy to start on your scenic hikes!
That’s all for now but stay tuned for MHR’s Facebook page for more of my upcoming travels!