Saturday, August 9, 2008

Lions and Tigers and Panda Bears at The Beijing Zoo

Saturday August 9, 2008

There is so much going on in Beijing with the start of the Olympics. Where to go and what to do why not visit the zoo. The Beijing Zoo and Aquarium are a short subway ride away from our apartment so off we went. I was not really sure how to get there but I knew which station it was near and figured that we could catch a cab once we were off the subway. We made our way to the street and there was an Olympic volunteer information stand where a nice English speaking girl told us that the zoo was a mere 1500 meter walk (just under a mile). So we started hiking down the street looking for the zoo. We came upon the Chinese Exhibition Hall, which I think was also an Olympic venue too judging by the security that was present.

We kept on walking a little further and I noticed a bunch of people queued up and knew that we had found the zoo. I'm getting pretty good at getting us around Beijing. We lined up and got our tickets 15 yuan each or about $2.50 and that included the upsell to see the Pandas.

Our first stop was the Giant Panda house. We were looking for the Pandas in the out door area but only 1 was out and it was sleeping in the shady corner.

The little guy looked awful cute...As we walking around the outdoor pen we found a couple of the indoor displays. One is for the Asian Games and the other is for the Olympics of course. We checked out the older Asian Games display first.

There were a couple of pandas behind the glass and Olivia recognized them for what they were immediately. We let Olivia run free in the Panda house and enjoy the sites.

In the Olympic Panda display there were many more Pandas in a very comfortable display. They were all relaxing and this guy was cuddling one of his friends.

More of the Pandas...

A picture of us...

We had our fill of the Pandas and continued our exploration of the zoo. Next stop the Lions and other big cats. This stop proved to be kind of sad. The condition of the cages that the cats were kept in was not optimal. This is an old school zoo.

As you can see it looks like a jail...They did have a white tiger.

Some Lions...

and leopard who was pacing back and forth...

There was one tiger in the outdoor display which was large an roomy. As you can see the heat was getting to him too.

Outside of the big cat display they have a huge statue of big cat.

Next we found the regular garden variety Asian bears. They were waiting for someone to toss them a snack.

We saw some African elephants.

Attached to the Beijing zoo in the Beijing Aquarium. Entrance to the aquarium is pricey compared to the zoo, but on this hot day it well worth the admission of 110 Yuan or about $17. Anything to get out of the sun and the heat. The aquarium has many displays including a special rain forest display. Olivia really liked looking at the fish.

She was really into the shark tank. The tank's glass was floor to ceiling and it almost looked like you could walk into it.

We checked out the dolphin show which was pretty cool. Alot of the same tricks that you'd see them do back home but with all the comedy in Chinese. After the show we checked out more of the displays. They have a great coral reef display that has an escalator that runs right through the middle of it. The aquarium was well worth the time.
On our way out we saw these little toys that kids could pay to ride. The rick shaw was very cute.

Until our next adventure...

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