The Giant Panda

Our initial itinerary included a stop in Chengdu to visit The Giant Panda Research Base. Because of our Tibetan tour being a day longer than expected and the delay in getting the visas, we had to cut something out and Chengdu became the victim.

It saddened us as we came to the realization that this trip would end with us only seeing the stuffed animal version of the panda. That is, of course, until we learned that the Beijing zoo had a giant panda exhibit. We didn’t waste any time locating the zoo on our map and figuring out the best route to get there. After starting out with the best intentions of walking, we decided to hail a taxi as soon as we felt the first inclination of being lost. It turned out to be the right decision as the taxi ride was quite long, and it was a benefit that our driver understood our destination in English – no Mandarin necessary.

We were dropped off at the front gate of the zoo, and our excitement grew as we saw the gift shop with big, life-sized panda bear stuffed animals on the shelves. Thankfully, the panda exhibit was close to the entrance and not way at the other end of the park. The majority of these black and white bears were lazing around, sleeping.

There was one bear eating bamboo sitting on a rock, and one outside pacing incessantly. Ideally, we would have liked to see the animals in lush, green enclosures, but sadly some of the cages were much like cement cells. Hopefully, each animal got its time in the large outdoor enclosures for enough time each day.

The rest of the zoo exhibits were enjoyable and we made sure to try a new selection of popsicles. The weather was fantastic and it turned out to be a fantastic day!

Today, we’ve signed up for another tour of the great wall. This time, we’re headed to a different section than our previous trip to Mutianyu, and we’ve splurged for an overnight trip where we hope to spend the night ON the wall in a tent. Hopefully our views of sunset and sunrise will be well worth it!

We’ll post again soon when we return from the wall. To leave you with something interesting, here’s a picture of one of the most random-looking animals we’ve ever seen. Bonus points to anyone who can guess the name of it:

Ligeia and Mindy 🙂 🙂

One thought on “The Giant Panda

  1. Anonymous

    I love the picture of the panda. I wish I could sleep that deep. The bird's name is athe rink-a-look. It is a rare bird native to North America, however there have been sightings of such bird in many places in the world. I hope this information was useful

    The Schweeter

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