Zoo, Aquarium and Summer Palace
Beijing Travel Blog› entry 4 of 25 › view all entries
The weather was better today. After breakfast around 8:40 we took the metro to a station close to the zoo, and hailed a taxi for the final leg. We bough tickets that included the zoo, Panda area, and a boat ride to the Summer Palace. We had a good time watching the Pandas. They were very playful. Two of them were wrestling; a third gorging itself on bamboo, and the others playing on the Panda equivalent of a play ground jungle gym. The water fowl exhibit was very peaceful. We could have sat there for hours watching the birds, fish, and people ��" but we were restless.
We stumbled upon a huge brand new Aquarium with a white shark hanging outside, we were expecting much less. We arrived just in time to catch the last 2/3 of the dolphin show, and then slowly made our way back through the coral reef and tropical rain forest. It’s a pretty cool Aquarium, particularly the rain forest.
From just in front of the Aquarium we found the queue for the boat, after a bit of a wait, we boarded for a ride of 1 hour to the Summer Palace. We had to change boats half way because the river passes through a series of locks, and it was more convenient for the operator to have us walk around the lock than to actually pass the boat through. From where the boat moored to the actual Palace was a long walk along the banks of the Kunming lake with beautiful scenery. The wind was blowing strong across the lake and we felt a bit sorry for the people that had rented paddle boats. They were struggling to get back to the concession area, fighting fruitlessly against the wind.
We spent a few hours exploring the Summer Palace, and eventually climbed up to the big Pagoda on the top of the hill and then over to the other side.
In the shopping area we had dinner in a Hong Kong style restaurant. We discovered that Hong Kong Crispy Chicken ain’t like the Cornels. Every piece was gristly, later we decided that it must have been chicken feet, chopped, and fried.
We explored the area a little bit more and then gave in to our aching legs and headed back to the hotel on the subway.