Before I start this blog properly, I thought I would explain briefly why I had this amazing holiday in China. My daughter Alice is studying Chinese at SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies) in London. It is a 4 year course with the second year of the course spent studying at Beijing Normal University. She left here last August, and to be honest a visit to see her was an opportunity I simply could not miss. My sister in law also jumped at the chance to re-visit China, and, as my husband did not want to go there it evolved into a ‘girls’ holiday. We were so eager that we booked the holiday before my daughter left the country....and then saved like mad all through the winter!
Just a short word about the photos in this section, a lot of them were taken through glass, so are not as clear as I would like, but I hope you will enjoy them anyway.
We decided to visit the pandas the day after we arrived in Beijing, we were tired from the journey and wanted something not too taxing for that day. We had heard that the conditions for some of the animals were not the best, so we decided just to visit the Pandas and not go round the zoo proper.
We had our first experience of the Chinese underground system, which is very efficient, and emerged just outside the zoo. We knew the Pandas were in a new building so we headed straight there. We knew where the panda was by the crowd of people clustering in front of a glass fronted enclosure. There was the first Giant Panda I had ever seen, contentedly eating his bamboo, but he was behind a tree, and there was no way we were going to get much closer! We edged as close as we could, then the Panda decided to move to right in front of where we were standing...we were so pleased!
Aren’t they gorgeous?
Photos taken we moved to let others get their precious pictures and wandered outside, great there was another panda in an enclosure outside! They are beautiful animals as I am sure you will agree, the one outside almost looked as if he was smiling!
I love the look on his face!
After watching the pandas for about 10 minutes we wandered on and found the Red Pandas, they were so cute but would not stand still for a photo shoot!
Ho hum all these people taking my picture…..
Red Pandas are so cute!!
Not the best photo but I had to include it! (taken through glass!)
And this one was worth the wait
As I have said above we had decided to just visit the pandas, but as we were there in the zoo we thought we would just go and see the penguins as these are Alice’s favourites. We strolled along taking our time enjoying the blossom on the trees and the scenery in the zoo. It was beautifully laid out with a lake, Chinese buildings, and lots of animal enclosures, all better than we had been led to believe. Unfortunately the Penguin house was closed, much to my daughter’s disappointment and we didn’t have time to go and see the large animals but enjoyed the afternoon immensely. There appears to be a lot of rebuilding going on and I am sure the zoo will only get better in the future.
We knew it would be blossom time while we were out there, beautiful!
I think these are lemurs..
A baby hitching a ride
After the zoo we took a look at part of the University where Alice is studying then went to see where she lives, and ended the day having a meal in a local restaurant known to Alice and her friends. The food was lovely, and it cost us about £16 for 5 five of us to have numerous Chinese dishes, drinks and beers, so it was very good value. A lovely day!
The Pavilion on the lake in the zoo.
My next blog will be about the Temple of Heaven, a bit of culture and lovely Chinese buildings for you