So Saturday led me to the Beijing Zoo and it’s newly built aquarium. Getting there was not bad as it has its own subway station and as a general rule if i don’t know where to go after i leave the subway i follow the flow of people. If they are not going where i want to go then it’s probably to something interesting anyways. The walk up was lined with street vendors selling hotdogs on a stick and corn on the cob. It was only 10 yuan (around $2) to get into the zoo but admission to the newly built aquarium was a whopping 100 yuan ($15). The zoo had many standard animals arranged by regions but i found the layout to be a little hard to follow as it was comprised of several circular paths that all joined and connected. I made my way to the pandas and went from there. The enclosures were mostly glass walls but either the way they were tinted or the glare of the sun made it near impossible to see inside most of them without smushing your nose against the glass. Which leads me to the second downfall, smudges all over the place. So pictures didn’t turn out great and the outside zoo was nice but didn’t thrill me too much.
The aquarium was amazing though! As I mentioned earlier this was newly built and felt like sea world with its displays and species. It would seem that the beluga whales are the main attractions On either side of the tank were security guards to strictly enforce the no photo and any shenanigans that may disturb the whales. Immediately down the hall from there was other large species of fish in tanks with signs posted no photos, no climbing. This was absolutely not adhered to as you can see in one of my pictures parents put their kids on the ledges of the tank and it felt like a red carpet event with all the cameras. I picked up a few small souveneir items including a cupee doll wearing a giant shark costume! as i was headed towards the end of the aquarium i noticed the crowd increasing which would be common near an exit. It wasn’t until the guards that lined the wall every 40 feet started yelling and pointing in a direction causing everyone around me to start moving faster and even running. Naturally feeling like the place was about to be bombed or something i followed the herd and found out what the immediate danger was. The dolphin show started in 10 minutes! So i was stuck in a massive theater for the dolphin show which was horribly wonderful.
I ended the day with a trip to the local Wal-Mart near the Zinchulu station. It was pretty much the same as the ones back home except the layout was more streamline. You basically follow a path with a row of aisles on each side as you pass through departments and eventually the checkout. I didn’t take any pictures since it looked like a Wal-Mart. I picked up some shopping bags, goodies and a few gifts then made my way back to the hotel for some chicken curry with my chopsticks.