until 4am Michelle was still awake at 6am) so we have had a gentle
tourist day visiting Beijing Zoo and Aquarium. It was our first time
on the Beijing subway system and it wasn't that bad as all signs where
in English as well as Chinese. Although coming back in rush hour was a
bit of an experience. But for 20p for any trip to any station in the
city we cant complain. We are already sorting out further days making
good use of this incredibly cheap and pretty simple transport.
The Zoo was amazing very spacious with lots of gardens between
exhibits (although some cages could have been a bit bigger) but over
all a very nice zoo with animals that are rare in the UK. We saw our
first Giant Panda's here. They also had some fantastic lions and a
white Bengal tiger. The aquarium was a more modern development of the
zoo and it was much bigger then the Cheshire Blue Planet (although
Beijing didn't have any sharks so Chester wins on that score). The
aquarium had some fantastic displays including more jelly fish then I
have ever seen and some lovely big tanks with Lion Fish (see picture)
and every coral fish you could imagine.
The aquarium also boasts some huge tanks with mammals including a pair
of Belugas, sea lions and dolphins. To keep these mammals from getting
bored they use them in public performances where they get to show off
for fish. We saw some spectacular jumps from dolphins and a very
relaxed sea lion. Michelle even got the chance to touch one of the
dolphins (see picture) over all it was a fantastic day and a great
gentle start to our adventure.
Tomorrow we should be visiting Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City
and also meeting up with our friend Christy-Anna who surprisingly also
happens to be in Beijing tomorrow.