Beijing Zoo (Beijing Dongwuyuan) is a national AAAA class tourist attraction. Each year, more than 7,000,000 foreign and local tourists visit it. The zoo is located in the Xicheng district in western Beijing. It covers an area of 90 hectares and is the largest in China, having the richest collection of animals among all the zoos in the country. In addition, it is the very first zoo in China, open to the public. Beijing Zoo has close ties with more than half a hundred zoos in China and the world. Here you can see animals living in different parts of the globe.
The Beijing Zoo was founded in 1906 under the rule of Emperor Guangxu 光緒 of the Qing Dynasty and was called the Agricultural Experimentation Center. It was opened for visiting in 1908. The zoo was built on the site of the former Leshan and Ji gardens and the Guangshan and Hui’an temples. At that time, the zoo, which occupied an area of 15,000 square meters, had more than 100 species of wild animals of 80 species. Minister Duan Fang bought these animals in Germany for the Dowager Empress Cixi. Over the next years, the name of the zoo changed several times. In 1950, it was Xijiao Park, and in April 1955 it was officially called the Beijing Zoo.
Beautiful View Tower
Since then, many buildings of the late Qing Dynasty have survived at the Beijing Zoo: the main gate, the Beautiful View Tower (畅 观 楼 - Changguanlou - Great View Tower) in the northwest, Changchun Hall (鬯 春 堂 - Changchun) and three more buildings .
The Tower of Beautiful View is the only Western-style temporary imperial dwelling that has remained in the country, in which Empress Cixi and Emperor Guangxu did not live long. After the 1911 revolution, Sun Yat-sen made several speeches here. In 1954, the tenth Panchen Lama lived here when he attended the first session of the First National People's Congress. In 1912, the Minister of Forestry and Agriculture lived in Changchun Hall. Song Jiaoren Memorial Tower was built behind this room, but only the foundation remains.
Other relics, including the Yilu Pavilion and Songfeng Luoyue Balcony, stand next to the Lion and Tiger Hill, and the Fragrant Bloom Pavilion (荟 芳 轩 - Huifangxuan), Binfengtang Hall (now a restaurant)风 堂 - Binfengtang) and the Peony Pavilion stand behind the Big Panda House. There is also a monument to the Four Victims of the 1911 Revolution.
Now about 450 species of animals are represented in the zoo, and their total number is more than 5000. There are about 40 enclosures for placing animals, as well as the Beijing Aquarium. The most important sections of the zoo: Giant Panda House, Monkey Hill, Mount Medvedev, Lions and Tigers Hill, Water Bird Lake, African Zone, Giraffe Aviary, House of Golden Monkeys and others. In a two-story aviary for amphibians and reptiles, visitors can see the inhabitants of the Yangtze River: alligators, crocodiles, turtles, snakes and pythons.
Each year, the zoo spends a lot of money to introduce new animals and update existing enclosures, to better recreate the natural habitat. In 2003, the Popular Science Hall was built, where with the help of modern audio-visual means and lively representatives of the fauna, they teach knowledge about the wild.
Zoo research has won 4 state awards.
Perhaps the only animal for which it is worth visiting the Beijing Zoo is a giant panda. This is one of the most famous mammals in the world. Statistics say that now in China in the wild there are about 1,000 giant pandas in remote areas of the provinces of Sichuan, Gansu and Shaanxi.
Researches of scientists prove that the giant panda appeared 600,000 - 700,000 years ago. Subsequent profound changes in climate led to a decrease in forest area, which became a threat to the existence of pandas. Initially, the panda was a carnivore, but gradually, with a change in the environment, it began to switch to a bamboo diet.
The giant panda lives in moist dense bamboo thickets in mountainous regions at an altitude of 2000 to 4000 meters. She avoids extreme weather conditions and makes her den in the hollows of trees or mountain caves. They rarely live in groups, eating bamboo leaves, roots and branches. The mating season of pandas is in April and May, and are born in the fall with one or two cubs in the litter, rarely three.
With the reduction of habitable pandas, their number decreased, therefore, to protect this rare animal, the Chinese Government established 10 reserves: in the east of Sichuan, one in Gansu, and the rest in Shaanxi.
The giant panda was first introduced at the Beijing Zoo in 1955. In 1978, as a result of artificial insemination, the panda Juanjuan gave birth to twins, one of whom survived. Now the Chinese pandas symbolize the friendship between the Chinese people and the peoples of other countries. They were sent to Korea, Japan, the USA, France, England, Germany, Spain, Mexico and other countries.
|Address: No. 137 Xizhimen Outer Street, Xicheng District, Beijing Website: www.bjzoo.com.cn (Chinese) Phone: + 86-10-6831-5131 Opening hours: April 1 to October 31 07:30 - 18:00, Panda House 08: 00-18: 00 from November 1 to March 31 07: 30-17: 00, Panda House 08: 00-17: 00 Entrance fee: 15 yuan (April 1 - October 31) 10 yuan (November 1 - 31 March) Extra paid for Panda House (ticket office at the entrance to the House): 5 yuan Extra paid for Penguin House (ticket office at the entrance to the House): 10 yuan (09:00 - 17:00) There is a combined ticket: 40 yuan (adult), 25 yuan (children). The price includes: Panda House and a boat ride. On my own, I note that it is very difficult to buy entrance tickets for 10 yuan (15 yuan) without knowing Chinese, you will be sold a ticket for 40 yuan. You can take a full ticket: zoo + aquarium + Panda House: 130 yuan (adult), 70 yuan (children) Minibuses at the zoo: Cost: 5 yuan per trip. Hours: 10:00 - 17:00 Route: Mount Bears (熊 山) - Mountain of Lions and Tigers (狮虎 山) - Aquarium (海洋馆) - Giraffes (长颈鹿 馆) - Amphibians and reptiles (两栖 爬行 馆) - Main Gate (正门) How to get there: 1. metro: 4th line - station Beijing Zoo (Dongwuyuan 动物园) 2. Buses: 特 4, 27, 87, 运 通 104, 105, 运 通 105, 运 通 106, 107, 111, 运 通 205, 206, 209, 319, 334, 347, 360, 362, 534 , 563, 608, 614, 632, 697, 714 to the Dongwuyuan stop (Zoo, 动物园) or 运 通 105 buses to the stop (Zhongyuanbinguan 中 苑 宾馆)|
BEIJING AQUARIUM 北京 海洋馆
On October 17, 1993, the Beijing Zoo and Hong Kong Pexland International Ltd signed a contract to build a modern aquarium in the capital. It was opened to the public in 1999.
The Beijing Aquarium (Beijing Haiyangguan - Beijing Aquarium) is located in the northern part of the zoo near the northern gate. When you enter the Beijing Zoo through this gate, you see a huge building in the form of a white and blue shell in an ocean of trees and flowers. This is the Beijing Aquarium. It covers an area of 12 hectares and is the largest land aquarium in the world. It presents more than 1000 species of marine and river inhabitants.
The aquarium is divided into seven parts:
Shark Harbor (Shark Wharf) Shark Harbor - a unique hall among their own kind. Here sharks can be seen in open water. Here you can also watch how scuba divers swim among sharks, feed them and perform dances with sharks. There is an opportunity to do all this yourself under the supervision of a scuba diver. The Hall of Ancient Chinese Sturgeons (Rare Chinese Sturgeon Hall) As the name says, the Hall of Ancient Chinese Sturgeons is a home for unique Chinese sturgeons. This hall recreates the habitat of Chinese sturgeon on the Yangtze River. These fish lived during the dinosaurs during the Cretaceous. Dinosaurs have disappeared, and sturgeons, thanks to their extraordinary vitality, exist even now. They are called the giant water panda. In this room you can watch how scuba divers feed these huge freshwater. Wonders of Coral Reefs The next zone is the Miracles of Coral Reef. This is a tunnel complex of 33 aquariums featuring vibrant fish from the seas from around the world. You start from the South China Sea, pass the west of the Pacific Ocean, the Indian Ocean, the Red Sea, the Mediterranean Sea and end with the Atlantic. Among this variety, you can see cichlids from California, mollusks and other charming fish that calmly swim above your head as you walk through the tunnel. Every day there is a show with a lion scorpion-ruff.
Whales and Dolphin Hall In the Hall of Whales and Dolphins, killer whales, sea lions and dolphins calmly swim with each other. Visitors can watch them through two windows in the wall. Marine Theater - Marine Mammal Pavilion This theater seats 3,000 spectators and is a venue for performances featuring marine animals. Here, trained sea lions mimic awkward seals and dance with trainers, while smart dolphins perform ballet, jump from the water to get a ball suspended in the air and draw abstract paintings. The most impressive thing is when two dolphins lift the trainer to a great height on their noses, as if launching a rocket.
|Underground||Beijing Zoo Station (动物园 站) subway station line 4 (exit B)|
|A boat||from Beijing Exhibition Center (北京 展览馆) or Summer Palace (颐和园)|
Beijing Zoo is located in the northwest of one of the central areas of the city - Xicheng. It is one of China's oldest and largest zoos, hosting over 6,000,000 visitors annually.
The land on which the zoo is located has always been an attractive place. Until 1906, imperial parks were located here. In 1906, the plot was transformed into an experimental farm and a small menagerie called the Garden of Ten Thousand Animals. Animals were of great interest, so in 1908 the territory was open to the public. Unfortunately, the farm was hit hard during times of war and unrest, and by 1937 most of the animals had died. After the proclamation of the People's Republic of China and the transfer of the status of the capital to Beijing, the zoo was rebuilt and reopened to the public in 1950 with the name "Western Suburban Park", and in 1955 it was officially renamed the "Beijing Zoo".
With support from the Chinese government and continuous development, the Beijing Zoo has become one of the largest zoos in China. Currently, it covers an area of 68 hectares and includes various animal habitats that mimic China, Africa, North and South America, Europe and India. In these many habitats, visitors will find about 5,000 animals, which are representatives of more than 450 different species. These include lions, bears, giraffes, tigers, zebras, different species of birds, elephants, hippos, gorillas, rhinos, wild bulls, kangaroos, antelopes, gibbons, chimpanzees and monkeys. The zoo also has a hall in which there are various species of reptiles, including crocodiles, pythons and sea turtles. The zoo is especially famous for its collection of local Chinese animals such as the big panda, the small panda, the golden monkey, the Manchu tiger, the Tibetan yak, etc.
Prices at Beijing Zoo
At the ticket office of the zoo you can buy several types of tickets (standard entrance ticket, entrance ticket + visit to the pavilion with pandas, etc.). Prices may vary depending on the time of year. For example, from April 1 to October 31, the cost of admission to the zoo is 15 yuan, and from November 1 to March 31 - 10 yuan. A ticket, which also includes a visit to the panda hall, costs a little more: 19 yuan from April 1 to October 31 and 14 yuan from November 1 to March 31. It is recommended to check the most current prices on the official website of the zoo.
Big Panda Hall
If you don’t have time to visit Chengdu - the panda’s hometown, but want to personally take a look at the national treasure and the symbol of China, then visiting the Big Panda Hall at the Beijing Zoo would be a good choice.
The pavilion was built in 1990 in honor of the Asian Summer Games in Beijing. The total area of the territory is about 10,000 square meters. Inside the hall there is a lot of bamboo, which makes it look like the wild habitat of a large panda in southwestern China.
Beijing Zoo Oceanarium
The oceanarium is a must for anyone visiting the Beijing Zoo. Opened in 1999, it is still considered the largest continental aquarium in the world. The total area of the structure is 42,000 square meters.
More than 1000 species of marine and river inhabitants are represented here, including the rarest in the world, such as the Chinese sturgeon, cannibalistic fish, huge elephant seals and sharks. In addition to a wide variety of fish, visitors can enjoy watching shows performed by dolphins, sea lions and whales.
The oceanarium is located on the territory of the Beijing Zoo, but the working hours are different: April 1 - October 31: 9:00 - 17:30 (entry until 17:00), November 1 - March 31: 10:00 - 16:30 (entrance until 16 : 00). You must also purchase a separate ticket (160 yuan). For children below 1.2 meters tall (not including 1.2 meters) - free of charge (adults who have bought a ticket must be accompanied by the general rules). One adult can take with him no more than 2 children below 1.2 meters tall.
Zoo historical sites
Due to the fact that this is one of the oldest zoos in China, in addition to a diverse collection of animals, you can also see structures of historical value here. Many buildings of the Qing Dynasty are still intact and open to visitors.
One of the oldest among them is the Changyangloi (畅 观 楼) building, a baroque-style country residence of the emperor, built in 1908.
Another architectural monument on the territory of the Beijing Zoo - Lamarck House (陆 谟 克 堂) is an experimental house built in the 1930s with the cooperation of China and France. It is named after the French natural scientist Jean Baptiste Lamarck.
How to get to the Beijing Zoo
The fastest ways to get to the place are the metro and taxi. You can also get here by boat, enjoying the views, but due to the relatively cold winter in Beijing, this method is only available from April to October.
- Metro: The nearest metro station is Beijing Zoo Station (动物园 站), Line 4 (Exit B).
- Taxi: Take a picture or print the name of the zoo in Chinese 北京 动物园 and show the taxi driver.
- Boat: travel time: 5-10 minutes from Beijing Exhibition Center (北京 展览馆) and 45 minutes from Summer Palace (颐和园), hours: 10:00 - 16:00 with an interval of 60 minutes (from April to October).
Big Panda at the Beijing Zoo
Panda - the main resident of the zoo
But it happened with the love of the public and a kind of bestial "egoism". It is not surprising: after all, this is not a zoo, but a huge and friendly animal family with star status and rare species! And the pandas quite predictably top the list of local Celebrities. By the way, these funny creatures include not only everyone’s beloved black and white bears, which in fact are not bears, but also no less unique small pandas or “fire foxes”.The eternal long line to the enclosures of these "folk Chinese" animals is another confirmation of their special position in the Beijing Zoo.
It is to the Pandas in the Beijing Zoo that the longest lines are.
After strolling through the vast territory inhabited by the furry inhabitants of the zoo, be sure to look into the local aquarium. Fishes, sea turtles, stingrays and even whales here do not tire of demonstrating to their guests their swimming skills and the best “underwater” aerobatics. And if after a total inspection of the Beijing Zoo there are still forces - go to the dolphin show, you won’t regret it!
Leaving these hospitable walls, flooded with bestial roar and cheerful children's laughter, you will certainly buy a small plush panda as a souvenir - this fluffy funny symbol of Beijing Zoo.
The territory of the Beijing Zoo
Unfortunately, I could not find the map in English, but in order to get an idea of the structure of the park, you can use Chinese. It shows the location of the enclosures and the main animals that you can meet here. It will also help to understand the park infrastructure, for example, where you can eat or find a restroom.
Navigating inside the zoo is not difficult, all the main inscriptions and signs are written in two languages: Chinese and English. As for animal diversity: even if you have been to such places more than once, there are several animals that live only in China and I definitely advise you to get to know them. First of all, this, of course, is a big panda. Her pavilion is probably the most visited place in the whole zoo.
Configure that not only cute and clumsy bears will be waiting for you here, but also crowds of visitors and, most likely, you will have to show all your arrogance to get closer to the enclosure enclosure.
Pandas are really very funny, but it wasn’t so interesting for us here, especially after visiting the panda breeding center in Chengdu, where we fell in love with them and which I highly recommend to everyone. In addition to pandas, a golden snub-nosed monkey, a small red panda, a Tibetan yak, a giant salamander and a red-footed ibis deserve attention, all of them are listed in the Red Book and are unique animals.
There are elephants, hippos, rhinos, kangaroos, tapir, anteaters, various representatives of the cat family, many species of monkeys, bears, antelopes, a small terrarium and various species of birds. True, not everyone can be seen, for example, we were in the summer, and many animals simply hid from the heat and from annoying tourists.
I liked the enclosures with giraffes, where you can not only look at them closely, but also feed them almost from their hands.
And there are zebras that can even be stroked if they have that mood).
So there really is something to see! I only hope that the zoo will be updated soon and the conditions for the animals will become better.
Entrance to the zoo is not at all expensive. There are several suggestions:
- a simple ticket will cost $ 3 (20 yuan),
- paid for a visit to the panda pavilion (大熊猫 馆 dàxióngmāo guǎn) - in the amount of $ 0.75 (5 yuan),
- entrance to the penguin pavilion is another $ 1.5 (10 yuan),
- for $ 6 (40 yuan) you can buy a ticket, which includes entrance to the zoo, a panda pavilion and a boat ride (the boat goes to the Emperor’s Summer Palace).
What is boating, I can’t tell, because I haven’t tried it. In addition, the Beijing Aquarium is located on the territory of the park, if desired, it can be visited for $ 24 (160 yuan). Even if you want to get only an aquarium, you still have to pay for entering the zoo. I refused the hike to the oceanarium, as I’ve already been to other cities several times, and I don’t get particularly into the underwater world, so I can’t share my impressions of the oceanarium here.
You can also get to your destination by city buses No. 27, 87, 105, 107, 111, 360, 347, 362, 534, 714, 563, 608, 632, the required stop is called Dong Wu Yuan Stop / 动物园 站. But I would not recommend this option to those who do not know Chinese, because the Chinese announce the names of bus stops and write only in their native language.
I would like to share some useful tips that will help tourists plan their trip to the Beijing Zoo:
- To visit, you must take at least 3 hours to explore its territory.
- It is advisable to come in the morning when the animals are more active and there are not many tourists.
- Weekends and the period of Chinese holidays are not the right time to visit, because instead of animals you risk seeing large lines.
- Be prepared for having to walk a lot, wear comfortable shoes and clothes.
- The best time for walking around the zoo and other places of interest in the city is spring or early autumn.
- The official site, unfortunately, is only available in Chinese, but if you speak it, then you can familiarize yourself with the terms of the visit.