The Beijing Zoo was built in 1906 in Qing Dynasty with an area of only 10 hectares and a few humble pavilions to house the animals. It was named as “Wansheng Garden”( Ten-Thousand Animal Garden) and officially renamed as Beijing Zoo in 1955. Now it covers an area of 86 hectares, breeding over 5000 animals in more than 450 species. Beijing Zoo has rare Chinese animals, such as the Giant Panda, the Golden Monkey, the Red Panda, Sichuan golden monkey, Manchurian tigers, yaks from Tibet, enormous sea turtles and also a strong selection from around the world – Indian elephants, zebras and giraffes from Africa – the list of animals could be very long.
Moving on, Beijing Zoo was big. I didn’t feel like it was a zoo, it was more of a really big park. I have to admit that their zoo, most especially the aquarium, was quite impressive. The management of Manila Zoo could learn a thing or two from Beijing Zoo because the animals, particularly the lion and tigers, were quite healthy and the area was fairly clean.
Highlights of the Beijing Zoo
1. Beijing Aquarium
Beijing Aquarium is a must for anyone visiting the zoo. Opened to the public in 1999, it has been widely-recognized as being one of China’s top attractions. Actually, it is the largest inland aquarium in the world. Seen from afar, it looks like a gigantic ocean trumpet shell, which is subdivided into several zones: the hall of tropical rain forest, the hall of the shark, the ocean theater and the ocean library and reading hall among others.
2. Giant Panda
One of the most popular halls of Beijing Zoo is the Panda Hall. As everyone knows, the giant panda is native to China and recognized as one of China’s national treasures and a national symbol. Built in 1989 and covering an area of around 10,000 square meters, it delivers an impressive aesthetic scene while also managing to account for the practical considerations of housing such large and physical animals.
Beijing Zoo provides thousands with the opportunity to witness strange and exotic species at firsthand, and also allows visitors to learn more about the lives of the animals that inhabit the world alongside us. Besides, Beijing Zoo is more than a paradise for animals. A few gardens were built to grow the flowers that enjoy the most popularity in China, like the Chinese rose, peony, etc.
Entering the Beijing Zoo gate, by the side of Beijing Tourist Information Center on your right hand, you will see an archway in a two-storey building, just walk through the archway gate. Then you will find the Entrance to the Giant Panda House. The wall Opposite to the Giant Panda House is a huge tourist map of Beijing Zoo where you may plan your selected trip inside Beijing Zoo.
Of course, you will not miss to meet the VIP – very important pandas! The Beijing Panda House is composed of two parts, namely the Asian Games Panda House and Beijing Olympic Games Panda House.
Besides that inside the Beijing Zoo there are many animals too.
Location: Xicheng District, western part of Beijing
Opening Hours: 07:30 – 18:00 (Apr. 1 to Oct. 31); 07:30 – 17:00 (Nov. 1 to Mar. 31)
How to Get there?
By Subway: Subway Line 4: get off at Beijing Zoo station
By Buses: Take bus no. 27, 45, 105, 107, 111, 206, 209, 319, 334, 347, 360, 362, 534, 601, 632, 634, 697, 714, 808, and 814, get off at Beijing Zoo Station.
Weather/Best Time to Go
Amazing Beijing enjoys different features for its clear distinction of four seasons, characterized by a long hot summer, long chilly winter, and shorter spring and autumn. The hottest month in Beijing is July and coldest is January. Considering the frequent sandstorms in spring, September and October with their pleasant weather are considered the best visiting times.
When visiting the Beijing Zoo, you should try to avoid going on a national holiday or at the weekend, since it will be greatly crowded. Besides, the sunny days are much better, and you can check out the Beijing weather forecast.