Beijing, CHINA – Summer Palace and Giant Panda’s



……. Those Panda’s are so cute


First just want to say that I’ve taking the subway to get places in Bangkok, Shanghai and Beijing. The systems in China are very intricate. I would say on par with NYC and Paris. Beijing has at least 13 lines and I think Shanghai has at least 10 compared to DC’s 5.


Subway Car (non rush hour)

I bought 2 subway apps that made navigating the system very easy. Even without the apps the subways are in both Chinese and English with great signage and bilingual voice announcements on the trains. The concern was with the volume of people….traffic is really really bad so the train is the best way to go BUT you have to be willing to put up with large crowds and no personal space (at all). Be ready for pushing and squeezing.



The Beijing Zoo is huge but I headed straight for those adorable Giant Panda’s. Pretty much everything is at this zoo and they also have the aquarium inside. I did not go into the aquarium. I went to the Seattle aquarium this summer and can’t imagine it gets much better than that so didn’t bother. There was an extra fee to enter.


Giant Panda – Sleeping


The Zoo had two cute baby Chimps and a baby Elephant. A large portion of the Zoo was dedicated to a lake and gardens where you could catch a boat that takes you to the Summer Palace. I didnt take the boat. Instead I took the subway over to the Summer Palace to save time and money.


These Giant Pands’s didnt look real. They were so big and adorable!



I was disappointed with the state of some of the buildings that housed the animals. I guess that sounds shallow since the animals should not be in a zoo at all but the buildings were very old and run down inside. Make sure to wear very comfy walking shoes because this zoo is HUGE. Not unlike most places you will want to visit in China.




Then headed over to the Summer Palace. Summer Palace was a garden for China’s royal familes to rest and entertain beginning around 1750 . It later became the main residence of royal members in the end of the Qing Dynasty. Seems like everything is on a huge scale here with steep steep stairs that go on forever. The Summer Palace and grounds were very beautiful.


Summer Palace



Panoramic View

Summer Palace – So many steep stairs and walk ways





Summer Palace



More Stairs…..