Go to the Beijing Zoo to see the pandas, and then wander around the other animal enclosures until you become so depressed you have to leave. The pandas at the Beijing Zoo appear to be well-treated and enjoy relatively large enclosures. Inside the panda pavilion you can see them behind glass, though large crowds gather to block your view and the glass makes it impossible to take good photos. Head around the back to the open area, however, and you’ll be treated to a much better scene and smaller crowds. The rest of this fairly large zoo features all manner of animals including elephants, giraffes, kangaroos, birds and small cats. The monkeys, including the rare Chinese Golden Monkey, are well worth a look. But as you go past the different enclosures you’ll become more and more conscious of how malnourished the animals appear and how small and dirty their cages are. By the time you reach the large cat pavilion and see bony tigers and lions pacing their minute cells it will be time to go. There is also an aquarium at the Beijing Zoo which you can enter to see dolphins and all manner of fish for an additional charge.
Admission: ¥20. Open: 8:00-17:00.
Address: 137 Xizhimenwai Dajie. Tel: +86 (010) 6839 0274. Website: www.beijingzoo.com
Directions: Take subway Line 4 and get off at Beijing Zoo subway station.
Show the taxi driver: 请带我去北京动物园，谢谢。 (Please take me to the Beijing Zoo. Thank you.)