Today we paid a visit to GP (Giant Panda). He lives in the Beijing zoo in a few pavilions and it is definitively a cute animal. The zoo has 8 – 10 giant pandas that sleep and eat most of the day. We were lucky to see a few moving and could take some nice pictures.
The zoo itself is located in a large park that is very well maintained. Some parts of the zoo are quite old and would need some refurbishment. The zoo has 2 beautiful Siberian white tigers but they are in a very old building, in ugly cages and it is a pity to see them like this.
There is a brand new and huge aquarium but we didn’t have the time to visit it. We have to leave something for next time.
After the zoo we planned to visit the summer palace but we were too tired so we decided to visit instead the Temple of Heaven. The temple is located in a large park in the south of Beijing and it is beautiful. We noticed that all the parks, temples, and generally speaking all the places of interest are extremely well maintained. It is often in contrast with the surroundings that can look really bad.
Before visiting the temple we stopped for lunch in the first restaurant we found after quite a long walk and if we were not so hungry we would never have stopped there. Of course there was no menu in English but at least there were pictures so we picked a few dishes and it ended up being a very good meal that costs us 87 yuan or 50 shekel for 4. The paradox in China is that if you eat in a western restaurant you risk getting some severe stomach pain but if you eat in the street or some ****** Chinese restaurant you get nothing.
After lunch, on our way to the temple, we stopped by the pearl market because we needed some clean toilets. By the way, some public toilets in Beijing follow the strict rules of communism, everything is shared, no separations between the booths, just a few holes in the floor and everyone does it with everyone.
Now, the pearl market is something you have to see to believe (I’ve said that many times already, I know). The ground, first ad second floors has nothing to do with pearls, they are a huge fake market. You can find any fake in the world you want from iPhone to Lacoste polo shirts. The third and forth floors are the pearl market and you can find there any type, color, and shape of pearls you want. We are still not clear is they are fake or real, we will ask at the hotel.
Finally we got the Temple of Heaven and spent there the rest of the day. The best is to look at the pictures as it is difficult to describe by words.
We ended the day in front of a delicious Beijing roasted duck and a local beer. Life is good…
Tomorrow we go the summer palace, this time for good.
Love from Beijing,