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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Beijing Zoo, Bell & Drum Towers : The Hunt

From the Summer Palace and Xiyuan station, via the same Line 4, we stopped at Beijing Zoo. Again, this Line has eased us, as the station located just few meters from the zoo. We walked out from the subway station and walked to the left.
“TU GATE DIA!” hubby pointed to the famous, noted, ancient design of Beijing Zoo South Gate.
We purchased the ticket at the ticket office and paid RMB15 for entrance fee and additional RMB5 for Panda House, on top of the price. Strange, who wouldn’t want to see panda huh? They PURPOSELY did that, for there was an extra score of what the Chinese have comparable to any zoo in the world.

Since the limelight was the “panda”, we straight away looked for the Panda House. Beforehand, we went into the tourist service center where they have prepared leaflets with panda picture on it. I took one but unable to read it as it was printed in Korean. (Korean???)
I went in and asked for an English version from the helpdesk. She passed me one leaflet with Korean version, exactly like what I saw at the front rack (duhhh). I kept on asking from her for an English version, but she kept on asking me to take the leaflet. Whatever! I walked out.
Then I opened the leaflet and thank God, although it was printed in Korean, the map was printed in English. (Owh, that was why she kept on asking me to take it. Haha! How would I knowwww!)

Once we spotted the “Giant Panda” on the map, we quickly walked and passed through one red-grey-brick-made archway. At the entrance, we were needed to show the panda entrance pass before entering the house. The first house that we went was Asian Games Panda House, which was located on the right side of the panda area.
It has been said that the first bred by artificial insemination was in 1978 (the year we were born). WOW! Can’t wait to see those pandas! We entered the air-conditioned hall and saw souvenir shop on the left, while two small pinkish fake cubs in incubator and panda skeleton on the right.
We walked further and saw lots of information printed on both side of the walls. While reading that info,

“Eh, mana panda nyer??? Tak nampak sekor pun nih!” Yes, we still did not see any panda in the house.

10 meters from there, there was one medium-sized glass room that replicated its habitat and climate in the wild. Except for snow, they created the room with Alpine bamboo, cave and rainfall. We looked around and searched for the panda, but none we saw.

“Eh, where’s the panda??? We paid so much JUST to see the panda tapi takde???” I started to nag.

“Jom tengok sana.”

Almost everyone tried to get closer to the next glass room, pointing at something.

“AAAAAAA!!! PANDAAAAAAA!!!” I was extremely happy to see one. It was a big fat panda!
Looking down, giving his ass to the public!
“Laaaaaaa nape dia tanak pandang siniiiiii!” I shouted to hubby. Everyone was hoping for it to face the public, showing its cute eye bags.

“You stay there, I take your picture with panda.” I directed hubby to stay next to the glass, to show how similar his eye bags with panda’s, but we’ve waited for almost 10 minutes and we’ve got nothing except for his ass.
“Argh, next!” we hoped to see more pandas in the house.

The next glass room was also fully occupied with visitors, whom most of them were locals (again, they were EVERYWHERE). We had to squeeze in to get ourselves next to the glass and had to peep in between of fingerprints just to locate the panda.

“HAHAHAHA! DIA TIDO TERKANGKANG MACAM KIKI!” I was so happy to see that panda positioned itself just like Kiki, my cat, who believe-himself-is-human and always sleeps like me (lay down flat). The big furry cute panda was eating bamboo leaves while laying itself on the back. Again, we hardly see its face and that cute eye bags. Argh!
“ONLY TWO PANDAS??? We came so far but see only TWO PANDAS??? Gimme that big fat panda with eye bags! Hug ball somemore! Cute!” I tried to irritate the zoo.
Frustrated, we went out and walked to the second house, Olympic Games Panda House. Inside the house, the same souvenir shop selling panda printed t-shirts, huggable bears, keychains, magnets, silks, toys, and such. The price was over the top, so we decided to get them outside of the zoo.
There was one large room with waterfall and cave, bigger than previous two glass rooms. This time, we saw three pandas in it. One was eating, but facing side ways. Dang! Still cannot see both eye bags! One was sleeping like a baby, covering his face on the floor. Still, no both eye bags exposed! And the other one was sitting, also giving its back to the visitors.
Arghhhh! These pandas were trained to do so ke?!! So unfair!

We left the house and stopped at one man-made pond that surrounded with panda statues. We took pictures and that’s it!!! RMB20 for 5 pandas, RMB4 for each! And guess what, we didn’t bother to see other China rare animals like golden monkeys, milu deer and northeast tigers at all! Yes, we ONLY interested in PANDA!

We had 10 minutes rest and get ourselves an ice-cream each, while looking at the city map. Next to explore will be Gulou and Zhonglou, a.k.a Bell and Drum Towers.
From Beijing Zoo, we stopped at Xizhimen interchange at Line 2 and stopped at Guloudajie station.
We had no idea where both towers were located at. There was no one to ask. There was no skyscraper as landmark. Then we saw one uncle at the nearest bus stop.

“Bell and drum towers?” I simply asked the direction to the place that used to tell time for China people.

He didn’t understand me.

I showed him the map that was written in Chinese, but still no reply from him.

“Gulou Zhonglou?” hubby interfered. That uncle straight away pointed to the right, and nodded. Hahaha!

“Shie-shie.” We thanked him.


1KM!!! (Not far meh? Try to walk 1km after a very long and tiring day, then you’ll know!)


Hold a second! That was ONLY one way! To get back to the subway station, we had to walk another 1km! CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT??? I almost cried tau. Lucky, we finally got to see both, Beijing largest and highest “morning Bell and dusk Drum”, FROM FAR. It was good enough what…
On the way back to the subway, we stopped three times to catch a rest. We almost cracked our heels! While seating, we saw one hawker selling skewed foods, “pau”, and bizarre drinks that almost looked like alcoholic drinks. We finally got to know that the jar wasn’t filled with alcohol, but amazingly, they were milky drinks.
We continued our journey to the subway and caught a train. I couldn’t stand to help myself to wait for a seat, so I just sat on the train floor. Like I mentioned earlier, Line 2 makes one big round, so to stop at Qianmen station, we got plenty of time to rest. The reason why we wanted to stop at Qianmen, was to find a souvenir place that was suggested by the hotel reception. She told us we can get anything there, besides Silk Market.
Once we reached the station, we surprised that finally, we found the Beijing Hub of Tour Dispatch that we tried to look for yesterday. Dang! Now only can see the signboard, but still, we unable to find where the office was.
Thus, we ignored it and walked up the stairs and found ourselves at a very familiar place. It was a big open space and we stood exactly in front of the Tian’anmen Square! OMG! This place again? Still full of locals, even it was Monday! We did find the said shop, but it was more on selling China products like ginseng, herbs, antiques, and they looked expensive, so we skipped and took pictures. One of the buildings is China Railway Museum. Not to forget, the popular China-made sport brand, Lining, whom the ambassador is Lin Dan, the second best badminton player in the world (actually, he beats Chong Wei all the time, so he should be the best lah right?)
His photos were all over the subway walls, I thought of posing next to him and ignored whoever passing by, but hubby was shame enough to do so. Kahkahkah!


Ronnie said...

wow...seems like you do have a lot of days there !

Ely Hasrul said...

cubs tu tipu ek? comelnyeeee hahahhaa

gile weh jalan jauh, kalu aku dh bergelen minum dgn nk carry sami lagik hahhaa..

makaseh la tshirt panda tu sami suka!

Biqque said...

not really la ronie, only 4 full days but soooooo packed with activities :D gila punya orang ma...

mau tak bergelen skin, tak kenc plak tu! ye ke? sami mesti suka nyer :)

Lily Riani said...

i tak gi zoooo, jelesssss.... i suka zoooo!!!!

Biqque said...

kitorang masuk pun sbb panda je...tak leh jadi ni, kena gak cari tempat panda yg lain hahaha! tak puas!

dibitz said...

i love pandas!!!!!!

dibitz said...

i love pandas!!!!!!

Biqque said...

ok dib, i know how much u luv pandas...twice! hahaha!

weh, kita gi chengdu nak dib? layan panda :D

byya said...

oh, mmg betullah org kate g beijing byk BERJALAN KAKI...penat la jugak kan.

tp frust la jugak xdpt tgk panda puas2 kan...mestilah g china nak tgk panda mcm g aussie nak tgk kangaroo.

Biqque said...

tu lah nyer, orang beria nak tgk panda, dah la kena tiket asing, skali masuk, 5 ekor je! tu pun tanak pandang depan! heiiii geram tul i...

haah, jalan kaki kat beijing mengalahkan merentas desa!

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