My Travels in China: Beijing Day 6
Dr. Arnold Plotnick of Manhattan Cat Specialists, loves to travel and loves cats. So off he went… East… way way East… to China. Over the course of the next few weeks, we will share the cultural and kitty cat highlights of Dr. Plotnick’s trip.
Today we leave for Shanghai. Fortunately, our hotel checkout is at 11:00, our plane leaves at 2:00, and the Beijing Zoo opens at 7:30 a.m. You can’t go to Beijing without seeing the pandas, can you? No. So off we went!
The Beijing Zoo is actually a really nice zoo, with many cool exhibits, as you can see by the map.
But all anyone seems to care about is the Panda house.
We visited the monkey house, the large variety of pheasants, the wolves, the elephants, lions, tigers, and an interesting exhibit on nocturnal animals.
We finally got to the panda exhibit. This is the zoo’s main attraction, of course. There’s a big lead-up to the enclosure, with all sorts of posters and signs.
Finally, we head out to the enclosure, and there was the panda, munching on something.
On the way back in, they hit you up with a huge array of panda merchandise.
Trust me, this isn’t the half of it.
Fortunately, on the way out of the panda house, I encountered my favorite animal of all.
Looks like someone was nice enough to leave her some dry food.
We took a cab back to the hotel, checked out, and then cabbed it to the airport to catch our short (2 hours) flight to Shanghai. I had booked my hotel reservation based on reviews on TripAdvisor. The reviews were good, but I have to say, I didn’t expect our hotel, the Oriental Bund, to be so luxurious! The hotel was beautiful!
Very nice room décor, huge flat screen TV flush with the wall, and breakfast included, for the whopping price of $90 a night.
Gotta love those China prices!
After settling in, we made a beeline to The Bund. The Bund is a waterfront area in central Shanghai, running along the western bank of the Huangpu River. The word “bund” means embankment. When people refer to this area, they usually are referring to the buildings and wharves on the long stretch of Zhongshan Road, which runs along the western river bank.
I had read in my guidebook that a fun thing to do is to take a nighttime cruise along the Huangpu River, allowing for a nice look at the Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Neo-Classical, Beaux-Arts, and Art Deco buildings on the western side, and the spectacular skyscrapers on the eastern side, such as the Oriental Pearl Tower, the Jin Mao Building, and the Shanghai World Financial Center. We knew that only a few cruises remained that evening, so we zoomed out there, got our tickets, and boarded the boat. The weather was nice, although a bit foggy. Still, we got many great views of the skyscrapers
as well as the historic Bund buildings.
After the cruise, we went to a restaurant that was recommended in both of my guidebooks, called Lost Heaven, just a few blocks away. I have to say, this turned out to be the best and most beautiful restaurant of our entire trip. I can tell I’m going to like Shanghai. I just hope I see more cats than I did in Beijing!