Get in Touch with Your Inner Animal at These Top Zoos in China
Travelers who make the journey to China anticipate an experience that blends ancient and contemporary cultures. The capital city of Beijing has captured the imagination of people around the world and icons such as the Great Wall, Forbidden City, and many others.
China also leads the world in fantastic natural zoo and aquarium habitats that visitors can experience. These are 10 must-see zoos and aquariums in China.
1: Beijing Zoo
Located at 137 Xizhimen Outer Street, Xicheng District, the Beijing Zoo is considered the largest zoo in China. It houses more than 450 animal species and upwards of 500 sea creatures.
All told, the Beijing Zoo is home to approximately 14,500, including pandas, elephants, leopards, gorillas, hippos, and dolphins. This ancient zoological experienced is set in robust and natural gardens and trees. Featuring running streams and lotus pools, it traces its roots to the Qing Dynasty.
2: Chengdu Panda Base
Located at 375 Panda Avenue, Chenghua District, the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding remains one of the most exciting zoological facilities in China. Giant pandas are considered a national treasure in China and are beloved creatures worldwide.
This non-profit facility is dedicated to furthering the population of this endangered species. There are reportedly only 2,000 giant pandas, and visiting the Chengdu Panda base offers a rare opportunity to see them in a natural environment.
3: Beijing Aquarium
Located at 137, Xizhimen Outer Street, Xicheng District, the Beijing Aquarium is considered the largest inland facility of its kind and covers upwards of 30 acres.
The aquarium features a wide range of displays that include Rainforest Wonder, Bering Strait, Whale and Dolphin Bay, Chinese Sturgeon Hall, Seabed Travel, Feel Pool and Ocean Theater.
4: Dalian Forest Zoo
Located in the Baiyun Mountain Scenic Area of the Dalian south coast, the forest zoo covers about 1,779 acres and is hosts more than 200 animals and 400 plant species.
The Dalian Forest Zoo is home to giant pandas, golden monkeys, kangaroos, and other rare animals. Beyond the unique opportunity to see exotic wildlife in a natural setting, the facility’s main attractions are the Rainforest Reptile Pavilion as well as performances held in the Gaiety Theater, and Elephant Behavior Pavilion.
5: Shanghai Zoo
Located near the Hongqiao International Airport on the outskirts of Shanghai, this zoo showcases upwards of 600 rare animals and 6,000 creatures in total. Its main wildlife attractions include giant pandas, golden monkeys, and South China tigers, among others.
6: Guangzhou Zoo
Located at 120 Xianlie Middle Rd, Yuexiu, Guangzhou, the Guangzhou Zoo spans more than 100 acres and ranks among the three largest urban facilities of its kind in China.
Home to more than 450 species and 4,500 creatures, the giant pandas, tigers, and lions are its main visitor draws. The zoo also features a beautiful Goldfish Garden, and animal performances entertain visitors.
7: Siberian Tiger Park
Located on the banks of the Songhua River northwest of Harbin, it remains the largest natural wildlife park for Siberian tigers in the world. Spanning more than 350 acres, the preserve was created in 1996 to protect this endangered predator. Visitors can safely view the king of tigers in its natural habitat.
8: Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens
Located on the Albany Road in the Central District of Hong Kong Island, this facility spans more than 13 acres and is home to more than 200 birds, 70 mammals, 30 reptiles, and 900 plant species.
Built during the late 19th Century, it houses species from around the world, including the American flamingo and Bornean Orangutan, among others.
9: Chongqing Zoo
Located 5 miles from the center of Chongqing City in the Jiulongpo District, this zoo covers approximately 111 acres and houses upwards of 230 species and 4,000 creatures all told. Rare animals include Yakin, argali, South China tiger, and clouded leopard, among others. There is also an amusement park for children.
10: Shenzhen Safari Park
The first zoo to feature uncaged wildlife in China, Shenzhen Safari Park spans more than 150 acres within the city’s metropolitan area. It features more than 300 species and 10,000 animals from around the world, including the national treasure giant pandas, golden monkeys, and South China tigers, among others. Visitors can also enjoy the adjacent amusement park.