The Chimelong Safari Park is probably the favorite destination of adoptive parents in Guangzhou. We didn’t go last time because Leo started getting unhappy after about an hour outside and everyone told us it is an all day trip. After our malaise yesterday we decided to sign up for the organized tour offered by our agency so that we would be motivated to leave the hotel. August does well enough on outings. Plus, the weather is gorgeous. We left the hotel at 9:30 am and didn’t return until 5 pm, so it is quite a trip. It took us about an hour to get to the Chimelong complex. Besides the safari park they had a circus, water park, and a couple of other amusement park options.
We started off on the safari ride, where you ride in a train/car kind of thing that drives you through for a safari. The animals were all contained in different areas, but you did get to see them fairly close. There were park employees feeding the animals as you went by. I don’t know if we got there at feeding time or if they feed them all day. It was pretty fun regardless.
After the train ride we walked through a Jurassic Park kind of area. There were huge animatronic dinosaurs. One spat water at you as you walked by. There was a cave to walk through where a huge T-Rex loomed over you. It as Vincent’s favorite part. He wanted to know if we could look at more dinosaurs. As we were heading to the parking lot at the end of the day he asked if we could go through the dinosaur part one more time.
Then we toured the the normal zoo part the rest of the day. It was similar to a zoo in America but kind of on steroids. For example, they didn’t have have koalas, they had 50 koalas. You got to walk through and see so many of the best animals rather than maybe 6 at most in one or two exhibits. One of their specialities is white tigers. If our tour guide is to be believed a quarter of all the white tigers in the world reside in this park. We watched a white tiger feeding session. They put raw meat on a cord and enticed the Tigers to climb poles, jump off rocks, and jump into water to get the meat. At another point you could feed the giraffes.
What the biggest attraction is at the park is the pandas. About a year ago this zoo had the only known surviving panda triplets in the world. They have panda triplet signs everywhere! The panda area went on and on. The Kung Fu Panda movie tie-in signs were everywhere. The amount of panda merch you could buy was endless. When our guide finally let us stop for lunch it was at a restaurant which had a panda exhibit on one side so you could watch a mother panda with baby while you ate. Super adorable!
August started out well enough. He seemed to enjoy the animals, especially the pandas. However, his hunger strike at breakfast paired with lack of nap meant the afternoon was challenging. He started throwing tantrums toward the end. He fell asleep in the van on the way back, but raged for a while when he woke up back at the room. I eventually got him to let me snuggle him on my lap while I sang to him. Then he ate a huge supper. The happy kicked in shortly thereafter. He has been looking at thei safar park map and telling me all about it in excited Chinese while I write this.
One of our guides in Beijing commented that he thought August looked like he was from the south, particularly his round eyes. Looking around in Guangzhou, I can kind of see what he means although August is very fair completed compared to the Cantonese. I decided to ask our (very talkative) guide for the safari park what he thought. He said that he didn’t feel there was really in difference in how northern and southern Chinese people look. Which I thought was a little humorous because he looks very typically Cantonese to me. Even more humorously, he went on to comment several times throughout the day that he found the resemblance between Matt and August to be uncanny excepting the hair and eye color, of course. What do you think, twinsies?