Spent a good part of the day at the Beijing Zoo. The zoo reports more than 6 million visitors a year—easy to believe with the crowds on this Sunday.
The subway takes you right to one of the gates. Wide variety of animals, including a number rarely seen outside of China. Giant pandas of course—more on those from Chengdu, near the panda's geographic range and home to a major panda center. But equally spectacular were the golden snub-nosed monkeys, also found only in central China. These large, high elevation monkeys are related to the douc langurs that can be seen at Philadelphia Zoo. Also interesting to start to see some native bird species even in this densely urban area. Azure-winged magpies are something like a blue jay equivalent, and the large-billed crow looks pretty much like our crows, except with, yes, a larger bill.
Flying to Chengdu early tomorrow morning. Not entirely sure of schedule there, but more once I'm there.