Hope’s Take on the ChimeLong Safari Zoo

This is Grace and Hope’s first blog. We are using it as a learning tool, a venue for their writings, and to give a place on the blog where the children of our friends might enjoy coming to see life from the viewpoint of growing up in China. For this entry, Hope did the writing and Grace took most of the photos.

For our little nephew Caleb’s birthday we went to the Safari Zoo in PanYu. To get there was a fifteen minute walk followed by a twenty minute bus ride followed by a ten minute walk! Once we arrived at the zoo, we headed towards the ticket center, got our tickets, and entered.

Our first stop was at Swan Lake where we saw cormorants and, of course, swans. Chinese peasants use cormorants for fishing. They put a metal ring around the birds’ necks so that when they catch fish they can’t swallow them. Then the fishermen take the fish out of the birds’ mouths. After they catch enough, they either take them home to eat or sell them.

Here’s looking at you, kid!

We then went to the African gallery where we fed the monkeys peanuts that we had bought at the wet market beforehand. The monkeys caught them in their hands or even their mouths. It was fun to watch. If we threw the nuts into the water surrounding their island, the monkeys would still pick them out of the water unless they were so far away that they were out of reach. Next to the monkeys we saw ostriches, which were really stinky and dirty! Apparently, an ostrich had laid three eggs in a small nest on the ground.

Tiger Hill contained golden, white, Bengal, snow, and Siberian tigers. Siberian tigers are supposed to be the largest cat on earth. Tigers can jump up to twice their heights and when standing on their hind legs can be taller than my dad who is 6’3″! Average tigers can be from eight to ten feet long.

His pillow is an ice cube!

The China Zone of Safari Zoo contained one of our favorite animals that we saw – the panda. Most of the pandas were inside due to the hot sun. The zookeepers put ice in their cages to keep them cool even though they were inside.

The Train Ride

As our journey neared the end, we took a half-hour train ride, which was basically a tour of   uncaged animals roaming around as if living in the wilderness.

Our first stop was at the Australian Forest where we sighted black swans, red kangaroos, and emus. This little group of animals is quite colorful, wouldn’t you think so? Our brother, Jason, pointed at few emus that were gathered around an injured emu. What surprised us was that the birds were eating the invalid, which was gross but rather interesting!

At the Asian Desert there were two animals both of which we have ridden on! Those animals are the humped camels and the wild yak. They were so close to us that we probably could have touched them if we wished, but we didn’t. Here are the photos of us riding those many years ago!

Hope looked pretty nervous about both of those, didn’t she?

The fiercer animals such as the lions, tigers, and bears were on islands surrounded by ditches to keep us safe. Most of these animals were found in the Predator Territory.


Caleb’s favorite part of the whole zoo was a small amusement park called The Children’s Playground. It had bumper cars, an animal train, a tiny roller coaster in water, a merry-go-round, a hopping kangaroo that took you up and then back down quickly, and another similar to the “Flying Dumbo” at Disneyland Hong Kong.

Food kiosks and shops planted throughout the zoo were named after animals such as Giraffe food kiosk and Lesser Panda store. We took our own lunch and had a little picnic, which we thought was better than the food we could have bought at the zoo.

Both of the above pictures were taken at the Finding Madagascar performance.

We saw two of the four shows available to us – Finding Madagascar and the Kung Fu White Tiger Show which were both enjoyable and fun. The seven of us were planning to visit the Little Elephant Prince Show but unfortunately, we got lost in the big zoo. We also did not have time to see the fourth show, Primate Kingdom. Between the two shows we watched, our favorite performance was The White Tiger Show.

The White Tiger Show

In this program, twelve tigers each had their own step-ladder stool to sit on. The trainer used meat to entice the the tigers to perform tricks. One tiger didn’t want to walk on the ball, but after lots of coaxing with meat and poking, he finally walked on the ball. Some of the big cats walked on their hind legs and one of them hopped to the trainer. Another time a tiger wouldn’t jump through a hoop so a different animal did that trick. We wondered if they did this on purpose or if the tigers were just stubborn. At one point two ladies who were randomly picked from the audience were playing tug-of-war with a tiger. The tiger won and the ladies didn’t get a prize. It was hilarious to watch! Near the end of the show the tigers were posing for pictures and when they all should have gotten off the one at the top wouldn’t get down. After a little while, the tiger finally got down and they ended the show. It was very entertaining and humorous.


The Safari Zoo is a great place for a family outing or for a birthday. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and had lots of fun there. The cost is about one hundred fifty RMB for children 1.5 meters or shorter and about two hundred RMB for adults (or for tall children such as Grace!) so it’s kind of expensive. Hope you all get a chance to visit the Safari Zoo.

This is the cutest thing we saw at the zoo all day- our nephew Joey!

And here are some signs we thought were funny:

Every time we slipped we tried to do it very carefully.

No glass flapping!

Whatever this means!

17 thoughts on “Hope’s Take on the ChimeLong Safari Zoo

  1. I loved your post, ladies! Your writing was clever and informative and the photos were very interesting. Personally, I have a renewed appreciation for a soft pillow to lay my head. :) As well, today I’m going to try my hardest not to flap our grass. (That grass-flapping is for the birds.) Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks, Sue, for responding to the girls’ post. They are very excited about posting on a blog for the first time and thrilled someone responded! We hope Emma and Carson might have fun checking in and reading what the girls have to say…

  2. Thank you so much for sharing your experience, girls! I regret that we did not have time to visit the Safari Park on our adoption trip in 2009. Hopefully, one day, we will be able to visit China again. If God does allow us that opportunity, we wil be sure to never, ever, under any circumstances….flap the glass :)

    PS: In our hotel in Lanzhou, Gansu there was a sign on the shower that said, “No taking of whine into the shower.” We were very careful about our attitudes while bathing 😉

    • Oh, Amy, we hadn’t seen that one. It’s great. One of our all-time faves is “Women may have fits upstairs!” If you ever come back to China, please get in touch. We’d love to have you in for a meal and hear your story!

  3. I really enjoyed reading your 1st post Hope and Grace! Your pictures and review of the safari zoo made me feel like I was there. I just love the signs please keep them coming. I am sharing your website with Abby and Ava. I think they would enjoy reading your blogs too. Thanks for sharing conversely.

      • Dear Hope And Grace,
        I enjoyed reading your take on the Safari Zoo, I thought it was very interesting. My mother says that i know you, We both met in ChangSha on our adoption days. The signs in China are very funny and it’s to bad I was a baby and can’t remember, someday i hope to go back to China and see how it is now! I would like to keep in touch so here is my e-mail. abster01@yahoo.com. I hope that one day you and I can meet again, and this time i’ll get to meet Grace.

        With all Love,
        Abby Cunningham

        • Abby,
          We are glad you enjoyed our post of the Safari Zoo. We would like to be pen pals and stay in touch! Our e-mail address is through this blog – graceandhopedexter@pearlriverdiaries.com

          We’d like to meet you someday, too, and if you ever come to Guangzhou, let us know! You can have dinner at our house!.

          Grace and Hope

  4. Grace and Hope…I LOVED reading this blog…you both did a wonderful job..the pictures were well done…and lovely glimpses into the zoo:) I especially loved the pics of the girls on the wild yak<3! I actually laughed out loud at work while reading the signs! The writing was very interesting, informative AND humorous! You totally captivated me throughout the blog…I can't wait for more from both of you!! Love, Your Novie Auntie…Lori Helland:)

    • You’re too sweet, Auntie Lori! I’ll have to tell Hope that you were one of her Novie shower buddies! She has grown up knowing she was a Novie and still takes great interest in the other girls and their lives. We might have to find a way to start some kind of a yahoo group or something for Novie girls who are growing up to stay in touch!

  5. Great to read about the birthday boy’s day out with the family. I’m not usually much of a zoo person, but you made the trip fun. You’re both a couple of budding writers and great photographers! Keep up the good work; I’ll look for more blogs from you in the future.

  6. Thanks for sharing your insights, Grace and Hope! We really enjoyed “visiting” the zoo with you….it seems like a really nice place. I really like the funny signs, too!

  7. Girls~ your writing is delightful! It’s your very own travel blog!! Loved the journey through your zoo. Thank you for all the effort you put into your work. Can’t wait for the next installment of dim sum.

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