As one of the largest cities in China, Chongqing is chock full of animals. Well, about 30 million humans at least. However, if you want to want to interact with something a little more wild than a stray cat, Chongqing still has something to offer. This is my honest opinion of Chongqing’s three wildlife offerings. Enter at your own risk.
1) Chongqing Crocodile CenterView In Map
With a large, menacing crocodile statue standing guard outside, the Chongqing Crocodile Center is hard to miss while traveling to the airport, but few take the time to stop and check it out. This small zoo in Yubei District is fairly typical with small, underwhelming enclosures for an assortment of animals. There is a reptile house with several varieties of snakes and lizards. The aviary has a few peacocks and large waterfowl that visitors can wander around with.
But who comes to a crocodile center to see birds and monkeys? It’s all about the river monsters, and inside there are half a dozen pools populated by various sized crocs. The most interesting feature is the “crocodile fishing bridge” located next to the biggest reptiles. Every afternoon, visitors can play tug of war with the crocodiles using a long bamboo pole, string, and your choice of bait. The crocs are generally non-responsive to the offerings of chicken breasts (10 RMB), but the water below the bridge turns into a boiling pool of killers whenever someone dangles a live chicken on the string (50 RMB).
Add: 106 Baoshi Road, Yubei District, Chongqing
Opening hours: 09:00-17:30
Price: 40 RMB
Getting there: Take rail transit Line 3 to Jintonglu (金通路站). From there, there are two options. Via taxi, ask to go to Chóngqìng èyú zhōngxīn （重庆鳄鱼中心）which should be no more than 15 RMB. By public transport, exit station via exit 2 and walk southeast 500 meters, then take bus 619, 609, 880, 801, or 853 to Nongye Yuan (农业园). Next walk southeast about 800 meters. When you get to the Airport Expressway the center is visible on the right side.
2) Chongqing Wildlife WorldView In Map
The Chongqing Wildlife World is the most dynamic of the animal experiences in Chongqing. Set up as a wildlife reserve 58 kilometers outside of the city proper, the park has more than 400 types of animals including ostriches, lions, tigers, and extremely friendly giraffes. Visitors have a few viewing options at the park. There is a vehicular viewing area where buses and cars can drive among the animals, or if you prefer to walk there are numerous viewing platforms. There is also a hotel associated with the park if a trek out to Tongchuan and back seems like too much traveling for one day.
Add: Shuangzhu Town, Yongchuan District, Chongqing
Opening hours: 09:00-17:00
Price: 80 RMB (weekdays); 100 RMB (weekends)
Getting there: From CRT Line 3 Longtousi (龙头寺站) station go to the long distance bus hub. Take a bus to Yongchuan (永川区), and then jump on bus 501 and get off at Wildlife World. Total travel time is about two hours.
3) Chongqing ZooView In Map
While extremely accessible, the Chongqing Zoo will probably never make its way onto a “must see” list for Chongqing. Upon walking into the main gate guests are greeted with a wide boulevard flanked on either side by bronze statues of different animals. However, after that, the zoo becomes considerably less grandiose. Most of the enclosures were small and lacked embellishments or entertainment for the animals. The animals that were present seemed to be extremely dirty or crowded in their spaces. Furthermore, many of the enclosures were simply void of animals, either with piles of construction materials sitting inside them or simply no signs of recent inhabitation.
The zoo is not without some redeeming features though. The giant panda and red panda enclosures had platforms for them to climb around on, saving you a trip to Chengdu if you need to satisfy a cuteness craving. There is also a central lake about the size of a soccer pitch where visitors can rent small motorboats to putz around on (30 RMB for 10 minutes). A children’s theme park with numerous rides is also in operation during the summer on the zoo’s north side.
Add: Xijiao Branch Road and Yangjiaping Road, Jiulongpo District, Chongqing
Opening hours: 09:00-17:00
Price: 30 RMB; 20 RMB (Nov-Jan)
Getting there: Take the CRT Line 2 to Dongwuyuan (动物园) station, exit via exit B
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Keywords: Chongqing’s Wildlife Parks Chongqing zoo; chongqing crocodile center; Chongqing wildlife world
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