Ningbo Youngor Zoo- Ningbo, China

After-zoo nap waiting for the taxi- with the entrance sign
Zoo entrance

Ningbo Youngor Zoo is situated 30 minutes outside of the city center near Dongqian Lake. We took a taxi out from our hotel (60 rmb) and then called the hotel to arrange a taxi back in the afternoon. I had to pay double for the taxi to head out to the zoo from the hotel and then back in the afternoon, but it was nice for peace of mind that we were not going to be stranded without a ride back into the city! That being said, there were several taxis that came to drop people off while we were waiting for our taxi, so I think it is possible to hail a taxi from the zoo depending on the time of day and luck.

Elephants near the entrance

 After spending about a month wandering around the city center, it was a wonderful break from the hustle and bustle to walk around this beautiful zoo! It was a hot, humid day, but there was plenty of shade that helped us stay cool. Entrance to the zoo cost around 150 rmb, or $25, with kids under 1.2 m free. The ticket booth is off to the side of the entrance like many other attractions we have visited in China. 

Entering the zoo, the bird island is truly an impressive first impression. The zoo is built in the mountains, with a big island in the middle. There were hundreds of white cranes in the trees and flying around the zoo. It was an awesome sight- like something from a movie!
All of those white dots are cranes!
Tiger just chilling

At the entrance, we were given a map in Chinese with pictures of the more popular animals. We decided to start with the lions, tigers, and bears. The enclosures were huge and were built into a hillside so there was plenty of green grass, trees, and space to roam. Those animals looked happy! We watched tigers walking through the forest, and resting under wooden platforms to stay out of the heat. We checked out the giant panda. I was disappointed it was in an indoor cage and just laying there sprawled out on the ground. Somehow, I had gotten it into my head that the giant panda was going to be tromping through the bamboo forest, munching on bamboo. Oh well. Landon really liked the tigers, lions, bears and pandas and spent quite some time watching each animal. This was our first zoo visit in quite awhile so it was really fun to discuss the actions, color, food, and name of each animal with my boy!

Anti climactic giant panda encounter

 The bear enclosure was really exciting! There were grizzlies on one side and black bears on the other side. The grizzlies were active- eating bugs off of wood, bathing, and pacing the front of the enclosure begging for food. Landon especially got a kick out of the bathing bear. I was impressed by the sheer number of grizzlies in the enclosure- the zoos we have visited only have 1-2 of each animal.

Grizzlies were fun to watch!
The snack beggar

Next we passed the enclosure of the liger. When we walked up, I thought that this animal was a very weird looking lion. Most of the placards were in Chinese only, so it was hard to figure out some of the animals. The picture on the sign helped me figure it out, though. This liger is lighter in color because its mom was a white Siberian tiger.

Liger
Liger explanation
Lake with ferris wheel in the background. 

As we hiked around the zoo, I was so impressed with the gorgeous natural scenery, lakes, and trees. It was quite a walk in between enclosures, but it was a really neat location to explore. I was less impressed with the facilities and amenities. We paid good money to get into the zoo, but all of the major restaurants seemed to be under construction. There were small snack stands selling cup of noodles, but on a 90 degree day, we weren’t really feeling like cup of noodles al fresco. We did find some over-priced ice cream, and that gave us some temporary relief from the heat. There was one cafeteria open serving traditional Chinese lunches. Landon and I decided on noodles and enjoyed them indoors where at least there were fans to get some air circulating. Hours of no air conditioning was rather brutal, though!

Rolly polly!

In addition to all the animals at the zoo, there was a small amusement park (again, half the rides were not open or under construction), a water park (it looked SO tempting but we didn’t bring swimming stuff), and various places to rent boats to go out on the lake. We would have totally done that, but I didn’t want to leave my stroller somewhere, and I was wary of going out in a boat on the lake alone with Landon. I was not sure if he would randomly try to jump off into the water, and I didn’t really want to find out!

One creature Landon found especially interesting was a rolly polly that he found on the path. He picked it up and it rolled into a ball. He then carried it around for several exhibits before dropping it in front of the rhino enclosure. I love that he’s not afraid of bugs anymore!

Carefully walking with the rolly polly
Ever since Landon’s encounter with Austin, the fake rhino in a tunnel on Bali, Landon has been freaked out by rhinos. These rhinos were covered in mud and surprisingly active for how hot and sunny it was! We watched them pace in the shade and even head straight for us at times!
A note about strollers in this zoo- although many of the paths are easily traversed by stroller, we chose the least stroller-friendly route on accident. We ditched it on one side of a giant man-made mountain that housed the Siberian tiger exhibit, saw the animals on the other side of the mountain, then ended up having to back-track and haul the stroller over some bridges to get to other exhibits. So in conclusion, it was not super stroller friendly. There were trams taking people around the zoo, but I was not sure if they cost, how to ask how much, and how to tell them where to take us, so we just hoofed it around. 
A look and a smile! A miracle!
After a long back-track we headed over to the African animals area. Landon loves the giraffes and African grazing animals. There were also these cool camel statues- he loved kicking the Chinese kids off and climbing all over them! The African animals were housed in a giant meadow allowing them to co-mingle and graze freely. Zebras, wildebeests and various gazelles were wandering all around. When asked what his favorite animal at the zoo was, Landon told me his favorite were the “African animals mommy didn’t know.” It was difficult to answer all of his questions about the animals without the benefit of explanatory signs in English. I knew wildebeests, but I didn’t know the types of gazelles. He obviously was impressed that I didn’t know the name of every animal!
Landon watching the wildebeest

The 2nd half of the day involved a ton of wandering looking for an open restaurant, hiking up a hill to find the sea lion show to have Landon fall asleep right when it was about to start, and looking at alligators and tons of different types of monkeys. I didn’t take as many pictures as my energy level and motivation to live decreased. It was an exhausting day and I would certainly recommend visiting on NOT a blazing hot day. This is a special zoo and anyone visiting the Ningbo area should check it out!

The middle mountain with beautiful trees

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2 thoughts on “Ningbo Youngor Zoo- Ningbo, China

  1. Yes! I picked up my computer from the repair place! They said that they had fixed the screen, but the touch screen no longer worked. When I picked it up, it looked exactly the same except they had chipped off some of the outer parts of the screen! So it was still very shattered, and even more dangerous for Landon to play with. I need to take pictures of it and post them. I ended up buying cell phone screen protectors from the super market and cutting them up to place over all the spots that had chips or were completely broken off. The touch screen still works, too! I'm glad to be back on my computer!

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