For someone who's visited practically every zoo and safari in the UK, and knowing the standards at places like Beijing Zoo and Badaling Safari (both of which are terrible, regardless if you care about animals or not,) I wasn't expecting much which is why initially we only went to Chimelong Paradise and the Water Park.
However our expectations were blown away upon entering. Although it was busy, the staff were still extremely friendlier than they are at most attractions, something I've only seen at Chimelong so far. The attractions were all reasonably clean, had lots of information about each animal and the animals themselves seemed much livelier and active than any I'd ever seen in England. There were also quite a lot of them-in terms of tigers, there must have been around 50 of them, including white tigers and baby tigers too. This is a similar case for the amount of birds and monkeys, as well as having about twenty elephants, which is an incredible number.
The monkeys and birds also seemed to be able to freely roam the park-whilst queuing for the sky ride (which only at most, takes about an hour. Sounds like a lot but this was during the summer holidays on a good day, so.) we noticed that there were gibbons just walking about on man-made pathways and ropes on the trees above. The birds too, seemed to casually fly across the lake, no net on top, and the vultures stared passively at us from their posts which we noticed they were not chained to. All in all, it seemed that the animals were technically free to leave but just choosing not to. We asked a zookeeper if they had clipped their wings so they could not fly away, but he said all they'd done was train them not to leave-if they had clipped their wings, how on earth were they flying across the lakes then?
I definitely recommend the sky ride. It's free, takes you across to places you can't see on the ground and has amazing vistas of the lakes and mountains. The train is also a good idea, as you go right up and close to the animals in the safari section of the park for free-a giraffe even at one point poked its head in through the car!
The zoo also has amazing facilities. The restaurant was much better than expected, although pricey, and the gift shops sold some actually decent merchandise, including very well crafted soft toys and rather useful ponchos as it started to pour about halfway through the day due to a tropical storm. We stayed from the minute it opened to just before it closed, and still felt like we hadn't seen it all. What an incredible place! Chimelong has everything a zoo should have, without losing its interactive and human touch.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.