This trip was totally a very last minute one. We were going to Edinburgh for a meeting with YB Dato' Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department. At first none of us wanted to go to this meeting, but after JPA emailed us for a second time, about 6 of us agreed to go.
In the morning, we planned to visit Edinburgh Zoo since it was a golden opportunity to visit this zoo at this time because of the Giant Panda. The pandas will be here for about a few months only. Actually we had checked the availability on the previous day, but it said that the time slots for panda viewing were all fully booked. I think we were lucky because during the ticket purchasing, the staffs told us that we could go to the 1.45pm slot. Without thinking much, we agreed. The entrance ticket to the zoo is £13 for students (inclusive of panda viewing). The normal price is £15.
We left Glasgow Queen Street on a train at 8.15 am and arrived at Haymarket station about 50 minutes later. The train tickets were very cheap because we got a Groupsave discount where 4 persons paid for 2 only. So we spent about £5.70 for a return journey. That was much cheaper than bus. From the Haymarket station, we took Lothian bus service number 26 to the zoo. Single journey costs about £1.30.
The zoo is very huge and the surface is quite hilly. It was like going on a hiking. We had to walked on hilly roads and also on muddy paths. The first animal that we viewed here was sealion. It was huge, but it spent most of its time swimming underwater. So it was quite rare to see it on the surface. Other animals located near the entrance were flamingos, primates and ostriches. We went further up to the sun bears area. There were two of them. We all got excited when we reached the tigers, jaguars and leopards area. They were fantastic and big.
We continued our journey to the safari-like area where we could see several zebras. I wonder why there are no giraffe and elephant around here. Maybe because of the climate. We sure got a few in National Zoo in Malaysia. Lions, anteaters, foxes and deers could be found around this area as well. The lions were quite fierce. The lion kept on roaring while the lioness was quite scary as well. By the way, the weather for today was a bit chilly with light rain but not as cold as usual.
I loved the penguins. There are many of them here. A lot more than Underwaterworld Langkawi. There are so cute and I felt like wanna kick them. They swim very fast. Some of the penguins were sleeping in standing position but some of them lied down. Then, some of them swam and showed us a bit of a show. Kinda cute and adorable although their place was full with whitish poops. There are a few species of penguins here and they all live together in the same place. One of the species has a very long yellow eyebrows. Looks kinda funny.
Then, it was our time to view the pandas. The queue was quite long when we reached the place. There are two pandas here named Tian Tian and Yang Guang respectively. One of them was sleeping with bamboo while the other one roamed around the glass room. There were so lazy and fat! Rasa nak peluk seekor2.. The guide gave us some info about the pandas; about their habitat, territory, mating and eating habits.
We finished our tour in the zoo with penguin parade. About 5 penguins were assigned to parade around the area with the help of their keepers. They are sure cute and jalan terkedek2... Nak culik seekor bawak balik boleh tak? =)
Before heading out, we dropped by the souvenir shop at the entrance. There was a lot of people in the shop. I managed to buy a magnet, a pin badge, a pen and a panda soft toy.
We took a bus back to the city for our next agenda which was a meeting with the minister and JPA..
This was my first time going to a zoo in UK. What I can say is that there are few differences between this zoo and National Zoo in Malaysia. The animals are different, some animals in Malaysia are not here. More penguins here. Obviously there is no panda in Malaysia. I think the zoo here is cleaner but the smell is barely the same. The entrance fee is of course cheaper in my country. =)