Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Exploring the Capital - Manila Zoo

See previous related post:  Hello, Manila!

The Tour

After about less than an hour of resting with late lunch, we're on the go to get started with our planned activities for that afternoon. First up, Manila Zoo. We walked from Malate Pensionne and asked for directions. A man on the street told us that it's just two traffic lights away. Have you experienced being told that a place is near yet when you tried it out, it turned out to be farther than what you were made to believe? This wasn't the first time. But anyway, we continued to walk until we reached the zoo. We passed by a squatter's area and had to walk fast especially since we know that with how we looked then, we would very well fit the description of people not from the place. The good thing is that it's a straight route going there.

Just when we thought it would be better if we just take a jeepney (saw some passed by us), we arrived at the Manila Zoological and Botanical Garden! The entrance fee is P40 for adults. For other info, visit their website. It's on my first post of our Manila escapade. Plus we got a bonus because a free entrance fee is offered to senior citizens! Just like how the airport in Manila is bigger than here in Cebu, the same thing is true with Manila compared to Cebu zoo. What met us as soon as we entered was (Dumbo or was it Ellie?) the elephant. Hehe. I like watching elephants on TV, how much more for real! It's a giant mammal with a gentle face. Really cute.

And then there's the ostrich. Actually there are two of them. Some people dared to touch its cute head over the fence. But do beware of how for a fact, its kick can be deadly. Next we saw wild pigs, horses, a carabao in a large space. Down below are hippopotamuses dipping in a swamp. On another partition, there are some sheep, a white pony and two zebras. Cool! Take note that these are on the right side of the zoo.

On the other side, you will pass by a large area down below for tigers where you will see big bones on the ground. No wonder it stinks. The dangerous animals are trapped in huge cages. Next, there's a wishing fish pond. Then you will see rabbits, huge cats like Palawan Bear Cat (in my opinion, this one's the smelliest there so don't go near it) and Malay Civet Cat. Then there's the playground with a pond in the center where people ride on blue, flat "boats". It's nice. If only those crocodiles on the sides didn't give us a scare with the thought that anytime, they can crawl and go directly into the pond where families are having fun. Now for sure they must be tied up with a pretty strong material to restrain them. Otherwise, no more people will visit the zoo, don't you think? There's also a Horseback Riding area there. I only had my picture taken and didn't give it a try tempted as I am (Really?). I mean I can't risk falling off a horse and get a sore back when we are just starting our expected-long-walks adventure.

I was so thirsty and saw vendors near the zebras (one's black and white, the other's brown - I thought zebras are only colored black and white). I can't help but look closely and take pictures although that meant I had to climb over the corral to do just that. I have no regrets, the zebra has such amazing prints and when my siblings saw the pictures, they can't believe it's real. To them it looks like just a picture, well it is a picture alright. Hehe. Farther along, an area for crocodiles is set up. There's so many of them sleeping and their color is just like the rocks around them.

On our way back, we saw lots of monkeys (no big ones though) plus different kinds of birds. The peacock is a beauty! There are umbrella cockatoos, a big parrot, as well as eagles. Even saw one hiding on a rock formation and laying eggs. We then came across an orangutan! Nah, it's a statue, not a real one. But mom got a picture of me putting my arms over its shoulders. Haha. Beside it are men calling people to try holding a giant yellow-white snake and have your picture taken for P100. No way are we going to try that. Aside from not particularly cool with the idea, it's too pricey. There's a huge, magnificent and sleek horse just across. If I remember right, you'll pay P60 to ride on it.

The surrounding trees and wooden chairs provided a sweet relief to tired visitors. Overall, the zoo is definitely a must-go attraction in Manila. Just be ready to take a walk around, don't complain, make sure you hydrate yourself and enjoy everything you see in there! 

Next destination: Luneta/Rizal Park, Manila Ocean Park

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