Superstars of Zoo Negara: pandas Xing Xing and Liang Liang

We had waited for the dust to settle after the arrival of the cute superstar pandas of animal kingdom and diplomatic relations to Malaysia, but could not wait any longer. After talking about “seeing the pandas” for a few days I realised my almost 4-year-old did not quite know what a panda is and what’s the fuss about. Nothing better than an excuse to watch cute panda videos on YouTube, eh?

Cost to see the pandas

After the initial shock of having to fork out almost 500 RM for two families (cash only!) I admitted it is a fair price to see two of the only 44 giant pandas outside China. And of course all the other animals in a zoo that compares pretty well in its league.

The panda conservation centre was modern and cool (bliss!). 180 visitors are allowed in every 20 minutes, and you are only allowed to go in once. At first I thought this would be all I could see:

panda 2

But soon people relaxed and took out their selfie sticks. But the pandas were lovely. And did I mention it was air-conditioned? Apparently they spend most of the day munching on those bamboo sticks and that’s what they were doing today, too. After saying bye to the pandas we passed through the panda kitchen preparing their lunch and the panda hospital all ready for any panda emergencies. Needless to say the kids were ecstatic.

Pandas in KL zoo

Not the greatest fan of zoos, I have not visited this one before but was positively surprised. Sure, some of the enclosures are on the small side but generally the area is green, clean and with lots of shade. I had read somewhere that 12,000 people visit on an average weekend, but the park is vast and didn’t feel crowded. For the preschoolers in our team the highlight seemed to be the goats and ponies in the kids’ area that were all too happy to be stroked endlessly.


– lots of exotic animals easy for the kids to recognise (giraffes, big cats, elephants – and the pandas!)
– spacious, green and shaded by trees
– kids’ area with a few animals they can stroke, playground and acrobatic monkeys
– possibility of getting the electric “tram” if you are not up for the sweaty walk, but this will cost you extra.

Not so nice:
– a bit on the pricey side to be visited often
– food is nothing to shout about
– some of the enclosures are small and some animals are pacing restlessly – as in many, if not most, zoos.

And lastly, apparently the panda world is eagerly awaiting a baby: Tian Tian of Edinburgh Zoo is suspected of being pregnant and could give birth any time.

More info on the Zoo Negara can be found on their website. If you are a panda fan, have a look at this list of pandas in world zoos.

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