This is a relatively new museum attached to a research institute. It’s close to the Olympic site but not as easily accessible as other places of interest. You can walk west from the Olympic Park subway station along Datun Rd for about 750m (it’s on the north side as the road tunnel emerges) or take bus 328 from Andingmen to Nangou Nihe station. Built over 3 floors, there are themed display rooms and a large central atrium with a life-size cast of a blue whale skeleton hanging from the roof. The room design is similar to the Capital Museum but on a smaller scale.
There is a good display of insects, including many types of butterflies and moths, as well as beetles, dragonflies, crickets etc, lots of sea-shells and other marine fauna, and even a couple of live tarantulas (behind glass, thankfully). If you like your animals stuffed, then there are plenty of birds and mammals to keep you occupied for a short while; I don’t think this is somewhere you need to spend any longer than a couple of hours in.
This is another museum which, at present, lacks English language displays so for anyone with a keen interest in the subject matter you would require a guide/translator (and a pretty good one at that given all the scientific jargon and Latin names!). Whilst there is a museum shop, it was poorly stocked on my visit and what there was was a bit pricey, in my opinion. Indeed, the entrance fee itself is comparatively high at 40rmb but that does include access to a 3D cinema show which lasts about 20 minutes – there is one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The afternoon one is more of a natural history documentary, I believe, but the morning one is a computer animation of someone crash-landing a plane in a jungle and getting into various scrapes with the wildlife. It is an interesting experience, with some synchronized seat movement and compressed air discharges adding to the effect, but it is not really suitable for very young children (mine got quite upset and had to leave before the end).
To sum up, it’s somewhere you can go to kill a little time and will probably enjoy if you like nature (albeit preserved), but it’s not an attraction that’s likely to top anyone’s list in Beijing, if indeed it even makes the list.
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