For American families, Guangzhou is the final step of the adoption process in China. Approximately 3,400 families took this step in 2010. Guangzhou is the location of the American Consulate that processes and issues visas for families adopting Chinese children. Families typically spend one week in Guangzhou waiting for visa processing and approval. There are many activities in Guangzhou to keep families busy during this week’s wait.
Do you or your children love animals? Visit China’s largest safari park – the Xiangjiang Safari Park. Over 20,000 animals call this zoo home, including nearly half of the world’s white tiger population. The zoo also boasts a rare set of koala twins. The Xiangjiang Safari Park is divided into two sections: Safari on Foot and Safari on Wheels. Safari on Foot is similar to most zoos in America. You and your family walk from one animal exhibit to the next. You will see activities, such as petting and feeding zoo animals, which are uncommon in America. It is at our own risk if you choose to participate in these activities. Safari on Wheels allows you to view animals in an open plain setting from the comfort of a train. If you are renting a private vehicle, you are allowed to drive it in this section. However this is not a popular choice among adoptive families, as most do not rent private vehicles in China.
If you or your children still want to see more animals, head over to the Guangzhou Zoo. It is the second largest zoo in southern China. Guangzhou Zoo has a wide range of animals but many of its enclosures are small and older. Several animal exhibits have been updated so it may be worth checking out if you have the time.
No trip to Guangzhou is complete without this next activity. Every American adoptive family needs to make a shopping visit to the Wal-mart Supercenter. Wait a minute. There is a Wal-mart located here? Yes! A Wal-mart Supercenter is located within the Baiyun District in Guangzhou. It caters to the local folks, but it is definitely worth a few hours of your time. You can even pick up a souvenir or two from your China Wal-mart experience.
The above examples are just a few of the many activities available in Guangzhou. Keep a look out for my next post as I will talk about more ways to spend your week in Guangzhou.