Shameful marine zoo
This is, without doubt, the most revolting place I have visited in China - and that is saying something.
The place is raking in money, with coachloads of visitors paying RMB68 per person for entry, yet the whole place is falling to pieces and the cruelty to the animals in intolerable.
Dolphins and seals are kept in a shamefully small pool with murky water. I have never been keen on seeing dolphins or killer whales kept in captivity - even for research purposes - but this is simply obscene.
Nearby, at a crocodile enclosure, live chickens are lowered into the enclosure for the gratification of sadistic tourists. "Hey, fat ***! Why don't we just throw your wife in and we can all have a laugh". Nearby, a juvenile crocodile has its mouth taped shut so that these animals....errr....tourists can have their photograph taken with them.
In the "seabird aviary" peacocks, doves and chickens (errrrrr......never mind, forget it) wander around. The eggs of peacocks are immediately scooped up and cooked for the visitors.
In the aquarium hall, a small selection of fish are kept, again in murky water, often in tanks with cracked glass and insufficient lighting. Whole tanks are devoted to dead anenomes and coral. Most of the tanks are empty and broken.
The park is littered with detritus and rusting pieces of metal and broken concrete.
Unique Suggestions: Make it clear to people how disgusted you are with the place.
Fun Alternatives: It is difficult to suggest alternatives here in Sanya. The coral reefs are already damaged.
If you want to see good coral, then just check out the beachside vendors stands or wait for it to come to you in the hands of an ignorant hawker.
I empathise with the need to create sustainable livelihoods for people in poor areas, but the rape of the coral reefs and the cruelty to animals is unacceptable. This does not sit well with Sanya's trumpeting of it being "paradise".
If the pillage of the reefs continues, there will be no reefs, no animals, no reason for tourists to come, no jobs, no money.
Avoid purchasing anything from vendors
If you buy the fruit at local market, be ready for paying 1000g but only getting 500-800g. 800g is really lucky for you!
If you buy any souvenirs from street vendors, do not offer your price easily,otherwise you will be followed until you pay for it even you are not willing to buy it anymore.
Unique Suggestions: Do not bargain too much for a price not reasonable, you will pay for it later.
Do not easily consider a price reasonable comparing the one in your own country. They might ask for 10 times or more than the usual, you will definately be ripped off.
Wuzhizhou Island - NOT a place to dive
Paid RMB 580 for a 'boat dive' at Wuzhizhou Island (this excludes the RMB123 ferry ride). It was the worst diving experience ever.
Firstly, it was not a boat dive. We were taken by boat to a floating platform 30 meters out where we waited about 30 minutes before we entered the water (there were insufficient instructors).
Secondly, and more importantly, we were not given proper dive equipment. Fins were not provided. We were merely given wetsuits and booties before being ushered onto the boat. When I asked the instructor just before going into the water, he just said that we were supposed to ask for the fins back on the island! In the end, we had to dive without fins!
Third, the instructors were very unprofessional. After decending to the bottom of the sea (about 17 m) for 5 minutes, my instructor signalled for me to ascend. At the surface, he told me about the dangerous corals and fishes and told me not to touch any of those. Then he told me to descend again! In all my years diving across the world, I have not seen worse instructorship. I wonder if the instructors are qualified at all.
It was a terrible experience and I was not surprised when participants commented that their dives were disappointing.
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