In Macau, those seeking to reconnect with nature will find a range of verdant parks to immerse themselves in. Covering an area of 198,000 square meters, Seac Pai Van Park with its Macau Giant Panda Pavilion is one of the most-loved by locals and visitors alike. One can easily spend close to a day in the park in order to thoroughly explore what it has to offer. A zoo, playgrounds, a trail, and a museum are just some of the attractions awaiting visitors. If you are planning on where to go with the kids over the weekend, consider this place as it can be both fun and educational. We’ve put together a comprehensive guide to the Macau Giant Panda Pavilion along with Seac Pai Van Park so you’ll have an easier time planning a visit next time!
1. See Macau’s Fluffy Celebrities
Drawing a great deal of attention from locals and visitors, the giant pandas are inarguably the city’s mascots. The Macau Giant Panda Pavilion is home to four: Kai Kai, Xin Xin (which stands for “happy” when put together in Mandarin), and their twins Jian Jian and Kang Kang. The former pair, natives of Chengdu, was gifted to Macau on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the city’s return to the motherland by President Xi Jinping.
The spacious fan-shaped pavilion, built along the hill and in harmony with the natural landscape, is comprised of two indoor and two outdoor areas both open to the general public. Two viewing paths set at different heights offer a view into the green scenery and its popular tenants. The happy family spends most of their time munching on bamboo, the main source of their diet. These fluffy large-eyed mammals are effortlessly cute and it takes them little to no effort to have their visitors enthusiastically smiling and cooing at their antics.
Visitors should note that designated time slots are set to visit the Macau Giant Panda Pavilion. Each ticket grants a one hour visit starting between 10:00am and 1:00pm and 2:00pm to 5:00pm sharp. Tickets cost MOP $10 for paying attendees, while visitors under 12 and over 65 are granted free entrance. Tickets may be purchased inside the gift shop located by the park’s middle entrance. The pavilion is closed every Monday.
2. Visit a Small Zoo
There’s no doubt the lovely pandas are the lead, however animal life at Seac Pai Van Park goes far beyond their black and white stars. Right outside the giant pandas’ pavilion is the rare animal zone where visitors can meet a golden snub-nosed monkey plus two adorable red pandas. The reddish-brown furred pandas from Southwestern China have shaggy tails and invariably seem to always be camera-ready.
Furthermore, the park is divided into areas that accommodate different types of animals. Adjacent to the rare animal zone, primates like ring-tailed lemurs, squirrel monkeys, and a pig-tailed monkey climb, swing, play or even interact with their audience. A few steps ahead, on the way leading up to the Information Centre, colorful parakeets, and further up there’s a dragonfly and butterfly zone followed by a walk-in aviary. This is a massive birdcage with over a thousand square meters where several birds like peacocks wander freely. Across, lies a big fish pond in which fishes and a few swans are kept, with neighboring bathing flamingos. Lastly, close to the medicinal plant garden roams a pair of ostriches–the largest bird on the planet.
3. Natural and Agrarian Museum
This museum is fairly small. A visit would take under an hour and some areas will take visitors on kind of a time journey, showcasing farming artifacts from days gone by. The museum is divided into five sections: the geography of Macau, farming tools and farm living, specimens of animals and specimens of flora.
Those visiting the Natural and Agrarian Museum may expect to find interesting specimens such as the largest seed in the world (which belongs to a palm tree), pieces of trunks showing the trees’ annual growth rings, or some cool fossils.
Opening hours: 10:00am– 5:00pm; closed on Mondays except holidays
4. Macao Giant Panda Information Centre
The Macao Giant Panda Information Centre, set at Seac Pai Van Park, was created to educate the public on the giant panda. The center is dedicated to sharing curious aspects of their life, as well as providing an insight into the substantial effort implied in the breeding and general care of these big yet vulnerable beings. Posters and videos are set up in a way that is simultaneously appealing, informative, and easy to digest, making it a suitable activity for adults and kids.
The arrival of twins Jian Jian and Kang Kang, born in the Macao Giant Panda Pavilion in 2016, marked an important milestone for the conservation work being done at the park and for the city itself. The highlight of the exhibition is a panda diary with pictures from day one onwards documenting interesting facts about the development of the youngsters. From pinkish cubs weighing little over a hundred grams to big-eyed babies able to crawl at three months old and tree climbers in training at five months old, it’s just wonderful to see the evolution of Macau’s own pandas.
5. Get Moving
Set on a hill in Coloane, it only makes sense that Seac Pai Van Park includes a trail in the shape of an educational walk. With a total length of 1,680 meters, this trail starts off beside the Nature and Agrarian Museum and has four different paths that allow visitors to customize their walk. To make it easy, direction plates are placed across the route. All through the path, the abundant vegetation is labeled, hence the educational part of it. A few pavilions offer beautiful views from above, some shade, and a seat to rest at. A stream flows downhill, making this trail extra relaxing thanks to the sound of running water.
Designed to showcase the abundant native vegetation as well as several introduced plants from Southern China, the trail Garden of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants is embedded in the main trail. The winding path leads visitors through different areas featuring flora associated with a specific ecosystem such as wetland or bamboo grove. This short ecological walk is easy to go on with kids, who are sure to love hopping on stones or take a footbridge to get to the other side of the stream. The Garden of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants trail is accessible through a staircase between the kids’ playground and the picnic area.
An outdoor fitness area is available near the picnic area as well. This facility includes a pavilion where one can do some stretching, yoga, or tai chi.
6. Bar and Picnic Area
Being out and about in the park, especially on hot humid summer days, will have any of us in the mood for food. There is a small bar selling quick bites such as ham and egg sandwich, cup noodles, and fried chicken thigh, as well as ice creams for dessert and drinks like milk tea, ice lemon tea, and coffee. A seating area is available just outside the bar.
If by lunchtime you are done with your visit you might consider making your way to one of the restaurants in the neighboring Coloane Village. Some places are definitely worth a visit. Since recently, it is possible to walk from the park to the village, as there are now sidewalks throughout the whole route.
However, why not elevate your day at the park turning it into a picnic day? In case you’re visiting Seac Pai Van Park with little ones a picnic will surely add up to the fun. Prep some finger foods, fruits, and drinks beforehand and enjoy your meal to the sound of chirping birds. After lunch, the little ones may enjoy the playground while parents keep them within sight of the picnic area.
Tips to Know
Seac Pai Van Park has three entrances: the main one in the center facing Seac Pai Van road, one close to On Son bus station, and one close to Seac Pai Van Park bus station (even though the latter is currently closed). It’s quite easy to get there by taking a public bus; numbers 21A, 25, 50 and 26A stops just a few steps away. There’re also a few parking spots beside Seac Pai Van Park bus station. Located nearby the main entrance, a nursing room is available too.
Seac Pai Van Park Estrada de Seac Pai Van, Coloane
Also read: Best Places to Eat at in Coloane