Tuesday, April 23, 2019

When in China: Dinosaur Park

China is one of the fastest growing countries in the world. With more and more cities being developed, infrastructures being built and citizens rising from poverty, it's hard to be not impressed by what China has accomplished in just a short period. I am always at awe whenever I go to Canton Fair, one of China's biggest trade shows held twice a year for it has everything in at least twos. And just when I thought China has everything, I had no idea that it also includes having its own version of Jurassic Park!

Hello, Dinosaur Land.
Located at Changzhou City, Jiangsu Province, this compound which covers theme park, hotel and even spa, is a gem worth checking out!
We visited its spa, Dino-Valley Hot Spring Resort, first after dinner at a nearby restaurant and our tour guide, Jimmy, managed to arrange an hour extension for us to use the facilities as the place closes at 9 p.m. and we arrived at the restaurant around 7 p.m.. Tickets cost 228 RMB or PHP1,824 per person.
There are several man-made hot springs which is shared by both men and women. The spa is strict with swimwear attire but swimming cap is not required (unlike in most Chinese hotels' pool area). 
Similar to our very own Ace Water Spa, there's an area that offers hydrotherapy. But Dino-Valley Hot Spring Resort offer more as it also has wine, milk and other "flavored" or "scented" hot springs where you could dip and relax. There are also hot springs dedicated for certain concerns and ailments. 
Most of us stayed pretty long at the slimming hot spring!
Expect each hot spring to be at 39 to 42 degrees Celsius. Note that this it's a bit too hot for comfort for many and make sure that you stay in each one for at most 20 minutes.
I struggled communicating with the staff at the resort though who only understand Mandarin. I had to draw a toilet for me to get directions to the nearest washroom. I also had to use Google Translator (I hope it didn't fail me then) when I lost my ring, which I wasn't able to recover. 
Despite being lost in translation, I had a great time at the hot springs which also has some cool dinosaur decor. 
We headed straight to Dinoman Hotel after which is just a few meters away from the resort.
It could be a bit challenging to find the hotel entrance at night but just look for the tallest building and you'll find your way.
The reception area is very impressive! High ceiling with some pterodactyls hanging, sleek couches and high back chairs with a raptor to keep you company, the ones managing this hotel sure put a lot of thought into its interiors.
There's a projector in our hotel tower where guests get to virtually interact with all sorts of dinosaurs. I bet kids love this. 
A small open area by the elevator showcases other robotic dinosaurs perfect for photo ops and videos. 
I wasn't expecting much from our hotel room (room prices start at 950 RMB [PHP7,600], single occupancy, 1300 RMB [PHP10,400], double occupancy) but wow... this is probably one of the best hotels I've stayed at in China. 
Our room could fit a family of four and it is equipped with king size bed, bean bags, bath robes for adults and kids, dinosaur fleece blanket, spacious bathroom with shower and heated toilet with bidet. 
Toiletries are also provided and even includes these cute cups!
Breakfast is in another building but just a few steps away from our hotel tower.
I also took it as an opportunity to keep myself cozy with the cute blanket. 
The buffet has a good selection of Asian dishes. My favorites are these adorable steamed buns!
We checked out before lunch and had our luggage kept at the reception and went straight to Dinosaur Land
This theme park opened to the public in April 2001 and is among the largest theme parks in China. Single use ticket costs 115 RMB [PHP920] but I heard that annual tickets are really cheap too and something locals in the area avail.
The massive amusement park is divided into several areas with zoning it into areas for kids and adults. 
There are a great number of rides for young kids but most seem to suit young teens and adults due to height restrictions. 
Since I wasn't at my best, I only rode a few rides including the scariest ride in the park, Dinoconda. No photos though of the ride as it is pretty insane. And the park's very strict with loose items. We have to put our stuff in the lockers provided and I even had to tie my hair in a bun. Here's a POV video of the ride. 
Those not fond of rides could take part in some carnival games and win prizes like stuffed animals or watch the seal show which is near Dinoconda. 
There's also a 4D show and Magic Theater. But both are in Chinese.
There are restaurants too inside the park and set meals cost about 58 RMB (PHP464) and includes rice or pasta plate with drink or soup.
And don't forget to check out the park's souvenir shop for cute finds.
If you're more into shopping, check out the outlet shops outside Dinosaur Park and go crazy over Adidas, Nike, DJI, and many more.
I wish we could have stayed longer but we had to head to Wuxi for our next stop. 
Dinosaur Land is located at No. 60, East Hehai Road, Xinbei District of Changzhou City, Jiangsu Province.

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