Melania Trump views pandas, visits Great Wall of China in busy day of tourism

BEIJING, Nov 10 (Reuters) - As U.S. President Donald Trump left Beijing on Friday for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vietnam, first lady Melania stayed behind to play tourist, viewing pandas at a zoo and visiting the Great Wall of China.

At the Beijing Zoo, the 47-year-old former model fed a giant panda named Gu Gu and learned about his nutrition and training.

She greeted a group of school children waving miniature Chinese and American flags, handing out stuffed toy eagles after watching the children sing a Chinese folk song at the panda enclosure.

"Thank you very much," she said.

Click through to see images of Melania Trump throughout this Asia trip:

37 PHOTOS
Melania Trump throughout the trip to Asia
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Melania Trump throughout the trip to Asia
U.S. first lady Melania Trump visits the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China, in Beijing November 10, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas Peter TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania arrive in Seoul, South Korea, November 7, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
First Lady of the United States Melania Trump is welcomed by Japan's First Lady Akie Abe as she arrives at Mikimoto Ginza Main Store for a cultural event in the fashionable Ginza district of Tokyo, Japan November 5, 2017. REUTERS/David Mareuil/Pool
U.S. first lady Melania Trump sits with Japan's first lady Akie Abe during her visit to Mikimoto Pearl head shop in Tokyo's Ginza district, Japan, November.5, 2017. REUTERS/Katsumi Kasahara/Pool
U.S. President Donald Trump and his wife Melania Trump are welcomed by Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife Akie Abe with a dinner at Ginza Ukai Tei in Tokyo, Japan November 5, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump, second right, and First Lady Melania Trump, left, are welcomed by Emperor Akihito, second right, and Empress Michiko, right, upon their arrival at the Imperial Palace Monday, Nov. 6, 2017 in Tokyo. REUTERS/Eugene Hoshiko/Pool
U.S. President Donald Trump (3rd R) talks with Japan's Emperor Akihito (L) while his wife Melania (3rd R) talks with Empress Michiko (R) at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Japan November 6, 2017. REUTERS/Issei Kato
U.S. President Donald Trump, second left, and First Lady Melania Trump, left, are welcomed by Emperor Akihito, second right, and Empress Michiko, right, upon their arrival at the Imperial Palace Monday, Nov. 6, 2017 in Tokyo.REUTERS/Eugene Hoshiko/Pool
U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive on Air Force One at U.S. Air Force Yokota base in Fussa, on the outskirts of Tokyo, Japan, November 5, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive on Air Force One at U.S. Air Force Yokota base in Fussa, on the outskirts of Tokyo, Japan, November 5, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Visiting US First Lady Melania Trump wrote a calligraphy with a help of a school girl while attending a calligraphy class of 4th grader with Akie Abe, wife of Japanese prime minister, at the Kyobashi Tsukiji elementary school in Tokyo on November 6, 2017. Melania and Akie wrote characters together meaning "Peace". REUTERS/Toshifumi Kitamura/Pool
Visiting US First Lady Melania Trump writes a calligraphy while attending a calligraphy class of 4th graders with Akie Abe (R), wife of Japanese prime minister, at the Kyobashi Tsukiji elementary school in Tokyo on November 6, 2017. Melania and Akie wrote characters together meaning "Peace". REUTERS/Toshifumi Kitamura/Pool
US First Lady Melania Trump poses with Japanese First Lady Akie Abe before their lunch at the Akasaka Palace in Tokyo, Japan, 06 November 2017. REUTERS/Franck Robichon/Pool
U.S. first lady Melania Trump and Japan's first lady Akie Abe visit Kyobashi Tsukiji elementary school in Tokyo, Japan, November 6, 2017. REUTERS/Ma Ping/Pool
U.S. first lady Melania Trump and Japan's first lady Akie Abe visit Kyobashi Tsukiji elementary school in Tokyo, Japan, November 6, 2017. REUTERS/Ma Ping/Pool
U.S. first lady Melania Trump and Japan's first lady Akie Abe visit Kyobashi Tsukiji elementary school in Tokyo, Japan, November 6, 2017. REUTERS/Ma Ping/Pool
U.S. first lady Melania Trump and President Donald Trump arrive for an official dinner thrown in their honor by Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Akasaka Palace in Tokyo, Japan November 6, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania board Air Force One as they depart for Seoul, at U.S. Air Force Yokota base in Fussa, on the outskirts of Tokyo, Japan, November 7, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai
U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania board Air Force One as they depart for Seoul, at U.S. Air Force Yokota base in Fussa, on the outskirts of Tokyo, Japan, November 7, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai
U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania arrive in Seoul, South Korea, November 7, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. first lady Melania Trump and South Korea's first lady Kim Jung-sook walk at the Presidential Blue House in Seoul, South Korea, November 7, 2017. REUTERS/Jeon Heon-Kyun/Pool
U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive at the National Cemetery in Seoul, South Korea, November 8, 2017. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
U.S. President Donald Trump and U.S. first lady Melania visit the Forbidden City with China� President Xi Jinping in Beijing, China, November 8, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump and U.S. first lady Melania visit the Forbidden City with China's President Xi Jinping in Beijing, China, November 8, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump and U.S. first lady Melania visit the Forbidden City with China's President Xi Jinping and China's First Lady Peng Liyuan in Beijing, China, November 8, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. first lady Melania Trump and Chinese first lady Peng Liyuan applaud during the Banchang Primary School in Beijing, China, Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017. REUTERS/Ng Han Guan/Pool
U.S. First Lady Melania Trump assists a student to adorn a gown near China's First Lady Peng Liyuan during their visit to the Banchang Primary School in Beijing, China, November 9, 2017. REUTERS/Ng Han Guan/Pool
U.S. first lady Melania Trump, and Chinese first lady Peng Liyuan, left look as a Chinese student perform Chinese opera during their visit to the Banchang Primary School in Beijing, China, Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017. REUTERS/Ng Han Guan/Pool
U.S. first lady Melania Trump visits Beijing Zoo in Beijing, China, November 10, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas Peter
U.S. first lady Melania Trump talks to children during her visit to Beijing Zoo in Beijing, China, November 10, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas Peter
U.S. first lady Melania Trump poses for photos with children in front of a panda section as she visits Beijing Zoo in Beijing, China, November 10, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas Peter
U.S. first lady Melania Trump leaves well wishes on a board after visiting the panda enclosure at the zoo in Beijing, China, November 10, 2017. REUTERS/Ng Han Guan/Pool
U.S. first lady Melania Trump visits the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China, in Beijing November 10, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas Peter
U.S. first lady Melania Trump visits the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China, in Beijing November 10, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas Peter
U.S. first lady Melania Trump visits the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China in Beijing, China, November 10, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas Peter
U.S. first lady Melania Trump visits the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China in Beijing, China, November 10, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas Peter
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Melania then signed a panda print, writing: "Thank you to the Beijing Zoo! Wonderful to meet Gu Gu! Melania Trump."

Later in the afternoon, Melania walked along part of the Mutianyu section of the more than 20,000-km (12,400-mile) long Great Wall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where China frequently takes visiting heads of state and their spouses.

As with previous first ladies, Melania has used her platform to champion public causes, such as the prevention of childhood bullying and combating the opioid epidemic in the United States.

Playing a prominent supporting role on the president's multi-leg Asia visit, she won praise on Chinese social media, with comparisons to China's glamorous first lady, Peng Liyuan, and comments on her apparent ease in navigating the ancient cobblestones of the Forbidden City in super-high stilettos upon arrival in Beijing on Wednesday.

Accompanied by Peng, Melania watched a cultural performance, painted pandas and participated in a cooking class at a primary school on Thursday.

Many on China's Twitter-like Weibo applauded Melania's grace and sense of style, as well as her cultural sensitivity.

In China, she wore mostly austere coats and dark gowns from Dolce & Gabbana and Alexander McQueen, in contrast with her magenta Delpozo outfit and electric-blue heels upon landing in South Korea days before.

But most in China said they remained bigger fans of their own first lady, often affectionately referred to online as Peng Mama, which roughly translates as Mother Peng.

"I still think Mama oozes more grace, while also exuding a motherly air!" one Weibo poster said.

RELATED: First lady Melania Trump with children

24 PHOTOS
First lady Melania Trump with children
See Gallery
First lady Melania Trump with children
WASHINGTON, DC - In the White House Kitchen Garden, First Lady Melania Trump plants and harvests vegetables with children from the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Washington on the White House grounds in Washington DC Friday September 22, 2017. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - In the White House Kitchen Garden, First Lady Melania Trump plants and harvests vegetables with children from the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Washington on the White House grounds in Washington DC Friday September 22, 2017. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - JULY 13: United States First Lady Melania Trump speaks with children as she visits Necker Hospital for children on July 13, 2017 in Paris, France. The United States of America President Donald Trump and his wife are on a 2 days visit to Paris. (Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump (R), Barron Trump (C), and US first lady Melania Trump board Air Force One before departing from Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on June 30, 2017. Trump is heading to Bedminster, New Jersey to spend the weekend at his golf club. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, D.C. - JUNE 11: (AFP-OUT) U.S. President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump and their son Barron Trump arrive at the White House June 11, 2017 in Washington, DC. According to reports, Melania and Barron will soon be moving from Trump Tower in New York City to the White House. (Photo by Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images)
Brussels, may 25, 2017 NATO Summitt: US First Lady Melania Trump visits the Children's Hospital Queen Fabiola pict. by POOL � Photo News via Getty images
U.S. first lady Melania Trump visits the Queen Fabiola Children's University hospital in Brussels, Belgium, May 25, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah Mckay
US First Lady Melania Trump (C) meets patients as she visits the Queen Fabiola children's hospital, on the sidelines of the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) summit, on May 25, 2017, in Brussels. US President Donald Trump meets NATO and EU leaders for the first time with the US president set to press nervous allies to do more on terrorism after the Manchester bombing. / AFP PHOTO / Aurore Belot (Photo credit should read AURORE BELOT/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - US First Lady Melania Trump (R) poses for a selfie as she visits the Queen Fabiola children's hospital, on the sidelines of the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) summit, on May 25, 2017, in Brussels. US President Donald Trump meets NATO and EU leaders for the first time with the US president set to press nervous allies to do more on terrorism after the Manchester bombing. / AFP PHOTO / Aurore Belot (Photo credit should read AURORE BELOT/AFP/Getty Images)
First Lady Melania Trump visits the American International School in the Saudi capital Riyadh on May 21, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / GIUSEPPE CACACE (Photo credit should read GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images)
First Lady Melania Trump visits the American International School in the Saudi capital Riyadh on May 21, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / GIUSEPPE CACACE (Photo credit should read GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images)
US First Lady Melania Trump takes part in an activity with children during the opening ceremony for the Healing Garden at the Children's National Medical Center on April 28, 2017 in Washington, DC. / AFP PHOTO / Mandel Ngan (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
US First Lady Melania Trump takes part in an activity with children during the opening ceremony for the Healing Garden at the Children's National Medical Center on April 28, 2017 in Washington, DC. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Barron Trump waves while standing with US First Lady Melania Trump and US President Donald Trump during the Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House April 17, 2017 in Washington, DC. / AFP PHOTO / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, USA - JANUARY 20: Melania Trump, wife of President-elect Donald Trump, smooths the tie of her son, Barron, during the 58th U.S. Presidential Inauguration where her husband will be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States of America and she will become the First Lady in Washington, USA on January 20, 2017. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
U.S. First Lady Melania Trump reads a book to children during the annual Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, April 17, 2017. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania presided over their first Easter Egg Roll, a 139-year-old White House tradition. Photographer: Olivier Douliery/Pool via Bloomberg
U.S. first lady Melania Trump smiles with children holding U.S. and China flags as she visits Beijing Zoo in Beijing, China, November 10, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas Peter TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
U.S. first lady Melania Trump talks to children during her visit to Beijing Zoo in Beijing, China, November 10, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas Peter
U.S. first lady Melania Trump visits Beijing Zoo in Beijing, China, November 10, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas Peter
US First Lady Melania Trump (R) and China's First Lady Peng Liyuan (L)are surrounded by students after a cultural performance during a visit to Banchang Primary School in Beijing on November 9, 2017. REUTERS/Greg Baker/Pool
U.S. First Lady Melania Trump and China's First Lady Peng Liyuan visit a fashion class during their visit to the Banchang Primary School in Beijing, China, November 9, 2017. REUTERS/Ng Han Guan/Pool
U.S. First Lady Melania Trump (C) and China's First Lady Peng Liyuan (L) are escorted by a student after a cultural performance during a visit to Banchang Primary School in Beijing on November 9, 2017. REUTERS/Greg Baker/Pool
U.S. First Lady Melania Trump (C) and China's First Lady Peng Liyuan (R) listen as a student speaks in an architecture class during a visit to Banchang Primary School in Beijing on November 9, 2017. REUTERS/ Greg Baker/Pool
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Chinese social media sites are policed more heavily than normal during important political events, with negative or sensitive matter swiftly blocked or removed by internet censors.

As Trump departed, he said on Twitter his wife's next stop would be Alaska, where she would "greet our AMAZING troops."

However, Trump's daughter and adviser Ivanka, who is very popular in China, did not accompany her father, to the disappointment of fans. (Reporting by Philip Wen; Additional reporting by Thomas Suen, Ryan Woo and Liangping Gao; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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