expoboy

Just returned from Shanghai and Expo 2010

25 posts in this topic

Just back this morning from 7 days in Shanghai, 4 of them at Expo. The attendance has been below expectations since the first few days, around 200,000 per day. Even so, lines at pavilions are long . . . 4-5 hours for Saudi Arabia, 5 hours for Germany, 3 hours for Japan and Korea. Entry to the China pavilion is impossible. You must arrive about 3 hours before opening and hope to obtain a ticket to return later in the day at a specified time. Despite my best attempts, I never obtained the required entry ticket. According to news reports, officials are looking at altering the procedure for entry to the pavilion.

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Unless they are giving away free cars or houses I wouldn't wait on those lines. If things are that backlogged I'm going to seriously rethink about going. China is a long way to go to see 2-3 pavilions a day.

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I think most major Expos assume that 80-90% of visitors are going to be domestic- that is, citizens of the host country. And that's probably a safe rule of thumb.

Then put a major expo in the most populated country on earth, and long lines should be no surprise.

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Welcome home expoboy! Beyond the long lines, how did you like what you did get to see of Expo 2010? Any photos or interesting stories?

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Welcome home expoboy! Beyond the long lines, how did you like what you did get to see of Expo 2010? Any photos or interesting stories?

Thanks.

I'm still suffering major jet lag so haven't downloaded any photos yet. I got some great night shots. The Puxi portion of Expo, where the corporate pavilions are located, rivals Times Square and Las Vegas for neon light shows. Despite the long lines, I did see 51 pavilions, including the very popular Saudi Arabia, Japan, Spain, UK, Korea and US exhibits. The Saudi exhibit is an amazing total-surround 3D experience with a circular moving walk (shades of the Perisphere and Democracity at New York in 1939).

The pavilions are very large. Spain and Germany are nearly a block long. The UK's Seed Cathedral is almost a religious experience. The building has an other-wordly aura that is hard to describe. While the US Pavilion is no architectural masterpiece, the exhibit within, which stresses how diversity has played and will continue to play a key role in the way our cities develop, was much better than I had anticipated. Thailand had an audio-animatronic show. Many smaller pavilions with shorter wait times such as Chile, SAIC/GM, China Aviation, China Telecom and Poland were highlights. The big disappointment was not being able to gain access to the China Pavilion. As I mentioned, Expo officials are looking at improving the entry procedure. Germany and Spain are allowing rapid access if one provides passport stamps from their exhibits in the Best Urban Practices Area, a section of the fair where cities around the globe present "cases" for city planning.

While the lines for the most popular pavilions never dwindle, many exhibits such as Australia, Italy, France, etc., have much shorter lines after 7 p.m. or so. An odd thing is that the official guide is NOT available at the Expo site. I was finally able to locate a copy at the Urban Planning Museum on People's Square. Expo postcards are virtually non-existant. This may more a comment on the electronic communications age than on Expo itself.

I would not let the crowds deter me from visiting. Shanghai itself is well worth the visit. I was just astounded at the wait times since the overall Expo attendance had been much lower than expected. The local media was projecting an attendance of 35 million if attendance figures remain in the 200,000 a day range. I simply cannot imagine how different the experience would have been if the attendance had been in the anticipated range of 500,000 a day.

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Unless they are giving away free cars or houses I wouldn't wait on those lines. If things are that backlogged I'm going to seriously rethink about going. China is a long way to go to see 2-3 pavilions a day.

I'm with you Bill, this is really starting to look iffy for me now...

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That description of the Seed Cathedral sounds about right, From what i've seen it's gained incredible reviews.

No postcards? :( Those are a staple at any fair, regardless of if it's in the digital age.

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Everyone's got this link, right? http://en.expo.cn/indexn.html

It contains virtual tours of many of the pavilions (including GB and China).

Get to this screen, then click the "Enter" button:

post-19-127462829194_thumb.jpg

I took a virtual tour of China as well as the Seed Cathedral a few weeks ago (both AWESOME), but now I find that the download speed is 10 times slower, so I guess it's finally become overcrowded online!

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No postcards? :( Those are a staple at any fair, regardless of if it's in the digital age.

Yes, but the number produced has been declining dramatically over the decades. I had trouble finding some for Expo 2000 in Hanover, but finally got some.

At least the ones that are produced are usually VERY nicely done.

I'm working on a digital collection of postcards for the big Expo in Brussels in 1910 now. Thousands of different cards. But the biggest of all were the simultaneous Expos in 1915 in San Francisco and San Diego. So many postcards were produced it is said to have depleted card stock on the entire west coast of North America.

I took a virtual tour of China as well as the Seed Cathedral a few weeks ago (both AWESOME), but now I find that the download speed is 10 times slower, so I guess it's finally become overcrowded online!

Maybe they'll start issuing virtual front-of-the-line "fastpasses" to come back later at a designated time, thus duplicating the real world experience. :D

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Actually, I have been getting my virtual passport stamped today...got China and Urban City so far...seems to be a little better now...

You've GOT to check out the Shanghai Corporate Pavilion in Sector D! It's like it starts where the Hong Kong street in Coca-Cola at the 64/65 NYWF left off, but multiply that by 100 and you'll get the idea...

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Yes, but the number produced has been declining dramatically over the decades. I had trouble finding some for Expo 2000 in Hanover, but finally got some.

At least the ones that are produced are usually VERY nicely done.

I'm working on a digital collection of postcards for the big Expo in Brussels in 1910 now. Thousands of different cards. But the biggest of all were the simultaneous Expos in 1915 in San Francisco and San Diego. So many postcards were produced it is said to have depleted card stock on the entire west coast of North America.

Maybe they'll start issuing virtual front-of-the-line "fastpasses" to come back later at a designated time, thus duplicating the real world experience. :D

They have been issuing "fastpasses" for the China Pavilion since opening day. The catch is they are limited to 50,000 per day and you must be there AT LEAST three hours before opening of the fairgrounds to obtain one. There was vague talk of issuing reservation tickets for other popular pavilions. Saudi Arabia has machines in place but was not using them and there are reservation machines located throughout the grounds but they were only being used for the theme pavilions and were not really required as those exhibits were not particularly popular.

Once again, I would not be deterred from visiting Shanghai and Expo 2010 based on the crowds. I saw 50+ pavilions in 4 days. Just understand that there are exhibits you won't be able to see unless you have the time and patience to stand in line. This was true at Expo 70, Expo 92 and even Expo 2000, all of which I attended. From what I've read, it was also the case at Brussels in 1958 and Expo 67. I know Expo 67 tried a "fastpass" sort of arrangement during its first few weeks but found fairgoers even more frustrated after they stood in lengthy lines to obtain reservations only to find out the popular pavilions were "sold out" by the time they reached the front of the line.

The best plan is to get to Expo early, around 8 a.m., make a beeline for one of the popular exhibits and be prepared to stand in line for that exhibit. After that, concentrate on the other 90% of the pavilions which have much shorter wait-times. Then try returning to the popular pavilions in the early evening, around 7 p.m. and hope for slightly shorter lines (although this wasn't my experience; the lines were still long even at that hour).

Finally, for any true world's fair fan with the time and funds to go, Expo 2010 is a "must see" event!

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Thank you for the update, Expo! You're right, there's no substitute for actually being there. With the Chinese acumen for business, I'm surprised no one has thought of selling VIP passes that let you bypass the line...I'd certainly be willing to pay...

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Thank you for the update, Expo! You're right, there's no substitute for actually being there. With the Chinese acumen for business, I'm surprised no one has thought of selling VIP passes that let you bypass the line...I'd certainly be willing to pay...

I actually kept an eye out for people scalping China Pavilion tickets but had no luck. I'd have been willing to pay.

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I am unable to gain admittance to any virtual pavilion from my laptop. It for some reason wont respond when I click "Enter" and proceeds as if nothing happened.

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I am unable to gain admittance to any virtual pavilion from my laptop. It for some reason wont respond when I click "Enter" and proceeds as if nothing happened.

Joey, you probably need something with more graphics processing power. I have two PC's at home, and I had to use the one built for graphics development in order to view the interiors properly. Designers today just assume you have a somewhat powerful graphics card in your PC...

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Hello from Shanghai! I was at the Expo for the fist time yesterday. The number of visitors has been rising steadily and has stayed above 300,000 for the last four days. As a result, coupled with the clear blue sky but hotter weather, it was a pretty tiring day. I left at 7am and didn't get back till 10:30pm. What did I see? Not too much. I chose to hang around Zones D & E for the most part, as I have planned two more days to visit the more popular country pavilion zones. The grounds are so vast and spread out that it was not possible to get beyond Zone D. It did not help that I took a ferry to the other side to catch a show in the Expo Culture Center at 4pm, only to find out the limited seating meant one must have a ticket, which is free but being on a first come first served basis was long gone by the time I got there. Still, I managed to talk myself into the performing center and missed only 15 minutes of the spectacular show. We also saw another big-production show that mixes dancing with acrobatics at the Entertainment Hall right after lunch in Zone D, preceded by a Shaolin Monks show on an outdoor stage. Several corporate pavilions had long lines so we stayed away. That was our motto for the day - take it easy and pick lines that require less than 20 minutes wait time.

The Oil pavilion appears to be the most popular pavilion in Zone D as the lines were long all day and into the night, so we missed the supposedly amazing 4D show that the weak at heart and pregnant women are advised not to see. Our first pavilion, the closest to No.2 Gate from where we entered, is the Coke pavilion. The highlight of this pavilion is at the end of the visit where everyone gets a small bottle of Coke. The bottle is cute and is a keeper after enjoying the content. The most interesting pavilion we did is the Pavilion of Urban Footprint, one of the Theme Pavilions. In it you will find fine museum pieces from around the world on display. The World Exposition Pavilion is also interesting if you are into the history of Expo. Another pavilion I wanted to visit but missed because we run out of time is the China Railway Pavilion. As you may or may not know, China is fast becoming a world leader in high-speed rail travel. The CSSC Pavilion, short for China State Shipbuilding Cooporation, is also quite interesting. I would not waste time in other corporate pavilions which we chose to visit after dinner when lines got shorter. This include the Japan Industry pavilion, the Cisco pavilion, and the Korea business pavilion - all with long lines during the day. Some pavilions offer two versions to visit, one shorter than the other. The Space Home Pavilion is one and we chose the shorter version because the line was shorter, so it is hard to say if the longer version is worth a visit.

Getting to and from the Expo is very easy. Just take one of the many subway routes near your place of stay and you should be able to transfer your way, if necessary, to one of the gates. As others have pointed out, entry ticket into the China Pavilion is the most coveted item and the most difficult to obtain. At 300,000 plus a day, only less than 1 in 5 can expect to get their hands on a ticket. So, I am fully prepared to enjoy my remaining two days at the Expo without getting into the China pavilion. I'm not going to let that spoil an otherwise spectacular experience. For the photo/video buffs, don't miss the observation deck on the Space Ship, aka Expo Culture Center. You can pretty much see the site in every direction.

There is plenty of place to eat and drink, including Starbucks, and free drinking water is provided throughout the grounds. Just bring an empty bottle (drinks are not allowed into the park) and you are all set!

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Unless they are giving away free cars or houses I wouldn't wait on those lines. If things are that backlogged I'm going to seriously rethink about going. China is a long way to go to see 2-3 pavilions a day.

I agree Bill, but you probably know some media people and could get a press pass thru them. Then you would not have to wait in line. Of course you may be montored by the government and maybe even given a free tour guide observer to moniter your activities.

Also no one has mentioned yet that ifrolleyes.gif you pay thru the nose for a one day tour, you get a pass to the China Pavilion guarenteed.

I am disapointed as I tried to explain to the Chinese organizers that they should use an airline computer organized ticketing program to guarentee that people could see important pavilions without taking time away from visits to other pavilions. A part of that reservation system would be to limit multiple visits to popular pavilions, by the same person.

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I'm leaving for the Fair on July 7 - we have three days to see it. What would people recommend as the top 10 pavilions to see?

I should add that I love corporate exhibits - things like "The Wonderful World of Chemistry" and Futurama. Any blatant commercial stuff like that? =)

Mark

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I'm leaving for the Fair on July 7 - we have three days to see it. What would people recommend as the top 10 pavilions to see?

I should add that I love corporate exhibits - things like "The Wonderful World of Chemistry" and Futurama. Any blatant commercial stuff like that? =)

Mark

Yikes, that's a hard one. Forget about the Chinese Pavilion; unless they've changed the practice of handing out tickets to the first 50,000 people to pass through the many gates that day, you'll never get in. Saudi Arabia is pretty awesome but I've read the lines are up to 9 hours now. The SAIC/GM and Oil Industries corporate pavilions are two that I enjoyed; I'd put those on your list. Japan and Korea were both great but, once again, humongous lines. Being a fan of Scandinavian industrial design, I liked Denmark, Sweden and Finland quite a bit and the lines were fairly short when I was there. The UK Seed Cathedral is a must see also and the lines for that seemed to dwindle as the day went on. Luxembourg was interesting with beautiful gardens in its courtyard. Being that I work in the aviation industry, the Civil Aviation/China Eastern pavilion was interesting. As I mentioned before, the US Pavilion, once you get past the dull office/industrial park facade, was a pleasant surprise. If you like wine, Chile's pavilion was interesting and there was a good wine bar near the exit.

My suggestion is to be on the Metro around 8 a.m., buy your tickets at the gate then be prepared to wait in long lines to enter the fairgrounds proper.

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We just returned from Expo 2010 and were able to get "Golden Tickets" (tickets to the China Pavilion) by lining up at Gate 1 around 6am. We actually arrived on another day at a bit after 7am and received them as well. Unless things change, if you are one of the first 30-40 or so in line, you should get one. The wait in line was not bad, except for right at 7:00 when they open up the security line area there was a moment of people trying to rush the line. Once in the security line area there was no way to cut in line. Many people were sitting on little plastic stools and eating or chatting. That area is covered and there is a bit of cooling mist to keep people comfortable.

They were handing the tickets for the China Pavilion out as you came through the turnstile. Ours were for 2:30-3:30pm. Even with the tickets, we had to wait 90 minutes or so in line before we actually entered the pavilion. As with most of the pavilions, it was interesting, but not all sure it was worth the hassle. (Wish we could have passed on our second pair of tickets.)

We spent four day at the fair, but missed seeing many of the national pavilions due to lines. Crowds were up to the 500,000 level for some of the days we were in Shanghai (up to 400,000 one day we were at the Expo). We did enjoy spending much of our last day on the Puxi side, where things were a little quieter, especially in the Case Building area.

The Expo was definitely worth going to. The exteriors of the pavilions are more interesting that at Aichi and are eye-catching all lit up at night. Don't feel like you have to see all of the pavilions to make it worthwhile. For many of them we thought afterwards that they really wasn't worth the time we waited in line.

We were told that hotels are pretty well booked in Shanghai. It is pretty easy to take the metro and/or a taxi to the fairgrounds, so I think anywhere you can find a descent place and price should work.

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Great to hear you got into the China Pavilion. Just curious; why didn't you hand your second set of unused tickets to someone once you were past the gates? Is there some prohibition against doing so? I'm sure the lucky recipients would have been very grateful. Using Gate 1 was probably partly why you got those tickets. We entered through Gate 6 (nearest the China Pavilion) each day and never had any luck. Gate 1 (nearest the Expo Museum) must be less frequented so your chances were probably better there.

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Thank you all for keeping us updated on this amazing Expo. These posts are very interesting to me. Please keep us all informed with everything that is happening there. Thank you.

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Great to hear you got into the China Pavilion. Just curious; why didn't you hand your second set of unused tickets to someone once you were past the gates? Is there some prohibition against doing so? I'm sure the lucky recipients would have been very grateful.

I know too late to be practical use, but yes, there was a prohiobition about handing them on. We also received tickets on 2 days, and tried to decline them. Very hard to do as way beyond my spoken Mandarin, and required a lot of re-iteration of gratitude and appreciation of the pavilion (which I did like a lot). I'm glad we did persist make the effort to hand them back, but it wasn't easy.

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I just this topic subject line in 'recent posts' and thought--- wow, THREE YEARS to get back... they must have taken the slow boat from.... LOL :D

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