Shanghai World Expo 2010 - Waiting, Waiting, and More Waiting !

The Shanghai World Expo 2010 organizers wants this to be the biggest World Expo ever. The theme is quite fitting and timely - "Better City - Better Life". In this age of overcrowded streets, Global Warming and diminishing resources, we really need to find a better way to live, and hopefully this Expo will show the way. Unfortunately from my visit, I did not see anything life-changing or revolutionary in terms of technology. Maybe I did not look hard enough.

The Site for the Expo is more then 5 sq. km. It is the biggest Expo Site ever. More then 200 countries are represented. The Expo was opened on 30th April 2010 and will officially close on 31st October 2010. The organizers have set themselves an almost impossible goal of achieving a total of more then 70 million visitors. That means they need around 400,000 visitors everyday !

The visitor numbers in the initial weeks must have been a bit nerve wrecking for the organizers - it was below half the expected numbers required - averaging less then 200,000. Now the visitors have hit their stride - it is averaging above 300,000 per day, more then 500,000 on weekends !

With so many visitors, it is a given that you can't visit all the pavilions you want. The China Pavilion is limited to 60,000 visitors per day - and passes, though free, need to be collected from 5:00 a.m. in the morning. There is a long queue even to collect the passes.

If you are visiting the Expo, be prepared to wait, wait and wait some more. The waiting time to popular Pavilions average around 3 to 4 hours. I am not trying to discourage you from visiting, but you definitely need a good stamina, strong determination and great patience to make it through the long day. Some of the local visitors bring along portable chairs to ease their legs during the waits, but when nature calls I don't know what you are going to do ! If you leave the line, be prepared to queue again.

A Day Pass costing RMB 160 gives you a full day access to the Expo.

The main entrance to the Expo is from the Pudong side, and once you pass though the gate you will be faced with this gigantic shaded structure which is the "Expo Axis". This will be a permanent structure which will be used as a transport, commercial and exhibition space after the Expo. It has 3 main levels - an upper deck covered in fabric tent structures, and a lower deck which is like a shopping arcade with lots of shops, restaurants and cafes. There are 6 cone-shaped "sun valleys" which penetrate through all the levels to bring light into the internal spaces.

From the Expo Axis, elevated walkways provide connection to all the pavilions on the Pudong side. These walkways are well shaded by umbrella structures and are a great relieve from the hot sun. They also provide a nice vantage point to view the pavilions and expo grounds.

Be prepared to wait, wait and wait to enter the popular pavilions.


Paul Lau said…
I've got a simillar blog as yours too. Only thing different is mine's just purely food and drinks. Cheers!
Borneoboy said…
Hi Paul. Welcome to my blog.

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