Shanghai - Quick Tips on Visiting World Expo 2010

For those of you making a trip to the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, here are some quick tips to get you going:

  1. Go on weekdays to avoid the weekend crowd. Average crowd on weekday - 300,000, on weekends - over 400,000.
  2. Wear a hat with a wide enough brim to cover your face. Wear sunglasses to cut off the glare.
  3. Use plenty of sun-block.
  4. Wear your most comfortable pair of shoes. Comfort is much more important then fashion in this case, as you will be walking and walking and walking all day !
  5. Water cannot be brought into the Expo site, but bring an empty bottle to fill up at the many water fountains around the Site. You can also buy mineral water at a reasonable RMB 3.00 everywhere.
  6. You can bring food into the Expo Site - but why bother. There are lots of food outlets inside, some offering items you will normally have to queue at other locations to buy - e.g. the famous Nanxian Xiou Long Bao. Prices are also very reasonable.
  7. When you get tired, find a nice place for a cup of coffee or drink to rest and relax.
  8. Have a walk around the Site to see which are the pavilions you are interested in - then go back when the crowd gets thinner.
  9. Waits at the most popular pavilions can be as long as 3 to 4 hours. Go to the less popular ones - you will find some gems.
  10. Elevated walkways provide access to all the pavilions. Use these as they are will shaded - or walk under the elevated walkways which provide plenty of shade.
  11. Free shuttle buses run along the main thoroughfares of the Expo Site. Use these if you want to go to the other end of the Site.
  12. Toilets are clean and plentiful. Use the ones near the pavilions and not at the main entrance spine as these are less busy and are better maintained.
  13. Crowds thin out after 4.00 p.m. You will have better chance getting into the popular pavilions in the evenings.
  14. Outside of the pavilions are more interesting then the insides. Most displays inside the pavilions are just LCD displays or a few half-hearted exhibits. Most of the money and effort has been put on the outside.
  15. Go to the Chile and New Zealand Pavilions. 2 of the best !
  16. Must go to the Observation Deck at the Performing Arts Centre (The Flying Saucer). Great view of the Huangpu River and the Asian/ Middle Eastern Side of the Expo Site.
  17. To get into the China Pavilion - go to the Expo Entrance and queue at 5.00 a.m. Entrance passes will be given out at 7.00 a.m. and you can enter the Site at 9.00 a.m. (I skipped the China Pavilion, but some more determined travel mates managed to get in)
  18. Allow at least 2 days at the Expo. 3 days would be optimum. Take your time. It is the atmosphere and the crowd that is the most memorable part of the Expo experience.
  19. Check the performance programmes. Lots of interesting shows around the Expo site.
  20. In most cases, the external design of the pavilions are more interesting then what's inside. If you can’t get in because of the lines, don’t fret – as you’ve probably seen the best part.


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