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Shanghai expo - travel tips2
Shanghai EXPO – Travel Tips
From Jimmy Lo (June, 2010)
With our 2.5 days in Shanghai Expo 9-11 June and experience of our "past 60"
members, some observations and suggestions
We ate in ALL the restaurants and queued/visited most of the pavilions mentioned in
1. Country Pavilions in Zone A, B & C
1.1 Avoid any country pavilion that has queuing time of over 2 hour. Not worth
wasting the time. Those with 2+ hours waiting time:
- Saudi Arabia with 360 deg immersion video effect. 4+ hours: - UK with the
extraordinary outlook but nothing much to see inside. 3+ hours;
- Switzerland with cable car from rooftop down. 3+ hours;
- HK with the good design inside by the students of IVE. 2+ hours;
- Japan, Korea, Germany, USA all need 3+ hours queuing time.
: 2+ hours. One of the very creative architecture with whole pavilion
covered in rattan mats made in Shangdong. Good tapas in the restaurant with
separate entrance and no waiting time. Nice to have a la carte food and wine (ham,
seafood rice, garlic prawn, beef, lamb, sengria, etc. about RMB100/person without
wine) in the restaurant and appreciate the special architecture. Cannot go into pavilion
via the restaurant. BUT from "small alley info", if you have dinner and buy ticket for the
Flamingo dance in the evening, you can gain access to the pavilion. We learnt of this
: also one of the very creative architecture. Almost no waiting time.
At the entrance is the "Gold Lady", the icon of Luxemburg (same status as the
mermaid for Denmark but much less well known) which is in the parliament of
Luxemburg. For the first time being exhibited outside of Luxemburg.
Good position to take photo of UK pavilion from the rooftop of this pavilion. But need
to use zoom lens. Good venue to have afternoon tea and relax in the ground floor
patio outside the restaurant under shade. WE ALREADY HAVE TO QUEUE UP BUT
ONLY 30 MIN. THE RESTAURANT INSIDE IS GOOD BUT NO SHORTCUT TO
: if you can get group ticket from tour agent, you still have to wait 1 hour
(730pm slot)to 2+ hours (daytime slot) to get in. While waiting with moving in the
ground floor podium, can photo and appreciate the architecture of the pavilion. The
only worth seeing exhibit is the 12/F (the lift will take you to this top floor as the first
stop) "Qing Ming animated scroll". You can spend as much time up there to appreciate
the details. The "day to night scenery" repeats every 4 minutes. All the exhibits in all
the lower floors are not worth spending a minute. SO NOT WORTHWHILE TO GO
IN NOW SINCE IT IS A PERMANENT PAVILION. WAIT TILL THE CROWD IS OVER.
2. Zone D and Zone E
The area of these 2 zones used to be the site of "Jiang Nan Ship Yard" and Shanghai
South City Power Generation Plant. Some pavilions are converted from the high
ceiling ship building hangers. Examples are the Japan Industrial pavilion and Urban
Footprint pavilion in Zone D as well as the China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation
pavilion in Zone E. Theme and Enterprise pavilions in these 2 zones are worth visiting.
Average waiting time is 30 minutes or less.
2.1 World Expo Museum pavilion
: 20 minutes. Converted from shipyard. 150-year
history of Expo from the start with exhibits from those Expo and articles reflecting that
era. The only museum at present in the world about history of World Expo.
2.2 Urban Footprint pavilion
: 30 minutes. one of the 5 theme pavilion in
Expo. Cultural treasures (mural replica as well as genuine articles) from Dunhuang
to various periods in China and the world. Books on history of Expo, sites of Expo
are available. SOME EXHIBITS FROM FAMOUS MUSUEMS IN THE WORLD.
2.3 China Oil pavilion
: 1+ hour. 4000 sq m of LED wall covering the outside wall of
the whole pavilion. Spectacular at night. 4-D movie inside about oil and usage of oil in
everyday life. WHEN WE GOT IN AT 9:30AM, THE QUEUE WAS ALREADY 4.5
2.4 China Railway pavilion
: very nice model of old steam locomotive and carriage
2.5 Japan Enterprise pavilion
: 2+ hours. No need to go in. This is next to Urban
Footprint pavilion of 2.2. Look at the 3 climbing robots climbing up and down the
2.6 State Grid pavilion
: 20 minutes. 720 deg LED screen to experience how natural
energy sources being transformed into usable energy for human being.
2.7 Aurora pavilion
: 15 minutes. A private Taiwan enterprise but whole pavilion
devoted to show traditional Chinese culture, especially jade. 4D image of 40+ jades in
Taiwan National museum from "red hill" civilization to Qing dynasty.
2.8 China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation pavilion
: 30 minutes. But
worthwhile. "Jiang Nan Manufacturing Bureau" was formed by Li Hung Cheung to
build warships, guns and barrels after the Boxer Rising in order to modernize China.
Then changed to "Jiang Nan Ship Yard" after the Qing Dynasty. Hanger with moving
crane and hooks still preserved. After Expo, this pavilion will be converted to "Jiang
Nan Ship Yard" museum. Stamp album (RMB300) with stamps of this ship yard and
Shanghai Expo available from gift shop inside.
2.9 SAIC-GM pavilion
: 1.5+ hour. BUT
- can pre book visit time "day after tomorrow" using www.our2030.com or
- pre book time of same day at the machine next to the pavilion entrance from 9am
using the Expo Entrance card. Usually day time slots are full. Late afternoon time from
630pm always available. 30 minutes each session. Last entrance slot is 10pm. The
various technologies of car making such as welding, painting all being used to build
this pavilion from outside to inside. Also experience the feeling of driving in 2030 in the
theatre inside. WE ARE NOT ALLOWED TO CHOOSE TIME OF VISIT WHEN WE
TRIED TO PRE-BOOK. WE WENT THERE ONCE WE GOT IN AND SPENT
2.10 Private Enterprises Joint Pavilion
: 10 minutes. The creative show inside the
theatre is one of the best in the Expo. YES, VERY GOOD SHOW.
2.11 Pavilion of Future
: 20 minutes. Converted from the main generating hall of the
Shanghai South City Power Plant with a very tall chimney used as a thermometer to
tell the temperature of Expo. The first building in China converted from old plant to a
"stage 3 green building". While waiting outside the pavilion, the wall of the plant is
decorated with Chinese word "City" in different writing style from "oracle" to "cursive"
style. The 35 meter high LED screen in the "Fantasy World" inside is impressive.
2.12 Smart Life in HK inside pavilion B4 in UBPA area
: Smart Card life in HK.
Interactive large touch screen designed by lecturer of IVE.
3. Night scene
3.1 Expo Boulevard Sunny Valley. + MUSICAL FOUNTAIN
EVERY 30 MIN
One of the best point to take photo of the night scene of Expo Valley, pavilions of Zone
D/E and China pavilion is at the 6/F of the Expo Culture Center, an "ET-like space
ship" building at the northern end of the Expo Valley on the bank of Huangpu river.
Lots of restaurant (vegetarian, Japan chain, Sichuen) on 6/F. With restaurant
reservation, take lift on the North side entrance (without waiting) of the Center directly
to 6/F. There is an "around the circumference" outside open corridor that one can walk
360 degrees to take photo/video of Expo from this high point.
(1030am - 1030pm), a fusion vegetarian restaurant with set menu
starting from RMB158 is good. Just ask for plain water. Chinese tea is expensive at
RMB50/person. Reservation one day in advance with tel: 021 20251080.
3.2 LED city lighting
in Zone E and LED-clad pavilions in Zone D A whole street
area in the UBPA in Zone E and many pavilions such as China Oil, State Grid,
Information and Communication pavilions in Zone D are lighted up with colorful LED
visual images at night. Best to have dinner in restaurant 4.1 (see below) and leisurely
take photo/video of various applications of this future lighting technology after dinner
while on the way to pre arranged visit of SAIC-GM pavilion at 930pm or 10pm.
No waiting is required for any restaurant/outlet with food at RMB100+.
Some of the good food that we tried in 4.1, 4.2 and 4.3.
4.1 Restaurant Ecole Institut Paul Bocuse Paul's restaurant in Lyon is Michelin
continuously for 47 years. The restaurant on 4/F of Rhone-Alpes Region
pavilion (next to Tak Seng Pawnshop of Macau) in UBPA in Zone E is run by Institute
Paul Bocuse. Food prepared in an open kitchen by students of Institut Paul Bocuse
and the Shanghai Institute of Tourism. Service also by French and Chinese students.
A semi private room with long table can accommodate 25 people in a naturally lighted
area. A 3-course set menu (changed according to the food available) for lunch and
dinner is with appetizer (duck foie gras or Lyonese salad with soft-boiled egg), main
course (Grenobloise cod fish or roast lamb) and dessert (Rasberry charlotte with
lychee sorbet or chocolate cream dessert). With continuous supply of still/air bottled
French water is RMB300/pax. Matching white and red wine (Cote du Rhone) at
RMB200 each. Muscat dessert wine at RMB100. So a 2.5 hour lunch with enough
food to skip dinner is RMB600/pax. Excellent value for money especially with the
company of the beautiful French assistant to director Miss Yasmin Jarzynska. She is a
Reservation at least 3-4 days in advance:
4.2 Blissful Butterfly in #3.1 above
4.3 Spanish tapas in #1.2 above
4.4 Restaurants in Poland, Austria, Norway, France (French restaurant inside but
difficult to book and not as good as Paul Bocuse), Luxemburg, Mexico as well as lots
of restaurants in all Zone. If you have money, no worries about eating.
YOU CAN ENTER THE PAVILIONS DIRECTLY WITHOUT QUEUEINGAFTER
FINISHING EATING AT THE RESTAURANT IN NORWAY, BELGIUM AND
FRANCE. ONE CAN ORDER ALA CARTE IN BELGIUM RESTAURANT AND SO
WE ONLY ATE VERY LIGHT BEFORE NOON. THEN WE HAVE A FULL SET
LUNCH AT NORWAY RESTAURANT -GOOD VALUE FOR MONEY. SHOULD TRY
TO GO TO THE RESTAURANTS OUTSIDE PEAK HOURS, EG BEFORE 12NOON,
AFTER 2PM. FOR RESTAURANT IN FRANCE PAVILION, SHOULD GO THERE BY
11AM. ONCE IT IS FULL, YOU HAVE TO QUEUE FOR 1.5 HOURS FOR THE
RESTAURANT. SHOULD CHECK POLAND, AUSTRIA AND MEXICO AND OTHER
RESTAURANTS IN ZONE B/C WHETHER THEY ALLOW VIP ACCESS TO THE
PAVILION AFTER HAVING MEALS AT THEIR RESTAURANTS. ITALY NO
LONGER ALLOWS SEPARATE ENTRANCE TO RESTAURANT, HAVE TO QUEUE
WITH THE REST OF THE PEOPLE FOR THE PAVILION.
5.1 Transport to Expo entrance gates:
Total 8 entrance gates in Pu See and Pu Dong. Best to use gate 1 as there is less
people and even at 930am, almost no queuing time. But even at gate 8, the gate with
the most entrance, we arrived at 930am and queuing time (with moving) and we were
inside the Expo ground after security check after 30 minutes.
If traveling with group entrance ticket, the entrance gate is pre assigned to the group
and may be different everyday. We entered on individual ticket at 6pm (night ticket
starts at 5pm) at gate 8 with virtually no waiting. We used gate 1 and gate 8 the other
2 days. We were amazed by the "sea" of coaches as well as the "people sea" at gate
8. But we were also amazed by the efficient crowd movement.
IT IS POSSIBLE TO PREBOOK EXPO TAXI AT 96822 THE DAY BEFORE YOUR
VISIT OR YOU CAN CALL FOR TAXI ANY TIME THOUGH NO GUARANTEE ON
ARRIVAL TIME OF TAXI (WE ONLY WAITED FOR 15 MIN ONE MORNING). WHEN
YOU LEAVE, IF YOU WANT TO TAKE TAXI, BETTER QUEUE UP AT THE TAXI
STATION LINE. EXPO TAXIS WON'T STOP OUTSIDE THE TAXI STATION AT
EXPO. IT IS VERY CONVENIENT TO GO BY SUBWAY.
5.2 Transport inside Expo.
The Expo is HUGH. If you just walk from one end of Zone A in Pu Dong to the other
end of Zone C, it will take you at least 1.5 hours with non stop walking.
(A) There are free shuttle buses almost every 5 seconds stopping at various zones
of the Expo. Even a cross river line from Pu Dong to Pu See and return. Make full
use of this service if you are travelling from one zone to another or even within one
(B) For RMB 10, there is an electric car on elevated walkway from end of Zone C to
(C) Also there is a Cross River ferry from Zone D to Zone E. Have to wait about 10
minutes depending on the crowd at the time of the day. Worth the experience of
seeing the Expo on both side of the river.
(D) Rented electric car with driver for the affluent. We did not have money to try this
as we used all our money in food already.
6. What to bring and what not
Entrance security is as strict as airport.
6.1 NO water, liquid and cream are allowed to bring into Expo. SMALL BOTTLES
6.2 NO long umbrella. Collapsable umbrella is fine.
6.3 Bring backpack to hold all your belongings. Wear it in front of you.
6.4 Bring large mouth empty water bottle. Plenty of free water filling station.
6.5 Although weather maybe overcast, UV is strong. Wear long sleeve shirt and sun
glasses. Put on you sun block cream BEFORE leaving hotel. Recommend to use long
lasting sun block such as Lancome SPF50 face cream lasting for 12 hours. Cap for
man and golf hat with UV curtain for lady who would like to maintain "beauty white" is
6.6 Camera/video camcorder/tripod no problem. Photo/video inside pavilion no
6.7 Small foldable chair maybe suitable for short rest. But can buy at entrance for
RMB15-20. Hence almost no one swat on the ground. Not much use while you are
queuing for pavilion entrance as the queue is moving.
All gift shops inside Expo have few good items. Go to the special Expo gift shop in
pedestrian street in Nanjing East Road in downtown Shanghai. Lots of good design
8.1 Plenty restrooms with ample supply of paper and clean.
8.3 Lots of stands with umbrella for shading sun and rain.
8.4 Volunteers (wearing green vest) are university students. Very helpful and friendly
in providing info about pavilion, transport, etc. All security guards at entrance
gate/scanner are "police army" but young, very friendly with a smile.
8.5 Mobile phone with China service provider will get SMS from Expo organizer
about special announcements such as which pavilion will be closed for the day as well
as which pavilion has queuing time longer than 2 hours.
With initial teething problems of queuing, chaos in distribution of China pavilion tickets,
overflowing rubbish bins, sleeping on benches (we also would like to have a nip after
the Michelin 3-star lunch with wine), etc, the Expo organizer took measures to
improve. WE DON'T SEE MUCH OF THESE DURING OUR VISIT.
9. Behavior of Expo participants
9.1 We encountered one or two queue jumping. On the whole queuing is orderly.
9.2 A male adult took his 5 years old daughter into a female restroom to wash her
hands. He stayed despite protests from ladies inside the restroom. An unexpected
incident encountered by one of our lady member.
Guiding you in Expo (in traditional Chinese) by Dr. Seigfried Wu
(chief planner of
Shanghai Expo) published by Century Publishers Ltd.
HK$38 available from Commercial Press or Joint Publishing book shops.
This is a very informative and handy Chinese book with brief intro, background,
highlights and comments of each pavilion.
From my 2.5-day experience in Shanghai Expo with close to maximum participants,
this is the best Expo that I have visited (I visited Handover in 2000 and twice to
Hope the above will be helpful to those who will go to Expo.
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