Why Expo? Why visit Shanghai Expo? Today I visited Shanghai Expo. One day’s hanging around in the Shanghai Expo site does give me much thought for the answer. Well, for my understanding, Expo or Shanghai Expo is similar to a travel mart, of course, a huge one. Almost every country has its own booth or combined one. The expo sponsors sell their own attractions to draw local expo visitors ( very few foreign visitors as I saw ) in the hope of turning them into real visitors visiting their sovereign countries in future, boosting their economies and diversfied cultures.
Sitting along the Huangpu River, the Shanghai Expo Site is composed of two parts – South of the River and North of the River. The expo site south of the river consists of the pavilions of the countries from the five continents around the world while the north river part is mainly composed of the pavilions from big corporations and special organizations.
There are totally nine entrances to the expo site with 7 gates on the south river part and 3 gates on the north river part. The two parts are linked by ferry boats. In each part, there are free expo shuttle buses running at a short interval taking you to different pavilions.
I chose to enter the expo site at Gate 6 since Gate 6 is located at the southern tip of the Expo Axis. Asia pavilions are located ajoining the Expo Axis like China Pavilion, Taiwan Pavalion, India Pavilion, Saudi Arabia Pavilion….As for from which gate you should exit, it all depends on your location of your last visiting place. The total 9 exits are easy for you to find your way out of the expo site.
Australia and South Pacific pavilions are situated on the west of the Expo Axis. Africa, Europe, North America and South America are all located further west of the Expo Axis.
After visiting the Asia pavilions, you may take a free shuttle bus to the west of the Expo Axis to visit the pavilions of the rest countries.
The ferry boat terminal is at the northern tip of the Expo Axis, easily taking you to the other part of the Expo site – the expo site on the north of Huangpu River to visit the pavilions of such huge companies ad China Oil, Coca Cola, China Ship… and more theme pavilions.
Entering a specific a pavilion is really a stress for most visitors. The long queue is expected from half to 4 hours depending the different pavilions you are going to visit. In Asia pavilions, Saudi Arabia and China pavilions are most time comsuming. Especially it takes 2-4 hours to visit Saudi Arabia Pavilion!
To enter some pavilions like China, you need to make an appointment. As far as I know China Pavilion has a limit of 50,000 visitors per day. The 9 gates of the Expo Site accept 3,000 appointments each. So you can imagine every early morning a long line will be expected at each of the 9 gates. The Shanghai Expo is open from 9:00am to till 12:00pm.
Some tips for your visiting the Expo:
1. Figuring out how many days for your visit
2. Mapping your entery and exit gates and travel itinerary
3. Taking into the consideration of the waiting time for your favorite pavilions
4. Finding the best tranport tool for your getting to and returning from the expo ( Metro Line 8 and 7 are highly recomended)
5. Taking with some snacks and just one bottle of water. You can refill your empty bottle with the drikable water at the drinking place inside the expo
6. Comfy shoes
7. Check the weather report and ready for sunscreen, hat and umbrella if necessary
Below are some of the pictures of the pavilion buildings which, either I have entered or just visited outside for your appreciation: