The following is the second part of a 2010 Shanghai World Expo guide originally written in Chinese for Chinese visitors from around the country by a Chinese World Expo worker. The walk-through aims to help visitors enjoy the entire World Fair over three days. Since it has become very popular on the internet for many Chinese netizens who plan to visit the Expo, chinaSMACK has translated it into English should it be of help for non-Chinese visitors this summer.
2010 Shanghai World Expo Expo 3-Day Guide & Walk-Through:
8:30 – Arrive at the entrance at Yaohua Road and join the line. 9:00 – after making preparations to enter, reserve some spots to see the China Pavilion.
All visitors that aren’t part of a group have to make reservations on site before visiting pavilions ; if you’re part of a group you don’t need to bother. Popular pavilions like that of the host, China, can only be visited after making reservations. So after entering, the first thing you should do is make them so that you’re not disappointed later. There are altogether 200 reservation machines located around entrances. If you can’t find one, just ask one of the volunteers. Naturally, there are also volunteers situated beside them to help you work them. All you need is valid ID and a ticket.
After taking care of reservations you can start your day’s sightseeing. Entering from the Expo’s hub and continuing straight, you come to Celebration Square, where a huge opening ceremony takes place. When it finishes, head back to the center, where daily performances marking the opening of pavilions take place, and if you’re lucky you’ll be able to see a leader of a country, or a big star.
After having a look around the center, you can try the Theme Pavilions. They are the Urbanian Pavilion, the Pavilion of City Being, the Pavilion of Urban Planet, and the Pavilion of Public Participation. Although they’re all in the same building, you need to line up for them separately. You should choose the one with the shortest line, so as to not waste any of your precious time. Here I have to tell everyone something: each pavilion has two lines. One is for those who just want to have a quick look, so I suggest that when looking at the important pavilions or ones that countries have made themselves you take the slow line.
Life Sunshine, which is part of the Urbanian Pavilion is worth seeing, it’s the first pavilion especially designed for disadvantaged people ever in the history of Expo. All volunteers and guides are all disabled.
The Pavilion of Urban Planet is a spiral staircase that overlooks a globe, and as you walk up you see that the globe is actually a huge projection screen.
After seeing the theme pavilions it’ll probably be time for lunch. If you came from the center of the expo to the Theme Pavilions you would have seen a street full of Chinese food. Specialties from 31 of China’s provinces, cities, autonomous regions and municipalities are represented, and have all you need from China’s eight major schools of cooking. Although there are lots of free samples, you should probably pay and get a seat (if you can find one).
Now that you’re full, you can go to the Performance Center to see see some performances, and maybe cool off too. The China National Song & Dance Ensemble performs a free show there twice daily, make sure to check what time they start before going.
After you’ve enjoyed the performance, you can head for the China Pavilion. On the way you can see the Taiwan Pavilion. No matter how you look at it, it looks like a toilet, but the LED show is is great. The same architect designed Taipei 101.
By this time it’ll probably be around 1:30, so you should probably have a look at the China Pavilion. You’ll have to wait in line from 45 minutes to 2 hours, so be prepared. China Pavilion’s unique architecture means that you won’t have to wait in the sun, because it’s blocked by the building’s structure. This is called “self shielding”; The design of the China Pavilion keeps in mind how everyone has to line up outside it.
After entering, take the elevator to the 49-meter-high exhibition area. There are several highlights: a surrounding wall of reinforced glass in the style of the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, which overlooks the waiting area (so far up!). Another is the fantastic movie made by Chinese filmmaker Lu Chuan. You just can’t miss it. He’s made three movies, Kekexili: Mountain Patrol, City of Life and Death, and the one he made for the Chinese Pavilion. You can also see the painting Along the River During the Qingming Festival, which is 100m long! And the people inside will even move!
After seeing the 49-meter-high area, you can go to the 41-meter-high area. You need to take a railcar to get there, and even though you have to wait in line for ages, you still have to try it. It’s an unique experience.
Last is the 33-meter-high area, which introduce China’s low-carbon cities of the future. Have a look at what kind of environment you’ll be living in in the future.
After the China Pavilion you should see China’s Joint Provincial Pavilion, which is right next to it. Every province, region and city is there with its own uniqueness. If you’re interested take your time. If not, keep to the ‘fast lane’. When you come out you can see the Macau and Hong Kong pavilions, but you should be taking it more slowly, in particular the Macau Pavilion. At the very top you can lie on your back and watch movies on the ceiling.
Now that you’ve seen all our China Pavilions, and are back at the entrance, don’t under any circumstances leave! After a short rest, head east to the Oman Pavilion, Pakistan Pavilion, Israel Pavilion or drop in on the Sri Lanka Pavilion. If you get lost find a volunteer, they’ll tell you where to go. The first three [pavilions] were built by their respective countries so take your time, while the Sri Lanka Pavilion is rented and isn’t as good.
Next, cross the road to Nepal Pavilion, where they have a thousand year old Buddhist relic. The India Pavilion is next door. After India, have a look at the Saudi Arabia Pavilion. The Saudis spent 1.3 billion RMB [more than US$191 million] on their pavilion, more than any other foreign country! They have the biggest IMAX in the world, much bigger than that one at Peace Cinemas [at Raffles City Plaza on Tibet Rd]! I recommend everyone to definitely go see the Saudi Pavilion.
After Saudi Arabia go to the Asia Joint Pavilions, have a quick look, then go to the Morocco Pavilion which looks like a glass box. Morocco is an African country, so go and have a look at another way of life! Next to the Morocco Pavilion are the Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan pavilions, they’re both rented so you can just take the ‘fast lane’ and have a quick look. Next have a look at the “Sand Dune” – UAE Pavilion. After the expo finishes they’re taking the whole thing back to Abu Dhabi and setting it up again. If you don’t get a chance to see it now, you will be able to go there and see it!
As the sun sets you can have a rest, or buy something to eat. All of the running water in the expo site is drinkable, and there is a shop for food and drinks within 5 minutes walk of each other, so it’s really convenient.
After you can take an evening stroll to have a look at the Lebanon, Iran, North Korea, the Asian Joint Pavilions, or Uzbekistan. Then you can see Kazakhstan. They built it themselves too, and although it’s not very big, I still believe in supporting countries that build their own pavilions.
Across the road are two pavilions that are worth seeing — — the Japan Pavilion and South Korea Pavilion. Between them is the Vietnam Pavilion, and another Asia Joint Pavilion. They aren’t very good, so take the ‘fast lane’. Japan Pavilion and South Korea Pavilion look quite good at night. They’re close to the Huangpu River, the boundary between the expo site and Bailianjing park, and the summer wind blowing off the river at the night is very pleasant.
Head towards the Performance Center along Expo Avenue. If you’re lucky you’ll run into traveling performers, but if not, don’t worry, you’ll be able to see the closing performance at Celebration Square!
And so Day 1 Ends!
Please share this guide with anyone who is visiting the World Expo!