We spent two evenings and two full days visiting the Expo, and saw maybe half of what there was to offer. There are so many Pavilions, displays and exhibits that it would be impossible to visit them all unless you had a good month to spare doing nothing but hitting up the Expo every day. It was like a city unto itself within Shanghai.
There are 5 zones in the Expo, Zones A, B and C were dedicated to different countries, all within an area, (Americas Square, Africas Square, Europe Square, etc), Zone D was more companies and different sponsors, while Zone E had Pavilions dedicated to Urban Planning set up by different cities from all over the world.
I’m not going to go into too much specific detail here, I’ll leave the detail to Scott’s pictures. I’ll just give a list of the different Pavilions that we saw, and some of our favourites from each day!!
Day one we spent the evening in Zone E checking out the different ‘Case Pavilions’, which showcased different cities from around the world and their ideas for a “Better City, Better Life” (Expo Slogan), and more globally friendly
housing ideas. We visited: Vancouver, Madrid, Shanghai, Montreal, a few smaller Chinese cities and the Future Pavilion.
Day two we spent the evening in Zone D which had some of the corporate sponsors Pavilions. We also stumbled upon two Kung Fu shows, a Tao Kung Fu and Shaolin Kung Fu, both were very interesting, the first was more of a display of their talents, the second was the story of Kung Fu.
Day three was a full day in Zones A and B which were Middle Eastern and Asian country Pavilions. The lines at some of the country Pavilions were outrageously long, ones like Japan and the China Pavilion were between 5 and 7 hours wait. The highlight was walking along the elevated walkway, where we were able to get a good view of the outsides of all of the Pavilions, with no crowds or lines! We spent the evening in the “Oceania Square” visiting all of the Pavilions there.
Day four was another full day spent in Zone C, which houses the Americas (North, South and Central), as well as Europe and the Africas’. The best part of the morning was that we
were able to get into all of the Scandinavian countries as well as Canada and the U.S via the VIP line (no waiting) because of Scott’s Norwegian, and our Canadian backgrounds.
The highlight our entire Expo visit was being invited to an afterhours party at the Canadian Pavilion, which turned into a full on expo party in the Canadian square. There was a pre-party inside the Canada Pavilion, the main party in the square, was for Expo workers and volunteers only, with live music, free German beer and free Chilean wine. We were able to sneak in with some of the people working at the Canada Pavilion that we had met earlier and wound up having a great evening.
Some of our favourite Pavilions:
The Pavilion of the future was very interesting
We both enjoyed the Indonesian Pavilion; it was very well put together and gave us a greater interest in wanting to one day visit the country.
The Shaolin KungFu show was an interesting experience and was pretty well done.
Shanghai corporate was pretty cool, but wouldn’t have been as much fun if we had to wait in a really long line up.
The Thailand Pavilion was
fun with its’ 4D show (water effects), but wouldn’t have been worth a long wait in line.
Sweden had a very hands-on approach which made it very appealing.
Denmark had a cool idea of offering bikes to ride around their Pavilion.
Canada’s was really funky; Cirque du Solie had created the inside. The outside also smelled strongly of fresh cut wood which was very appealing.
We had the most fun just wandering around the outsides of the Pavilions checking out the different architecture and ideas that had gone into creating the different and colourful sites. We also realized on our last day that the place to eat was inside some of the Pavilions that were offering “flavours of their country”, and had dinner at the Mexican Pavilion (proper Mexican food was amazing, and in Asia of all places).
We could have easily spent a few weeks exploring the Expo, with so much to see and do and so many different shows and exhibits happening all the time. It was an amazing experience, one that we’re both glad we were able to take part in.
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