Today I visited the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai with my kids and brother. My brother got us the ticktes that cover the World Expo admission and bus ride from Suzhou to Shanghai.
During the 1 1/2 hours of bus ride, I saw quite a lot of buses with special World Expo logos on highways. The buses bring loads of visitors to the Expo every day. Only those designated buses can get into the World Expo parking lots. The lot we used can hold more than 2000 buses, according to the tour guide.
We arrived at the destination shortly after 9 am. The gates were open at 9 am. There were still huge crowds waiting for security check. Just like at the airports, no water is allowed. You can buy bottled water or get water from the water fountains.
As expected, there are too many people and too long wait. There were 388,000 visitors today.
I wanted to visit the pavilions of China, US and Germany, unfortunately, I couldn’t get into any of those.
For the China Pavilion, you need an advance pass to get into it. You have to be a high rank government officials, or have connections, or get to the gates really early in the morning to get the passes.
For the Germany Pavilion, it was 4-5 hours of waiting time.
I heard from our tour guide that the USA Pavilion isn’t worth the wait. Visitors get to watch three videos. That’s all. So when I saw the crowd as big as for the Germany Pavilion, I didn’t even bother getting close and asking about the waiting time.
I ended up visiting about 12 pavilions that required short or no waiting time. The longest I had to wait was about 30 minutes for the Canada Pavilion.
Inside the pavilions there is really not much interesting stuff to see, mostly pictures, a few items from the representing countries or products for sale. Nothing impressing or surprising.
I had to walk so much, my feet got dead tired by the end of the day. I just wanted to get on the bus and get back home.
As for goodies that Americans are so accustomed to at special events, there was nothing. I got an Expo map and a paper fan, and my kids got a tiny Canadian paper flag at the Canada Pavilion.
China made a big deal out of the World Expo. Everywhere I visited in the country, I saw the World Expo mascot.
If you can’t visit the World Expo, you don’t miss anything. In my opinion, it’s not worth spending the money, time, and effort to visit the Expo.