Thursday, October 28, 2010

Expo 2010 Shanghai, China

We had an opportunity to spend a day at the World Expo in Shanghai


It is on a large site with pavillions on both sides of the Huongpo River . We thought that we had left our hotel in plenty of time. There are numerous entrances to the Expo site but our group had decided to take one of the Water Gates.


While we arrived at 9am there were already 100's of people ahead of us. We were told that tourists can arrange for scheduled times to visit the China pavillion and our assigned time was 10:30am. Security is very thorough at all of the entrances. There are chain link fences to herd the crowd and before you can enter the terminal you have to proceed through security like you would find at an airport. NO photos are allowed during this process where you have to put bags and purses through scanners and you are patted down for contriband items. There is an extensive list of items not allowed which includes NO bottled beverages.

After you are security cleared you enter the cruise ship terminal to await the next ship which will cruise down the Huongpo on its way to the actual Expo site which takes around 45 minutes.


These are large 3 level ships with a beautiful spiral staircase to the second level. As you float down the river you get to see the waterfront for which Shanghai is famous


By the time we arrive at the dock and make our way to the China Pavillion it is obvious that we will not be able to get in due to the massive crowds. We take our place at the end of the line but it is futile as it is now past our appointed time and we were told that we had at least a 3 hour wait.

(China pavillion, Expo 2010 Shanghai)

Not wishing to waste our time in line-ups we took the free internal transit system and found our way to the East side of the site


The weather started out overcast and cloudy with spitting rain

(Saudi Arabia, I think, to resemble sand dunes)

As you are not allowed to bring in outside bottle water, there are many water stations on site where you can refill your water bottles


I don't know what this was but it looked neat


We are now walking with purpose and trying to find the Canadian pavillion


We were told that if we flash our Canadian passports then we will be allowed to "skip" the line and just go on inside

We finally find our way there and it was a pleasure to speak to the Canadian Rep who was from Vancouver and spoke perfect English without a Chinese accent. She radioed ahead to her associate to let us through . If felt like we had arrived home

We stop to admire some familiar colours


Inside the Canada pavillion


we are treated to a simple audio visual display


it was very dark inside and you cannot stop to take a photo because of the crowds behind who do not expect you to be stopping


Once inside I managed to find a place along the side and bump up the ISO a bit


To tell you the truth I was a little disappointed at the Canadian content. I thought that Expo was to promote your Country by showing photos to entice you to visit and spend your hard earned money . What a lot of money we have spent to build this single purpose building to be abandoned after Expo closes.

I also don't understand the slide show and why we have panorama photos posted of a cemetery, or why we have a photo taken inside the Ontario Produce Market . I think we blew it. There should have been a stunning photo taken from each province. There was none from Newfoundland, or Nova Scotia. None from the Rocky Mountains or the expanse of the prairies showing the vastness of our great land. What a waste of our Canadian taxpayer's money by also showing animated cartoons instead of the Beauty of British Columbia. I just don't understand who made these decisions

After our continuous diet of Chinese fare over the past couple of weeks, it was refreshing to settle down to a $5.00 plate of French Fries


As we did not have enough time to see everything, we only visited pavillions with short or non-existant line-ups

(Pavillion of the Americas)

(Costa Rica)




We found the United States Pavillion but by now we were tired from walking


and were tired of line-ups, and we were hungry. We were thinking that if they let us in with our Canadian passports then we would try to get in but we didn't try

We went looking for food instead


we found the Chinese equivalent of McDonalds with Chinese fast food. It was cheap, hot and good. Food is prepared in bowls which stack and they have combos


I had the curry beef with rice, brocolli and custard. Not bad for under $50. yuan /RMB , which is less than $8.00 for both meals


  1. ....and you missed the NZ pavillion - so close but so far away. you've captured the hustle and bustle superbly Bob.

  2. It's interesting to read about and see how life is there. It makes me appreciate the freedom we have here.

  3. As soon as I saw it I thought: McDonalds - scary. I guess it's the colors and the layout. The food looked better than what we have here.

    The expo looks like an interesting place, but I think I like your street scenes best. They have a richness of life and culture that's hard to beat.

  4. Hi Uncle Bob,

    Was there per chance a Bulgaria stand at the exhibition, it might not have been the biggest one lol...thank God there was a McDonalds though..



  5. I really enjoy expos. And this one looked great though I've also wondered about the content some countries choose to present.

    The "fast food" looked much better than the McDonalds fare. $5 fries without gravy. Hmmph...

  6. Dear Bobskoot:

    I am astounded by some of your pictures, and I read your commentary for thisi blog episode three times. I loved the shot of the avant garde suspension bridge, and of the more traditional Chinese structure art its base. I was hoping you had more of an explanation for both.

    I am not a crowd-oriented person, and my interest in the Expo would have been marginal. Yet I loved the orverall look of the Chinese Pavillion. (The US pavillion looked like a vocational school project.)

    I am amazed that you would prefer French fries over the native Chinese cuisine. I could eat Chinese food three times a day for a year.

    Many travelers — especially from the US — have difficulty consuming Chinese tap water. Were you aware of any other purification methods that were applied to the ewater available at the Expo. Were the restrictions on carrying bottled water into the Expo for security or environmental reasons?

    Fondest regards,
    Jack • reep • Toad
    Twisted Roads

  7. Great post! Isn't it amazing what people think should be showcased about their country to others sometimes? I'm sorry the presentation for Canada was missing some wonderful provinces!

  8. Sorry you had to get in line so much. The idea of having to get on a ship first to visit the Expo is curious - good but time consuming. You are the only person I know that can include a picture of some fries in your post and still make it interesting!

  9. Geoff: Never saw the NZ pavillion, otherwise I would have gone inside and shouted out your name, just in case someone knew you.

    Mike: I get the feeling you are being watched everywhere you go. There are policemen everywhere, and sometimes the National Police are there too. Then we noticed these other people with red armbands who are local security, sort of like block watch. Then I started noticing other people at major intersections with these white helmets.

    blueKat: that fast food was really good and cheap. Most things are steamed, so better for you.

    Uncle Dave: Didn't notice any Bulgaria Pavillion but we didn't go to the tent area. We did go to a McDonalds but only had an ice cream cone. Too bad we didn't try a burger for comparison

  10. Jack: Shanghai is a very modern city, lots of new buildings and new freeway system. All the bridges seem new. Because of cheap labour, everything is clean and tidy. everywhere you go people are picking up trash and sweeping dirt off the sidewalks and roadways.

    Chinese tap water is unfit for human consumption, unless you are a local and have become immune. Due to a recommendation, I purchased my own water purifier, a SteriPEN UV unit which I brought to China, just in case . . . All the hotels give you bottled water so you can brush your teeth, and I remembered your recommendation to keep your mouth shut whilst in the shower.

    No liquids were allowed onto the Expo grounds, thus the reason they supplied those water stations for FREE water.

    everything in moderation. Take your favourite food and eat it 24/7 and soon you will dream of frozen french fries

    Lori/BeemerGIRL: Really, I was very disappointed with the Canadian display. We could have done so much with better photos of our great country. I really don't understand the huge panorama photo of the cemetery . . . It's not like this was going to be a must visit place for a person we are enticing to visit our vast land.

  11. Gary: I have photos of all the meals we have eaten in China. At one restaurant the food is still alive; fish, turtles, crab and even snakes, all wiggling around until some customer wants to eat them. In the market you see live chickens, ducks and many types of fish and frogs.

    When you walk in the historic section, the meat is hanging with no refrigeration with flies buzzing around so makes you wonder if you should trust street food.

    They should have served canadian food at our Expo pavillion, but I'm still wondering what canadian food is, perhaps Canadian Bacon, Canada dry soda, or pancakes with maple syrup, or maybe Moose/reindeer burgers