2010 Expo Shanghai

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Shanghai World Expo 2010

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We lived in Shanghai when the city won its bid to host the 2010 World Expo, so we wanted to see the result of almost a decade of effort. Thus we planned a layover in July, on our way back to the US for Andrew's last year of high school. As I write this, over six months after visiting the Expo, many wonderful memories and images come to mind, but mainly I remember the huge crowds and long lines.



Words can't describe the scope of the Expo's crowds; these photos show just a piece of the morning flood of visitors. These people waited with us for about 1.5 hours to get into the park on a Monday morning. You can mainly see the lines outside the "waiting building," but there are twice as many waiting beyond the white poles. Those fortunate enough to get one of the few passes into the China exhibit had waited many hours before we got there.




To the right, the permanent China exhibit looms over the line for the United Arab Emirates exhibit. The UAE pavilion was one of the nicest we saw (we chose it first, so we only had to wait in line about an hour; later in the day the line there was 3-4 hours long).

At night, the Expo took on a beautiful glow. This photo was taken from near the top of the new arena (seen in the next photo).

This magnificent arena, rising like a UFO over the Huangpu River, will likely host sporting events and world-class productions.

The line was always over three hours long, so we didn't get to visit "USA," "Coke" or other popular attractions.

The sign shows a waiting time of 3 hours. The longest time we saw on a sign was 5 hours. We were amazed that so many people were willing to stand in line that long!

Fortunately, exhibits for smaller countries like Columbia and Peru did not have such long lines.

Even these small pavilions had a lot of wonderful attractions to offer.

The afternoon parade reminded me a lot of the parades at Disney World. Colorful floats and costumes presented many lands.

Many of the pavilions gave visitors the chance to see arts and crafts being made. I believe this was the Turkey display.

Just before closing time, we were among the last people allowed into the "basement" of the China exhibit, where we got to see displays representing each of China's provinces: this one is Yunnan, where we had lived for five years.

We only could afford tickets for two days, so we only saw a fraction of what was available. And although we were hot and tired by nightfall each day, we were glad we visited, and hope to someday see the China exhibit (when it isn't so crowded!).

Click here for more (mostly much older) photos of Shanghai.

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