Shanghai World Expo

Trip Start Aug 05, 2009
Trip End Jul 09, 2010

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Flag of China  , Shanghai,
Sunday, June 6, 2010

This week, we were lucky enough to have a few extra days off during the week, so the A's and headed to Shanghai to take in the Expo. The overriding theme of this expo is sustainable growth, and sustainable development. Kind of ironic if you ask me as this entire massive display is temporary and will mostly be torn down after expo ends. We kind of thought that it might not be QUITE as busy during the week in comparison to the weekend....but, as it turned out, we were wrong. Shanghai is an impossibly busy city, so why should things be any different on a monday? 
Al, Lois, Bethany and i stayed at a cool little hostel in the French Concession called the Blue Mountain Youth Hostel. It was a pretty decent little place, very conveniently located within a 5 minute walk to one of the Expo gates. The ticket line at the Expo gate was a breeze, but as you will see from the pictures, the security check was the killer well as the ferry line, the restaurant lines, the pavilion lines...........
The expo site straddles the Huang Pu river in Shanghai, with all the country pavilions on the Pudong (east of the river) side. Beth and I spent about ten hours under the sun there on Monday, while the A's stayed until 10 pm...then went back for more the next day! CRAZY! I spent most of the day just walking around the site taking pictures of the outsides of most of the pavilions...I only actually ended up going inside of about 5 or 6 of them. They all had line-ups, some as long as 5-8 hours long, (such as Saudi Arabia's which contains the worlds largest, and 360 degree IMAX screen). I just didn't have the patience to wait that long to go inside some of these places. From what I DID see inside the few pavilions that I actually entered, the insides are very very cool. I went into the Africa pavilion, the Caribbean pavilion, the Canada pavilion (which we got VIP access to with our passports), the Indonesia pavilion, and the Vietnam pavilion. We also went into thefood area of the Australia pavilion and saw a pretty neat performance there which you will see in the pictures. 
In general, the Chinese did an amazing job constructing this place...the expo site was like nothing I have ever seen before, and so many of the pavilions were incredibly unique. I felt so patriotic and proud to be Canadian after having been inside of ours. It was very moving. I think my favorite looking pavilions included the following: South Korea, UK, Spain, Holland, Switzerland, Nepal, and India. The biggest one was by FAR, China's. The pictures tell it better than i can with words.
On the next day, I took a walk along the Bund, a very famous european influenced street along the Huang Pu river in Puxi (west of the river). The Chinese governemnt just spent around 80 million dollars (yuan?) to improve and reconstruct the road/boardwalk, so i was happy to see the finished product before I left here, as it has been under constant construction since last summer. 
During the evenings, we also went to an area of the French concession called Tai Kang Lu (I think). It is like an old neighborhood that has been revamped with many very nice cafes, restaurants, bars, and shops. The streets are nothing more than narrow little cobbled pathways, and many of the buildings still have housing in the second floors (most of the buildings are only 2 or 3 floors in this area). It is neat to be sitting on a rooftop patio eating Thai food (Tai Thai is sooo good!) and across the little road is a man in in second floor apartment washing his dishes only about 10 feet away from you. Cool area.
Another fun but exhausting few days in Shanghai!
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