?

Log in

 
 
05 June 2010 @ 10:39 pm
World Expo 2010: Shanghai, China [Country/Territory Pavilion Review]  
Erp, finally got around to posting this, ahahahaha...

World Expo 2010 (Shanghai, China) Country Pavilion Review


~*~Better City, Better Life~*~


Quote is theme for this year. Blurry pic of flags taken from distance on my first night there.

Currently the pavillions I liked the best and a few that were requested. Also included the super popular pavilions, since well, they're so popular they had to raise the minimum age for the Greenway by a whole decade. And the ones that weren't open, because I was pissed at that.

So if there's a country's pavillion you're curious about and it's not here, please leave a request! =) I might try and expand this to every country, though with my chronic laziness, we'll have to see...

I'm putting an image heavy warning, although most pics are smaller thumbnail clickables, so it shouldn't be that bad? Haha... ^^; There's also a lot of writing, naturally, so a warning for that too. Ah, longest post I've ever, and probably ever will post >_<;;

Everything's in alphabetical order, except China being the first entry, being the host country and all XD

Also working on not group Hetalia pic based on this event, but more on that later >_<;;


So I went for 6 days total, and wish I could have gone a 7th XD For me, my goal was to visit all the country/territory pavilions, so this entry is going be focused on that. There were a lot the theme pavilions on the environment, industries, and big cities, but I never got to those before running out of time. Most of those are across the river, and according to my mother who did go there, those were amazing, even more so than a lot of the country ones.

So a breakdown of what I didn't visit:
- countries not present: Andorra, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Kuwait, Sao Tome and Principe, Swaziland, and I'm probably missing a few others but oh well
- pavilions that weren't even open: Iraq, Latvia, Libya
- pavilions I never visited: United Arab Emirates (one more day gdi OTZ)
total: 4/193

And out of what I did visit:
- missed stamps I should have gotten but didn't: India (it was broken the first time I went and never got a chance to get it stamped after they fixed their stamp)
- pavilions with no stamps (or they were stolen/broken): Bulgaria, Gabon, Georgia, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Montenegro, Netherlands
- pavilions with no stamps but offered signatures: Cook Islands, Guyana, Kiribati, Nauru
- pavilions visited and stamped: everything else~~~ =D
total: 189/193

So, an overall success for 6 days, I think. Naturally, I have quite a few regrets, but such is life <=) Although I did take about 6GB worth of pictures and videos, about half of those are probably blurry since I suck.

Below is a picture of the two 3 day tickets I used up and the cover of my passport. Sadly, so overused that half the ink and stuff on it has rubbed off =( It's the cartoon version, in yellow. And after that is one of the...more crowded stamp pages. Since not every pavilion had a page to itself, there was much overlapping in stamps. Also since the people doing the stamping were very rushed and could probably care less if they overlapped a bit...or a lot... >_>;; And the last is of my worn torn trusty map. It has served me so very well~ ♥ (Pic is a bit blurry, but the random markings is from me crossing names of visited pavilions off.)







China




China's pavilion, needless to say, was HUGE. The biggest one, even bigger than the Africa Joint Pavilion, which housed 42 countries and a performance stage in the center. I feel so unpatriotic saying that my home country's pavilion didn't make it into my top three favorites, so the other reason why it's the first entry is my pathetic way of trying to make up for it. Somewhat.

Day and night shots of entire structure: I are so creative with angles I know OTZ



Even so, it was amazing, let there be no doubt on the matter. It ranks really high on pavilions I enjoyed.

This is one of the few pavilions they won't be taking down after the Expo ends. I know a lot of people skip this, opting to come after Expo season is over and hopefully when there's less people XD

It's also ridiculously hard to get into, since they only pass out a limited number of reservation tickets a day. Basically, without a reservation ticket, even if you wait in line, they won't let you in the pavilion. Out of the 6 days of getting there 2 hours before the park even opened, I only got a reservation ticket twice (and that was only because I was in the handicap line with grandmother, ahahaha...)

Behold, my expired reservation ticket for May 24th XD They take it away when you enter, so uh, lol I totally could have traded it that day for something /shot XD But now you know what it looks like =D



So first, you get on a series of escalators and you go up. Thank gods we didn't have to climb those stairs. You go into a room to watch this 8 minute inspirational movie without words focusing on past, present, and future. It was shown on three screens, and they said no filming.

At this point I was still good, so I didn't film it. Should have though /shot XD

The next room is probably the most famous, a huge wall of a very famous drawing of everyday life in ancient China, except animated. This literally blew me away, they did both a day scene and a night scene animation. The original was also there =D I suck at taking pictures, so no pictures for that since they all turned out super blurry OTZ

Then, my memory fails me, but a series of nice cool rooms, each focusing on a different aspect. A few pics below:



And then, there was this mini coaster ride thing~~~ =D It was really cool, and took you through different landscapes. I filmed this part, except my camera really sucks so it's like, tiny resolution OTZ So a few tiny shots taken from film of the scenery...



More really cool rooms, these more focused on technology.



And to give you a sneak peak at just how many people there are:



This isn't even close to 1/20 of the people waiting in the outside line. I lucked out and didn't have to wait in those ^^; The exit was to an outdoor garden that eventually let out to the elevated pedestrian walkway. It was a nice to place to take pictures, especially of the surrounding pavilions =D







Finland




As requested by awesome roomie =)
Finland was one of the ones I went to during the night. Up-side, close to nil wait time; down-side, my feet were hurting like hell. Sadly, not as many pictures as I would like, but first, outside structure in both day and night, and the cool stone in the water surrounding the pavilion:



So the inside structure was basically a helix where you walked up and then walked down. The outer wall showcased pretty images, and the inner had displays from fashion to technology. Sadly, very little pics because I was kind of hurrying through >_>;;







Germany




Only an hour and a half wait time, not too bad for getting there pretty late that morning, around 9:30 almost. But Germany's is really good, and lives up to it's reputation =D It's also huge, and touring the whole pavilion took a little over an hour to finish.



The pavilion's split into many sections, though I don't think I brought that particular map back with me, sadly. But the first was full of pretty landscapes, and had two people dress up in fancy clothing taking pictures with others. Their patience must be godly, and it was pure luck that I was able to get one of just the two of them (even if they're not facing me XD)



Then, there were a lot of stuff on energy conservation and preservation, relating to the Expo theme. Then, there were a lot of themed rooms, from parks to factories to music and technology and a ton more that I can't remember. Ahh, wish I took more pictures OTZ Also, they had a slide =D It was fun sliding down the slide~



The last section was a audience integrated performance thingy in a dome kind of room, with a huge LCD screen ball hanging in the middle. There were three tiers of people, I was in the middle, and two hosts skated around on boards that were built in, talking and urging the audience to participate. Granted, participate was mostly yell as loud as you can, but quite fun XD It was a really cool expreience~ And blurry pictures are blurry, ahahaha... >_>;;







Iraq


~was wonderfully not open, all three times I went to check~


So, not so much a pavilion post as a I was pissed it was closed post. Oh well =( Here's a picture of outside.







Japan




Ah, Nihon. The origin of...most of my hobbies, actually. So surprisingly, I never actually saw the entire pavilion >_>;; This was the last pavilion of my first day, and I was totally unprepared for well, fatigue and dying feet soles (man I would have killed to have a plastic foldable chair that day). I wasn't the only one wanting to go home that day, my grandmother was there as well, so we opted to leave halfway.

This is one of those super popular pavilions that has 3+ hour wait lines, boasts robots, and is a country Chinese people have heard of and quite familiar with. Now why didn't I stay until the end >_>;;

It takes about an hour to view the entirety of Japan's pavilion, and it's probably a good estimate. Also, they kept saying no taking pictures while waiting in line, so I kind of lost interest before even going in. Also the reason why I don't even have pictures of the parts of the pavilion I saw. Should have just taken pictures, dammit >_>;;

Sadly, I seem to have missed many really cool performances (like a robot playing the violin, or so I heard), and I do regret not sticking it out until the end. But oh well, have a few pictures of Japan's very purple and very oddly shaped building =)







(South) Korea




This was how the passport alphabetized S. Korea, under K, so I'm going with that.

Another hugely popular pavilion for the same reasons as Japan, except you replace the robots part with technology and KPOP. I can actually see why Korea's would be popular; they combined culture, technology, and entertainment very well~ =D Their building design was really funky though.



The motto for the pavilion is "Your friend, Korea" which is just so so so adorable ♥ Haha, influenced by Hetalia, but even so, it's so cute~ There were a lot of interesting rooms with pictures and tech. The two that were most memorable to me was the touch screen informative game thing room, which I didn't quite get, and the 3-D movie stations where you could put on glasses and watch a short clip in 3-D. Excuse the horrid pictures >_>;;



After that, I was glad I opted to wait in the line for the movie/performance. That was definitely the highlight of the Korea pavilion, and pretty much embodies most of KPOP and Korean pop culture. Also, really pretty and creative lights in the hallway entrance for the show.

So the main show. It was set in a futuristic world, focusing on the not-yet fully initiated member of a group of modern superheroes that work to bring smiles to people's faces. I don't recognize faces, but I will say for certain they were all played by popular Korean super-stars. I won't give too much away, since this'll probably end up on the internet sooner or later XD The story was a really cute and heart-wrenching story, full of song, comedy, synchronized dancing, all set to an impossibly catchy tune. The directors/writers/actors are definitely pros. It was a combination of 3-D animation and real life acting, and at the very end, the ballerina that was the Important Symbolic Item in the plot literally came to life. The dancer playing the ballerina was also very pretty, and could do ballet =D Film or photography wasn't allowed, so le sigh.



The next world expo will be held in Yeaosu, South Korea, 2012!





Latvia


~was wonderfully still in construction up until the day I left~


And by wonderfully still in construction, I literally mean it. Below I will offer pictoral proof. Probably should have taken it at more angles, but I can assure you that I had no idea this was Latvia's pavilion when I took the two pictures on the left on May 21st. And I circled the entire thing. The middle pic is the empty spot before the sign appeared, you'll just have to take my word for it. Pic on right was taken on May 24th, after a weekend passed. Hmm...







Libya


~was wonderfully not open, and I wandered around Africa's square on four different days~


Ah, I'm running out of things to say to these not open pavilions. Well, this is the last one, and a random shot of what this looked liked from the outside.







Monaco




I uh...think that's Monaco's stamp /fails OTZ I mentioned the massive overlapping of stamps earlier (you can see Haiti's on the left), and since I couldn't find Monaco's, and this doesn't have a name on it, err...hopefully? OTZ Please correct me if I'm wrong OTZ

Not getting a chance to revisit this pavilion and record against their rules shhhh the AMAZING video they showed, is my second greatest regret. It was so well done, the animation so epic, the music so fitting and dramatic, and ahhh, EVERYTHING about that I just love so so so so so much! ♥

I'd totally rate Monaco's movie above every other movie I saw, and I went see it only after having gone through most of the big pavilions with films.

I want a copy of that so badddddddddddd~~~~~ ;_; But since I don't have one, have two pictures of the building.



Then afterwards, the inside was really cool as well, with cool chandeliers and scenery and racecars and a kickass uniform~~~



Monaco ranks #3 for on my favorites list~ ♥





Russia




Russia's was huge and reallly pretty inside. First, outer building:



The theme for the Russia pavilion was "World Through Children's Eyes" which is utterly adorable and they did a fantastic job on it. The first floor had funky statues and displays, but it was the spiral up to and down from the second floor that blew my mind away.



It's basically a wonderland come to life, with huge flower and berries and even butterflies, all with a waterfall in the center. Not to mention the cute cottages, each showing an informational cartoon on Russian culture through a door or window. All in all, SO COOL~~~ ♥



Also, since this is a walk-through pavilion, the line moves pretty fast =) I actually got in this line out of desperation, since the guy told me that it'd be a 2 hour wait. I actually only had to stand for about an hour or so though, so don't always trust what they say =P





Saudi Arabia




The pavilion that boasts the longest wait line in the entire Expo. I've personally met someone who waited almost 6 hours for this, and according to my mother, when she went to ask at about 9:30am, the guard told her the wait time was more than 8 hours x__x;;

Saudi Arabia was my first pavilion on my last day. I basically ran there as soon as I cleared security, so I only spent about an hour or so waiting in line. The outside line. The line once you actually enter the pavilion took about another half hour.

And the entire pavilion? Ten minutes, tops.

Ok, so Saudi Arabia is hands down the pavilion I liked the least. It looks quite majestic though on the outside though, and the concept, a Moon Boat is very original.



So my beef with Saudi Arabia is one, the design is HORRIBLE for accomodating large amounts of people. And to say that Shanghai Expo has a large amount of people is an understatement; it has a humongous ginormous effing hoards of large amounts of people. Every other pavilion, they let you in, at the very least, 10, 20, 50, 100 people at a time.

Saudi Arabia? One. One. One effing person at a time. And only every five seconds or so. So that's what, 12 people a minute, 720 people an hour. The USA pavilion accomodates 500 people every 10 minutes, isn't half as popular, and the wait there is around 1-2 hours.

Gee, I wonder why the Saudi Arabia's wait time is so. Effing. Long. /facepalm

Which makes waiting in line an even greater hell, especially with the wait lines are there. If there's even a tiny space between you and the person ahead of you, people complain, or straight out cut you. You can't even rest, because you're constantly forced to inch forward at the speed of 0.000000000000001 km/hr. And when it comes to a pavilion that lets one person in at a time, cutting a few people actually matters.

Two, half of the pavilion wasn't even effing open. Below is the map they handed out during the painful line waiting. It has eight sections: Entrance, Cultural Performance Stage, Friendship Garden, Treasure Cinema, Arabian Rooftop Oasis, Corridor of Arts, Cities and People Hall, and Pavilion Hall.



Let's be nice and count Entrance as a section. The so-called Pavilion Hall is actually just a spiral to the exit, with a not-turned-on fountain at the bottom. Sure, we'll count that too.



Friendship Garden was...not so much a garden as an area of grass with plants on it. Not that you could actually get within 10 feet of it, no, you were stuck in line. Treasure Cinema, the wonderful 4-D theatre that they boasted so much about. I could rant on about all the things that I didn't like about it, but let's put it this way: Taiwan's while smaller, was much more effective in the 4-D sense and had way superior graphics. That is all.

What about the other four? No idea, cause as soon as we exited the theatre, everyone got ushered down the spiral to exit to the Pavilion Hall. Great. Wonderful. Dang, am I glad I'm not one of those people who waited 6 hours to see this. I only waited 1, and I felt it was a complete waste of my time.

So unless you've done research and know for sure the whole pavilion is actually open, don't go stand in this line. So completely not worth it. Although they did have a cute take on the Expo mascot and nice fountains at the exit.







Singapore




As requested by ittoki
Singapore was actually the second to last pavilion I got a chance to visit. Regretfully, it was also one of the pavilions I rushed through I didn't actually see all of since I was pressed for time OTZ But first, an outer view and the pretty fountain outside:



The inside was really nice, with a lot of pretty displays and high tech features. There were also trampolines, that I actually bounced on XD I didn't quite get what I was suppose to be doing, but it was an interesting experience XD



The second floor was a movie, and the line was...a horridly long wait OTZ So I skipped out on the second and third floor. I really wanted to go to the third floor actually, since it was a sky garden, but alas ;__; However, I did get a nifty mouse pad, which I am currently using =D







Sweden




My second favorite pavilion! It was actually quite a shame, since there was a performance while I was waiting in line, this guy on a yo-yo and this female acrobat on a rope. I only got saw teeny parts of it, since I was too far behind in line OTZ But that aside, Sweden! I really liked the funky architecture =D



There were a lot of really cool rooms. I wish I took more pictures, but here are a few snapshots:



But most importantly, it had an indoor slide and swing set!!! ♥ Though the slide wasn't open when I went in (boo, a shame) but I had tons of fun swinging on the swing set~~~ Yes, things like this amuse me =D Blurry pictures are blurry, and the orange thing is the entrance to the slide, the blue thing the actual slide, and the last my horrible picture taking skills in action.



There were more really cool rooms with funky stuff after that, like those chairs. You have no idea how difficult it was to get a shot of that without people. And then, there was a playground outside, as soon as you exited. Sweden, you are my new hero~~~ Man, I would totally have gone that had there not been so many little kids XD Playground, and red ponies too =DDD ♥







Switzerland




My most favorite pavilion, if only because of one attraction: epic ski chair lift with sky garden of epic epic proportions ♥ ♥ ♥ Not to mention that the design with solar power and ahh, it's a pretty building~



After waiting two and a half hours for this (the longest line I've had to wait in, believe it or not) I more or less rushed past the displays and the movie (which was actually in a very nice looking theater-esque atmosphere) and straight to the...line for the lift XD

I basically recorded the entire lift ride, even though I should have taken stills, but alas. But yeah, camera records really badly, so again, a few small pics that totally don't do the experience any justice at all. Seriously, it was amazing and just so cool, taking a ride up there~



This is the pavilion I 100% recommend going to~ ♥





Taiwan




Taiwan's the other pavilion, besides China, that in order to get in, you need a reservation ticket. So if you want one, basically race there at 9:00 in the morning. The line will be long. They handed out 2000 tickets at 9:30, and then 1000 more at 6:00 in the evening. Go for the 9:30 one, if you want to see Taiwan's. I've been to both, and I have to say, the 9:30 is a much shorter wait time and a higher probability of getting a ticket.

Haha, and as you can guess, I also have an unused Taiwan pavilion reservation ticket XD Man, I'm like, collecting these things or something. On May 17th, somewhere, some person who didn't get one is probably cursing me out or something >_>;;



Taiwan's is actually one of the better designed ones imo, and I liked it a lot. It's location makes me laugh, since it's next to China, but not really. Basically, China, Hong Kong, Macau as a group, then a street, then Taiwan XD Didn't end up taking any pictures since I filmed the entire thing, ahahahaha... OTZ So uh, have a few building shots.



Taiwan's pavilion experience is set in three stages. First, is the 4-D theatre, which is amazing. The graphics are nice, the presentation is nice, and it really highlights the natural beauty of Taiwan. The second part is the middle level, where you make a wish simulating that of the lantern wishes done in Taiwan. There's also the really expensive rock they brought, along with actual water from the Pacific Ocean and Taiwan.



The last section is ground floor, where they pass out really nice tea and played music for you. They let you keep the tea cup, and they give you a bag to go with it. Then at the exit, you get a bigger bag, a bag of ramen, a packet of tissues, and a Taiwan pavilion fan~ Free stuff ftw~~~ ♥ /shot (Though seriously, it's a really nice quality tea cup~ ♥)







Ukraine




Dedicated to my awesome roomie~ Also her request XD
This was one of the first pavilions I went to. Why? Because it didn't have a line, ahahahaha... >_<;; Truth be said, it wasn't a very exciting pavilion, or very big for that matter. Basically one pretty spacious room with many cultural stuff, and a cafe! =D Though I do wish I could have taken the pictures of the waitresses in what I can only assume to be legit Ukrainian traditional clothing a year earlier~ XD







United Arab Emirates



My greatest regret is not having the time to go here. I got there 16 minutes past 9:00 on my last day, and they said they've stopped letting people queue OTZ Not to mention it had it's own page in the passport for stamping aksdjf;kaljd OTZ

;______________________________________;







United States of America




Ah, probably more my mother country than China, in how much of the language and culture I understand >_>;; I lol'd at how the US pavilion was basically located on a far far corner of the expo XD



My personal opinion of the US pavilion isn't bad. I thought it was quite amusing. Then again, I understand perfect English and grew up in the States >__>;; The pavilion was...very much designed for English speaking people with an interest in Chinese culture, rather than for Chinese people with an interest in American culture. It went as follows.

Every 10 minutes, they let in 500 people. The way they designed the letting people in mechanism is quite admirable, probably the best in the whole Expo, or so I think. So, first up, a film about Americans speaking Chinese. It was pretty quirky and funny, really light and humorous. The only dialogue it had was mangled Chinese attempted by non-native speakers. Makes me appreaciate Engrish so much more XD I wish I recorded this one~

After that, you go into the next room, and it's...another film. This one I filmed, and I don't know why. In short, it was a documentary. A slightly more interesting documentary than perhaps the ones on the Civil War or what not, but a documentary nonetheless. Completely in English. I couldn't even see the Chinese subtitles from where I was sitting. Wonderful. Good job guys, you realize that 99.9% of visitors here speak ONLY Mandarin, yes? Well, the highlight of this film was it was introduced by Hilary, and concluded by Obama. Cue the camera flashes.

And then, you get ushered into the third room for...surprise! Yay, another film! This one boasts of being 4-D, but really, it's a regular 2-D movie on a three panel screen, and in the middle when it rains, mist gets sprayed on you. Yep, 4-D alright. This one was thankfully, without words. It told an inspirational story about working together for the betterment of the whole community, was funny at time, touching at others, and a very happy ending. Quite well done, though it seemed just a tad bit forced...? It could just be me, but this one was very cute and had nice music~



And then it was a huge room with many companies featuring their stuff. It was shiny.



 
 
 
(Deleted comment)
Nanashiamoyr on June 6th, 2010 08:35 pm (UTC)
Ahh, it's so much more grandeur irl~~~

Mentally prepare yourself, that line is by far one of the...much tamer, much nicer, much shorter one's you'll see. I almost cried seeing the line to get into the expo at 7:00 in the morning OTZ It never struck me until then just how many people there are in China, or rather, just Shanghai...