We have finally reached the last entry for day three. Even I myself am surprised by the volume of photos and videos I took at the Shanghai Expo!
The Singapore pavilion was surprisingly popular. It took us around half an hour to queue to get in. However, the interior was a little disappointing as more than half of the interactive installation were all damaged.
We also had to queue to get from point to point. The Singapore pavilion is the only pavilion where we encountered such a regimental approach where there were staff hired to bark at people to get in queue. Tourism should be a pleasant experience where one is free to roam and explore what he or she is interested in. In this respect, the Singapore pavilion failed to impress.
The pavilion was also loaded with too much facts and figures about Singapore – ranging from our demographics composition to the number of “world number one” we achieved. Boring.
To be fair, the video featuring our local talents, JJ Lin, Tanya Chua, A-Do and Stephanie Sun was enjoyable to watch. Riki-san enjoyed it and so did I. The sky garden also provided a bird’s eye view of the Expo area.
From Southeast Asia, we moved on to the African Joint Pavilion, the European pavilions and other pavilions along the way to our end point – the China Pavilion.
The joint pavilions felt like a combination of giant pasam malam cum NATAS fair. There are many booths selling all kinds of trinkets and souvenir items from around the world. It feel it too commercialised and did not stay there long. If you are starved for time during your Expo visit, you can skip the joint pavilions.
Outside the UK pavilion, we encountered a performing group dressed as Elvis Presley, singing and dancing while pretending to clean up the area. There are lots of such roving performers around and they help to liven up the atmosphere.
It was time for dinner. June had a craving for spicy food. Hence we headed to the Thailand pavilion to check out the food offering there. Practically all the country pavilions offer their local cuisines at the gift shop area. Hence if you are a foodie who is keen to savour food from around the world, the Expo is a good place to do so.
I ordered a plate of Phad Thai (Thai fried noodle) which tasted quite yummy. The price is a bit steep by local standard at RMB50 per plate. That works out to around S$10. However, that’s about the average price of a meal in most places within the Expo area. We also ordered Coca-Cola to go with our meal of course.
After dinner, we headed further for the China Pavilion. We passed by some other pavilions along the way, but it was the magnificent China Pavilion that left us awe-stricken.
The Hong Kong and Macau pavilions flanking its side were beautiful too, but cannot match the size and grandeur of the China Pavilion.
Themed on Oriental Crown, Splendid China, Ample Barn, Rich People, the pavilion seeks to reveal an ideal that is deep-rooted in Chinese culture.
It’s a pity I didn’t get to visit the China Pavilion due to time-constraint. In order to get in, one has to register for a queue number immediately upon entrance whereby a timing will be allocated for you to join the ever sprawling queue.
Nonetheless, the China Pavilion is a permanent fixture and will remain open to tourists after the end of the Expo. Hence one can still visit it when in Shanghai any time of the year.
The majestic China, Hong Kong and Macau pavilions – Part 1:
The majestic China, Hong Kong and Macau pavilions – Part 2:
After all the pavilion-hopping, it was time for the other highlight of the day – the Coca-Cola Shanghai Expo Celebration Concert in conjunction with the global brand’s 124th birthday!
We had to take a ferry to cross back to the Puxi area where the concert was held. There are free shuttle buses and ferries available to move from point to point in the Expo area. I find that a very thoughtful gesture by the Chinese authorities. The ride across the Huangpu River was quite scenic at night and we all enjoyed the gentle night breeze too.
For the concert, many big stars were involved, including China’s Jane Zhang (张靓颖), Hong Kong’s Jacky Cheung (张学友), American-born Taiwanese singer Wang Lee Hom (王力宏), super hot Taiwanese boyband Fahrenheit (飞轮海) and Somalian singer K’naan.
Coca-Cola got to be one of the only brand in the world capable of pulling so many famous act together in a single concert.
I was left star-struck for the evening even though I am not much of a celebrity groupie. The ending World Cup theme song, Wavin’ Flag, sung by K’naan, Jacky Cheung and Jane Zhang, etched a really deep impression on me. So much so that I still find myself humming the song now and then.
Following that, there was a short birthday song for Coca-Cola sung by all the artistes present, including the “Brrrr-Man”, Baruti. We headed back to our hotel to rest then.
The Pudong-Puxi ferry ride at night:
As a finale, we attended the Coca-Cola Shanghai Expo concert which featured many famous celebrities in the Chinese entertainment scenes like Jacky Cheung, Jane Zhang (张靓颖), Wang Lee Hom and Fahrenheit.”
Fahrenheit who performed the opening acts:
The trio from Coca-Cola’s Expedition 206 with Fahrenheit:
“Music Man” Wang Lee Hom performing with the creatures in Coca-Cola’s Happiness Factory:
“Brrr-man”, Baruti – Part 1:
“Brrr-man”, Baruti – Part 2:
Jacky Cheung, Jane Zhang and K’naan singing the Chinese version of Wavin’ Flag:
All in all, this was the most eventful day of my trip to Shanghai with Coca-Cola. It was definitely a day to remember for me, for many years to come and I sincerely would like to thank Coca-Cola for the wonderful experience they have given me.
Great trip; wonderful itinerary; VIP treatment; met many fun people; attended a world-class concert; seen pavilions from around the globe; what more can a blogger ask for?
My previous posts on Shanghai with Coca-Cola:
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