After exploring the Puxi area in the morning, we headed to Pudong during noon. Pudong is where all the country pavilions are located and where all the crowd is headed.
It is impossible to tour the entire Shanghai Expo area in a day – there are over 240 pavilions spread over 4 zones, separated by the Huangpu River.
For tips on exploring the Expo if you are starved for time, you can read this article I wrote for my paper on 17 May 2010.
Some of the popular pavilions like China, USA and Japan takes hours to queue, just to get in. We figured we were better off marveling the varied architecture of the various pavilions from the outside, soaking in the expo atmosphere and only visiting those pavilions which look more interesting, with a manageable queue.
In this way, we were able to see practically all the pavilions from the outside and still enjoyed touring a select few on the inside.
The expo is great for shopping and food too, beyond pavilion hopping. Cuisines from around the world are available at the various country pavilions and there are over 100 restaurants distributed throughout the zones. Likewise for souvenir hunters, literally, the world is your market with each country pavilion offering unique local delights and exclusive expo mechandises.
Spain pavilion which resembles a giant wicker basket
The Spain pavilion from another angle
Estonia – the first pavilion we visited
There’s nothing but giant pigs of different colours in the Estonia pavilion
More pigs – I kid you not
Latvia pavilion which was still incomplete
You can see part of the bare wall in this picture
We tried to climb up the Latvia pavilion, but were chased down by staff
View of the Expo area atop the Latvia pavilion
Exterior of the Finnish pavilion
Named Kirnu, the FInnish pavilion is built to resemble a small island surrounded by a mirror of water – it’s one of my favourite pavilion
Finnish girl who gave an introduction to Finland in halting Mandarin
One of the ushers in the Finnish pavilion
Finnish musicians with two random Chinese photo hunters
Inside the Finland pavilion:
Some interactive installation
Another video piece where you can leave your image behind
Made in Finland products – Nokia is there of course
More Finnish products
Another view of the Denmark pavilion
Czech Republic pavilion
The Netherland pavilion
The much praised, beautiful UK pavilion – The Seed Cathedral, which is covered by 60,000 crystalline spines tiat are tipped with tiny lights
June and I, pretending to drive one of the Expo cars
Real Expo staff driving the same car
There are lots of giant maps like this for navigation
USA pavilion which had a long queue despite the unimpressive exterior
The long queue deterred us from going in
The two hours marker for the USA queue
USA gift shop – the product range was very yawn and drab
The USA pavilion enterprise section which you can enter without queuing
A lot of Chinese vied to pose here for photos
Nothing but corporate videos… no wonder don’t need to queue
The Canadian pavilion
Small kid in front of us in the queue. We took about half an hour to get in.
Signature maple leave
Inside the Canada pavilion:
Inside the Canadian pavilion
The interior is designed by Cirque du Soleil – hence the wavy forms
Interactive “pool” which will ripple with the wind chimes
Cycling installation in the Canadian pavilion
The animation sequence the cyclists will see
I love this giant screen which showcases many picturesque scenes in Canada
Panaromic scene of a fish market in Canada
Canada street scene
Some Canadian artwork
You can buy maple syrup at the gift shop
Canadian soft serve
Wider view of the Brazilian pavilion
Noticed a lot of the Chinese have these Expo “passports” where they can get a chop at each of the country pavilion visited – a lot of pushing occurred because of this
Inside the Brazil pavilion:
A video installation inside the Brazil pavilion which made me really giddy
Exterior view of the video installation
As expected, there were lots of footballs
Brazil gift shop
Columbia pavilion gift shop – they ran out of coffee!
I am not joking – this is the coffee kiosk which ran out of coffee
One of the smaller shared pavilions – Albania
San Marino – which claims to be the smallest and oldest republic in the world
Cyprus – another shared pavilion
This is about all there is inside the Cyprus pavilion
A giant video installation was spotted inside the Belarus pavilion
South Africa pavilion – there’s a giant Nelson Mandela mural on one side
Quote from Nelson Mandela
Somehow the pavilion felt very “un-Egypt”
For some reason, we chose to have lunch here – there are many such identical restaurant buildings in the Expo area serving a variety of world cuisines
Inside the restaurant
My la mien lunch
After lunch, we headed to a Coca-Cola event designated area for their Founder’s Day Parade to celebrate Coca-Cola’s 124th birthday.
There were already a large crowd gathered when we arrived. Luckily, we had VIP passes and I was able to position myself close to the front.
The “Brrr-man”, Baruti, was there to warm up the crowd together with some Chinese dancers and acrobatic performers.
The parade started shortly after. It was a visual feast, much like a mini World-themed version of the Chingay Parade in Singapore. Check out the event photos and videos below.
Baruti singing Happy “Brrr-day” to Coca-Cola:
A large crowd was already gathered when we arrived
Baruti challenging the crowd to perform his signature “Brrr”
To the tune of K’naan’s Wavin Flags
The full video recording of the Coca-Cola Founder’s Day Parade:
Me at the front of the parade
Cheery ladies leading the parade
Chinese Uncle Tom
I spot the Expo logo
Look at the size of her blouse!
Blue elephant cart
Smile and wave
All dolled up
Hail the fat king
Our Japanese friend getting interviewed after the parade
That ended our noon activities at the Expo. We will be doing more pavilion-hopping in the evening, including visiting the Singapore Pavilion and checking out the magnificent architecture of the China Pavilion. Stay tuned to my next post on all these and the star-studded Coca-Cola Celebration Concert. 🙂
My previous posts on Shanghai with Coca-Cola:
Shanghai Expo with Coca-Cola – A Preview
Day 1 – Arrive Shanghai, The Bund
Shanghai Expo Express (my paper travel story)
Day 2 (morning) – Coca-Cola’s Global Innovation & Technology Center, Bloggers Confernce
Day 2 (evening) – Xintiandi, meeting Expedition 206 crew
Day 3 (morning) – Coca-Cola Pavilion Launch, Puxi
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