October 2010


The EXPO started Mai 1st and ended October 31st. It took 3 years to build. How much did it cost? Around 4.2 billion US dollars according to government figures. Others talk about 40 billion US dollars. But this then includes all the infrastructure enhancements around the EXPO, like Subway line extensions, the complete transformation of the Bund esplanade, a river tunnel, new ferries, roads, and so on. Also relocation packages for around 55.000 residents had to be paid for.

Also, some of the money may have somehow been embezzled. The former mayor of Shanghai, who helped to bring the EXPO to Shanghai in the first place, was sentenced to 18 years in prison in 2008 on charges of graft and corruption. As I said before, the Chinese government is more keen to fight corruption than to eradicate the production of pirated goods. In the first case they would lose their tax payer's money in the second case they earn taxes from the faking business. Just a matter of what's good for China and not the rest of the world.

But how much of that money came back from the estimated 70 million visitors? The entry ticket did cost between 17.30 and 21:60 Euro. We paid the higher price because it was the peak season. If 70 million visitors paid an average price of 26 US dollar then this will add up to only 1.8 billion. That's not much. More income was probably generated by collecting more taxes from the business. Restaurants for example. They sometimes charged exorbitant prices. And we paid them as I will describe later on.

The whole area of 5 sq km stretches on both sides of the Huangpu river. The main and most sites are on the Pudong side. The other side is called Puxi. Shuttle ferries (for free) connect both sides. More than 190 countries and 40 international organization took part in this biggest ever EXPO event with the motto "Better City, better life".

We didn't count the flags at the entrance of the EXPO. Also to pin point our country flags between so many. Right after the entrance was the Chinese Pavilion. Because of the already long line we "reserved" our visit for the end of the day which we actually never made.

Click the small picture to get it enlarged

Country flags EXPO 2010 Chinese Pavilion
We took a small shuttle tram to get a first glimpse around and to save the blisters for later. We passed the German Pavilion to where we came back also a little later. But what a pity, the queues are snaking its way even longer. No wonder. This was the longest queue we ever saw in this EXPO. The Chinese must be very fond of Germany and especially interested in German technology ... and if it is just to copy it.
German Pavilion Germany Invasion
No way to sneak inside Taking a photo outside
We skipped crowded Germany and rather went to almost empty Africa. They had not much technology to offer but more natural environment, like flora and fauna, and indigenous people and their produce and their handicrafts: the prerequisite for the tourist industry.
Easy to get into Africa Even with a folklore show
Invited to visit Kenia with its fauna and flora
And to meet the locals in their fancy costumes
But not Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe nor Libya's Muammar al Qaddafi
This looks like Greece or Italia but it's the harbor of Algiers in Algeria
The old black Africa was best now we have to take some rest
The only one pavilion we visited of South America was Argentina. We were very much disappointed, though. I was expecting natural wonders and a tango performance, but we saw many photos and relics of Evita Peron (I cry for you, Argentina). Not even a Gaucho we met, but maybe we eat some meat of the cattle he rounds up. So, we entered the Argentinean restaurant to have lunch.

But they didn't have a cheap lunch of the day. But we said, what the heck, we will order the best, no matter the cost. Joy and me ordered a three course meal, consisting of an Argentinean steak, for 38 Euro and lamb chops for 16.80 but with French fries extra for 4.30 Euro. The coke was "only" 3.25 Euro. We could not afford one glass of Argentinean red wine for 10.80 Euro, but Petra could.
Then we decided to have a Gaucho lunch in the Argentinian pavilion restaurant
Then we went to South East Asia. Thailand was an option but the Philippine pavilion was a must. Yes, there was a line but pretty quick we were in it. Not much more to describe in addition to the comments beside the following photos. So just take a look.
South East Asia next: Thailand and the Philippines, a must
Nice Philippine Pavilion from the outside but only some singers and a bazaar inside
Folks from many countries presenting themselves on stage
Croatia Turkey
Latvia Estonia
Ukraine Greece
Netherland Flower German Bamboo
Relaxation in between Cambodia must not be seen
But New Zeeland we visited Not because of the cities but nature
More nature but on a photo And this is a hot spring replica
The green Brazil pavilion we missed The faint USA pavilion in the mist
This is supposed to be the Japanes pavilion
A parade is gathering
Waiting for action
Free shuttle ride from Pudong to Puxi on the other side
Ok, that was the EXPO. Our EXPO in one day. We could have come back to stand in line for the rest of our stay in Shanghai. Maybe there is much more to read in the internet. For now I do not have the time. One thing is for sure: that there is no come-back, because most pavilions will disappear.

© WEW Tours