Ctripper posts come to us directly from the good folks at Ctrip, China's top online travel agency (and proud sponsor of ChinaTravel.net). Stay tuned for Ctrip special offers, travel tips, news on new travel deals, tours and activities, and slices of life-in-China from Ctrip staff and interns. Our Ctrip English department headed off to the Expo ourselves the other day, and here are some thoughts.... >>>
For a travel company’s staff, the Expo is a “must-see” this summer, so the Ctrip English department organized a group tour for us. On an early Sunday morning, we checked in easily at Shiliupu Wharf in Puxi, and then headed to the other side of the Huangpu River by ferry. It would have been much better to view the Bund and Lujiazui on the boat if it were not drizzling. We arrived after twenty minutes, and found the whole Expo had just opened its gate.
Off the ferry, we saw the purple Japan Pavilion was right in front of us, and there were hardly any people waiting there. It shouldn’t take you more than 30 minutes to get into it. A hundred meters away was the legend of Shanghai Expo – the Saudi Arabia Pavilion - which keeps the record for the longest queue ever: 9 hours to get inside! At 9:30 am, when I found the end of its queue, it already required 3-hours waiting. We ended up leaving the pavilion at 1:30 pm, and later in the afternoon, Ctrip had reserved the China and USA pavilions for us, which gave us a couple of hours to wait. But after the visit, I actually felt that despite being two powerful countries, neither China nor the USA had shown their best wisdom to present us the concept of “Better City, Better Life”.
It’s excited to see so many countries gathering in one stage. The Expo itself is full of diversity and vitality. But I’d rather wander outside the pavilions than wait in a queue for several hours to take a 20 minute virtual trip of a country.