Top 10 Things to Skip at the Shanghai World Expo 2010

UK Pavilion at Shanghai World Expo 2010

This is one pavilion you should not miss - the UK.

Now that you know the Top 10 Things To See at the Shanghai World Expo 2010, take a look at our list of things to pass on.

1. USA Pavilion

Sorry folks – This was a major disappointment. See our discussion on why here. The USA continues to generate long lines, but I wouldn’t recommend waiting in them. You have far more interesting things to see at the Expo.

2. South Africa

For the country hosting the World Cup during the Expo I was hoping for a little more. Perhaps because of it’s location South Africa gets plenty of foot traffic in lines, but we spent very little time there once we made it inside.

3. Peru & Colombia

Looks can be deceiving. Both of these pavilions are very well designed, but I’d rather make a stop at the Columbian coffee shop than wait in line to go inside. Both have a few videos talking about their countries, but nothing that you wouldn’t learn from a few minutes on their tourism board’s website.

4. Argentina’s Frozen Restaurant

Argentina has a very respectable looking restaurant from the outside. With menu’s covered in leather I was genuinely excited to get some empenadas. And then I was completely disappointed when our order came out still partly frozen. You have to be careful about meat in China generally, but I wasn’t prepared to tempt fate by eating something that hadn’t been cooked.

5. Chinese cafeterias

Avoid the various Chinese food courts scattered about the parks unless you know what you’re getting into. These are designed for Chinese consumers, not foreigners with delicate stomachs. Fortunately there are plenty of high caliber restaurants inside pavilions you can sample.

6. Skip the lemon water

Believe it or not buying plain old water can sometimes be difficult to find in the park. Coke is pushing soda’s, sugary drinks and even lemon flavored water over the good stuff. They’ve stocked so little of it that most kiosks sell out early in the morning. My advice (as you can’t bring your own water) is to stock up when you first get in the park and ration throughout the day.

7. Switzerland

Switzerland has a subpar entry in an area of the park full of architecturally bold constructions. Especially in the day time, their thin curtain of red blinking lights doesn’t hide the ugly cement pillars behind them. The swiss gondola ride on top still draws huge crowds, which makes the wait to get in even less appealing.

8. Skip the lines, cherry pick

There are LOTS of pavilions here, so don’t worry about doing everything in order. Lines are unpredictable and change in length in totally unexpected ways. If your target pavilion is busy, try going into surrounding countries that have no lines and come back later. The most popular pavilions will most always have lines (Europe, North America and Asia), so get there either right when the park opens or late at night for the shortest wait. Also note that the park may close at midnight, but many pavilions start closing at 10.

9. Pakistan

The insides look like a 5th grade science project complete with poster boards. Harsh I know, but don’t bother.

10. Squatter bathrooms

All public toilets in the Expo part are squatters. If you prefer to sit down for a bit, try to use the facilities while you’re inside a pavilion – most of them have real western toilets.

Now that you’ve seen which sites to skip, make sure to see our best recommendations for the Expo here.

2 Responses to “Top 10 Things to Skip at the Shanghai World Expo 2010”

  1. Antonio Salas
    May 27, 2010 at 1:30 pm #

    I am agree with you that Colombia & Peru are not a very well made pavilions but the Peruvian restaurant inside the Peru Pavilion is worth it to come inside the Pavilion and try one of the dishes from Peru. Peru is know together with france, china and thailand one of the best gastronomy places to visit, Lima is full of amaizing restaurants and this place called The Peruvian Kitchen is in the same level of any great restaurant in Peru. The food is amazing and as far as I see ( because I already been 8 times!!) many people who works in the expo been there. One time I saw the vicepresident of Colombia and other time USA Embassador. Anyway my point is this 50 seat restaurant is worth a visit to the Peruvian Pavilion and try the best thing that Peru got.. his FOOD.

  2. Linda Walsh
    June 10, 2010 at 1:52 am #

    We were in areas B and C the one time we have been so far and the public restrooms we were in each had at least one Western style toilet – just look at the pictures on the stall doors. One restroom had cones blocking one side, but when the attendant saw my daughter and I, she motioned us into the blocked side and it had Western toilets!
    Also, we had purchased the little booklets to get the Passport stamps from each country, and it went fine until we got into the Joint Pavillions (we did Africa and Pacific). The older Chinese people seemed to be on a mission to collect stamps! It looked like they weren’t even going into the displays, just going from line to line for stamps, so we skipped most of the stamps and enjoyed the displays.

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