Travel the World in Just FIVE Days at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai!

What’s the buzz right now in another time zone and on another continent? Well…Yes, the World Cup of course, but what about for those of us who aren’t actually big soccer (futbol) fans? Nestled between the two banks of the Huangpu River in Shanghai, China, is the largest-ever international exposition, the Shanghai World Expo, with over 190 countries and 50 international participating organizations!

Instead of sending over a 23-man squad to battle for the gold cup and fight to be declared the SOCCER WORLD CHAMPIONS, the participants at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo showcase their home country’s rich history and new technologies that follow the theme of “Better City – Better Life.”

Like all international shows and competitions, Shanghai was not immediately named the 2010 World Expo host; the city had to go through a selection process, where it had to outbid five (5) other competing cities. Shanghai scored the highest in all four (4) rounds of voting.

After winning the bid in 2002, Shanghai had to start reshaping the city to prepare for this international event. After eight (8) long years of preparation and numerous remodeling projects (the completion of six (6) subway lines spanning from one corner of the city to another, the construction of numerous highways to lessen traffic, the remodeling of the Bund and making the city more “green” by ordering buildings to install energy-efficient LED lights and planting over one (1) million flowers and plants across the city’s main streets and Expo site), Shanghai was ready to kick-off the six (6) month World Expo on April 30th, 2010, with a spectacular fireworks and light show that had over two (2) dozen world leaders in attendance.

The most sought after pavilion, of course, is the China pavilion. As one of the biggest pavilions in the expo and a soon to be permanent fixture when the Expo ends on October 31st, this pavilion showcases the achievements in urban development from ancient to modern China, as well as how the Chinese are tackling problems such as pollution and overcrowding.

With the intensely crowded atmosphere in the Expo park and over 200 pavilions planning to attend, it is simply impossible to see everything in the span of one day; the most you could probably accomplish is admiring all the beautiful architecture that each country and organization has built!

Each pavilion is different in what they want to showcase. For example, when visiting the Turkey pavilion, you will probably be brought into a time-machine that takes you to the ruins of ancient civilizations. If you wander to the Switzerland pavilion, you will be taken on a breathtaking panoramic chairlift ride of the skyline of a “green-er” Shanghai, as well as see scenic shots of the Switzerland mainland and their initiatives to keep their cities in harmony with nature. While visiting the African Joint pavilion, you will find yourself in a marketplace full of authentic African coffee, jewelry and pottery. Also, when exploring the Denmark pavilion, you will have the opportunity to see Denmark’s national treasure: the Little Mermaid!

The 2010 World Expo is just like traveling the world in just five (5) days! If you are adventurous and love to travel, yet lacking the monetary funds to see the world, why not just buy one ticket to Shanghai and see the other 200 countries in only one spot? Sure there may be long lines and you might be drenched in sweat, but this is an opportunity to broaden your horizons while keeping your pockets in check! And while you’re in Shanghai, why not enjoy the city itself with all its amazing culture and city life?

Written by Venisse Wu

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