Akin to the National Stadium in Beijing, the Shanghai New International Expo Centre (The Expo) instills a strong sense of accomplishment and legacy even after the conclusion of a major event in the country’s history. The Expo’s location means that it is reachble by the Shanghai metro with Madang Road Station and moreover for Shanghai flights, it is only a few minutes away from Pudong International airport by train. In light of the outstanding recent developments in the city, there is no doubt you will find quality accommodation from Shanghai hotels which are in close proximity to The Expo.

Interestingly, the Expo 2010 venue in Shanghai was the largest venue of its kind ever (covering over 5.28 square kilometres) which comprised of international expositions and fairs. The 2010 ‘Better City – Better Life’ theme reinforced Shanghai’s status as a world city well into the 21st century. Indeed, Expo 2010 has certainly left an impressive legacy with the site welcoming an unprecedented record of 73 million visitors by the end of Expo 2010.

On face value, you may think that the site may have gone the way of the Millennium Dome in London and lapsed straight after its major event.
However, if anything, the project has moved swiftly on by perpetually creating new exhibits and attractions. For this reason, myself and my friends were generally impressed with the site. In spite of not being able to experience the extravaganza of Expo 2010; funnily enough, there were still people selling passports with stamps from all the countries involved lingering around the Expo Park. Even a model of the Expo mascot, Haibao (with the appearance of a blue Chinese character for people) is noticeable with kids flocking to have their photo taken with him.

On our visit to Expo, we were unable to go inside the most recognisable of the buildings, namely The China Pavillion (or ‘Oriental Crown’, due to its iconic shape). There were, nevertheless, other notable buildings to enter such as the Mercades-Benz Arena. Inside, there are swanky cars on display and some smart restaurants which is a marked contrast from its spaceship-looking exterior! Once in the arena, there is platform (we had some difficulty finding the actual access point) which encircles the arena. From here, you can gaze in awe over the city and even cheekily watch what is going on below; such as the Strawberry Festival in our case.

Happening in both Beijing and Shanghai, the Strawberry Festival is a prime example of how Expo has been utilised since 2010. Considering my friends and I were budgeting at the time, we gave the festival a pass with the prices fetching 120RMB or 300RMB for a three-day pass. Having said this, these prices seem decent compared to the many festivals abroad plus it is an excellent way to polish off an awesome stay on a travel to Shanghai.

 

 

 

 

Jack Li

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