The Shanghai World Expo Closes

The British pavillion had large fiber optic elements that made an otherworldly look at a distance.

There were 72 million attendees of the Shanghai 2010 world expo. The vast majority of the attendees were from across China – visited pavilions staged by more than 240 countries and organisations. I went to the expo two weeks ago. It was well over 99% people from across China. China reportedly spent some $60bn (£37bn) preparing for the fair. There was a budget of US$ 4.2 billion on facility construction and event operation alone.

The Shanghai Municipal Government has spent an additional US$ 45 billion to upgrade the city’s transportation system and other infrastructure. Results can be seen around every corner – Thousands of aging buildings have been remodeled, walls repainted, new tunnels and highway constructed. A brand new terminal – T2 of Hongqiao Airport – went into operation in March. In a little over two years, the city has more than doubled its operating subway lines to 420 km

China’s pavillion, 12 stories tall

The computer animation of a famous chinese painting was the highlight of the China expo. It was a screen that was about 10 times longer than a typical movie screen. There were 1000+ animated characters. It would loop every 6 minutes or so. So it is like having saying the movie Toy Story laid out on 10 seamless screens with different parts playing for a few minutes.

The French pavillion was centered around the french restaurant. Twin-Michelin-starred chefs Jacques and Laurent Pourcel ran the restaurant. I ate there and it was among the best meals that I ever had. $60 per person for three courses was a great value, although expensive for the locals. On the other hand the elevated prices at the Burger King or other onsite restaurants could easily run $15-25 per person.

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