Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Wondrous Shanghai World Expo 2010: A once-in-a-lifetime trip!

Heibao - mascot of Expo 2010
    In my opinion, one of the greatest things about my university in Beijing (BISU) was a tradition they had that rewarded hardworking students. All students who attended 100% of their courses and earned high grades received certificates of excellence and a prize trip to various Chinese cities. For my first trip, I went to Mount Pan (盘山), next time to Shanghai, and later to Xi’an. In 2010, the competition was very stiff – only the top 20 students would get the opportunity to go to Shanghai. 

Zhujiajiao Town
    I couldn’t believe my happiness when after finishing all exams, I was one of the lucky and hard-working students who was awarded the trip. Along with the Dean of the school, a few teachers, and my fellow classmates, I travelled to Shanghai via high-speed train and spent 3 days exploring the city. We spent one full day in the Shanghai Expo and the other days in Shanghai city and “Venice of China” – Zhujiajiao Town. 

    One of the most impressive aspects of that journey was the Shanghai Expo 2010, which I would like to discuss with you today. The Expo was held from May 1st – October 31st 2010 on both banks of the Huangpu River in Shanghai. The theme of the exposition was "Better City – Better Life" and it demonstrated Shanghai's emerging status in the 21st century as the "next great world city". The event had the largest number of countries ever in attendance and it was the most expensive Expo in the history of the world's fairs. The Shanghai World Expo was also the largest World's Fair site ever, measuring in at 5.28 square km, and hosted over 73 million visitors (a record attendance).     

French pavilion
    Before the trip I was dreaming to see the French pavilion within the Expo, as I had seen it on TV and was pretty impressed. Dubbed ‘The Sensual City’, the pavilion is a simple building with a large, French-style garden. I also visited the pavilions of Germany, Spain, and the UK among others. 

Azerbaijani Pavilion
    Outside each pavilion, there were extremely long lines of people, sometimes kilometres in length! In some instances, people waited in line for more than 3 hours to get in. Of course, I visited the Azerbaijani pavilion as well, with one of our teachers and some other students. It was smaller than others, but still well made and attracted many visitors. 

    This year, the World Expo is taking place in Milan. Below is an excerpt from the Expo website, detailing the events that will take place:
“Expo Milano 2015 is the Universal Exhibition that Milan, Italy, is hosting from May 1 to October 31, 2015. 140 participating countries show the best of their technology that offers a concrete answer to a vital need: being able to guarantee healthy, safe and sufficient food for everyone, while respecting the Planet and its equilibrium. A platform for the exchange of ideas and shared solutions on the theme of food, stimulating each country’s creativity and promoting innovation for a sustainable future, Expo 2015 gives everyone the opportunity to find out about, and taste, the world’s best dishes, while discovering the best of the agri-food and gastronomic traditions of each of the exhibitor countries” (

    Overall, my trip to Shanghai, and particularly the World Expo, is one that I truly value. The city of Shanghai was enthralling and beautiful – I really enjoyed the urban landscape. Also, the World Expo is a once in a lifetime experience. I encourage all of you to attend at some stage if you get the chance! 

1 comment:

  1. u did it well, my dear 艾丹 very positive
    love from Chloe