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When we arrived in Shanghai last week we told anyone that would listen that we planned on spending some time over at the World Expo. Immediately, everyone we told had the same ominous look on their face as they wished us the best of luck. Their grim look was followed by stories of heat exhaustion, endless queues, pavilion confusion, and yes, even folks faking disabilities to bypass long lines.
Could it be that bad? Worse, our Shanghainese friends promised. Don't even bother showing up on a weekend, if you go on a weekday get there at 7 AM2 hours before openingand prepare yourself for pushing, possible line cutting, and more. Then run to try and get a fast pass, or to make reservations at a couple of the most popular pavilionsChina & Saudi Arabia for instance.
Could it really be this nuts? We had just read how the daily visitor numbers for the Expo were lower than expected. However, our contacts informed us that every family in Shanghai had been gifted one ticket to the Expo, and maybe the visitor numbers we heard were tourist numbers, not local.
Ok, so we needed to devise a plan that involved checking out the Expo without losing our sanity. That meant, avoiding the morning "running of the expo".
The largest world expo everin size, country participation and expected visitorshasn't even been open for two weeks yet and already we're hearing reports that it is totally worth all the trouble of getting a China tourist visa. Shanghai's 2010 World Expo still has many more months to go, since it closes on October 31, but rest assured that we'll get there to check it ourselves before then.
If you're planning on going to the Expo, you can already get a good sense of what to expect thanks to the pictures leaking out on the web and Flickr. That pavilions themselves are massive and impressive, to say nothing of the lines to enter them. And we heard that the Tokyo Pavilion is drawing some of the most attention because it's got a Toyota-made robor playing a Chinese folk song on a violin. What is this, Tomorrowland?
World Expo 2010 / Shanghai Travel / Shanghai World Expo 2010 / China Travel / Passports / Travel Tips / Visas / → All Tags
When the Shanghai World Expo opens to the public on May 1a week and a half awayhundreds of thousands of Chinese and international tourists will pour into the park and its pavilions daily until October 31, when the Expo closes. With the Expo looking at entertaining some 600,000 visitors per day, China will be a huge destination for spring travel. Americans traveling to the country require a Chinese tourist visa to enter, a fact many are not aware of. We've gone through the process before, so allow us to walk you through, too.
How to get a Chinese tourist Visa, which you'll need to visit Shanghai:
· If you're a regular tourist to China, you'll be applying for the "Tourist (L Visa)." Download and print this application form.
More steps to getting a Chinese Visa, after the jump