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Hidden treats in storeand not one queue!

VISITORS to the World Expo may be missing out. They seem to have been ignoring pavilions in the Puxi section, especially those in the Urban Best Practices Area, during the first few days.

But they are well worth a visit. Instead of the queues snaking round the most popular pavilions in the Pudong section, such as those of Saudi Arabia, Japan, Switzerland and Germany, visitors can walk straight into the UBPA pavilions. This means that the relatively few who do go don't have to rush through the exhibits and have the time to talk to the staff and ask questions.

The Urban Best Practices Area presents cities' achievements on environmental protection, the renovation of historic buildings and leading technologies.

Some 60 plus projects, selected from hundreds of candidates, aim to propose solutions to urban issues.

The Hamburg House, one of the largest buildings in the Puxi site, is an exemplary eco-building which uses solar, wind and geothermal energy as the main sources for cooling, heating and power. Visitors will be able to feel cool inside even if outside is scorching hot, yet see no air-conditioning.

Visitors can also enjoy interactive exhibits at the UBPA.

At the Hong Kong Pavilion, which highlights the application of smart cards installed within citizens' ID cards, each visitor will receive an electric bracelet at the entrance and wear it until they leave.

The bracelet will open the door to the pavilion and visitors can scan it to watch videos.

They will also be able to explore the various uses of the ID card in Hong Kong - including seeing how it can help someone find a lost pet or even how it can be used to book air tickets.

But, to attract more visitors, the UBPA may have some way to go.

The lack of explanations led some visitors to be confused about what was being demonstrated at some pavilions.

"I have no idea what this is all about," said a visitor at the Izmir Pavilion, a display from Turkey which has a map to describe its sewage treatment project.

But there was no explanation about how the system worked or what it had achieved.

And some pavilions had no brochures available.

A spokeswoman for the Paris exhibit said their leaflets had been delayed because of the air traffic turmoil caused by the erupting volcano in Iceland.

But she said that the pavilion would soon be fully up and running.


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