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Check out these underrated pavilions

A recent popular Expo-related joke about Zone C goes like this. If you want to kill some time, get in one of the lines at Zone C. If you want to break up with your lover, take him/her to queue at Zone C. If you hate someone, give him/her a ticket to line up in Zone C. If you really despise him/her, give the person's whole family tickets.

This article explores the interesting Zone C pavilions with shorter waiting times to avoid such tragedy - Africa Joint Pavilion, Czech Republic, Greece, Latvia, Poland, Sweden and Turkey.

On a normal weekday with 400,000 visitors, these pavilions usually take less than 40 minutes to enter during the day. Some are even walk-in venues.

They are either underrated or simply have large capacities.The Expo Park is open for 15 hours from 9am to midnight.

Day tickets cost 160 yuan.

Night tickets cost 90 yuan.

Most pavilions are open from 9:30am to 10:30pm, but many don't allow queuing after 9pm. Night ticket holders are allowed into the site after 5pm but barred after 9pm.

Many pavilions' restaurants and shops have a different entrance, so check before getting into the long queue if you only want food or souvenirs.

Two bus stops, the Europe Station and the Houtan Station, are located in Zone C. The first is close to European countries and the second to American and African nations. A ferry terminal is also near the European section. Exit 2 of Metro Line 13's Expo Avenue Station leads to European countries. All transport is free inside the Expo Park. The gate closest to European pavilions is Gate 7 and to American and African ones it's Gate 8, both accessible by Metro Line 7.

All national pavilions are in the Pudong section and corporate and city cases from the Urban Best Practices Area are in the Puxi section. Most of these pavilions offer their Expo stamps on the Expo "passport."

Greece Pavilion

Greece Pavilion offers much tourist information, like many other pavilions, but in a more interesting way through interactive exhibitions.

A 360-degree panoramic view of Athens, standing in the center of the venue, can be controlled through a steering wheel and the touch screens next to it. You get a glimpse of Greek culture through these buttons - the engraving on the eaves of Parthenon, the crack on the Doric Orders, or the market "Agora" that was passed down from ancient times.

In the evening, the panorama view will be changed to Syntagma Square, the heart of Athens.

If you are tired after hours of walking, you can sit down in the music theater to enjoy performances from the Theater of Dionysus in Athens. Latvia PavilionLatvia Pavilion is one of those places that highlight one item - fortunately that item is exciting and makes the pavilion an interesting place to visit.

It is a vertical wind tunnel.

The last pavilion to open in Zone C on May 26, Latvia Pavilion surprised many visitors when Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis attended the opening party in a spacesuit up in the air.

The pavilion planned to allow 200 visitors to try the tunnel every day, but it has proven to be too much for the coaches to handle. They have finalized on less than 20. But the show, one every 30 minutes, is amazing, with performers in tight suits flying up in the air. Sweden PavilionSweden Pavilion always has a long queue, and it is one of those constantly moving lines. It usually takes 40 minutes to line up during the day.

Most of these visitors line up for the steep orange slide connecting the first and second floors of the pavilion.

The eight swings in the pavilion are also popular. You can sit on a swing while watching videos and images about Swedish innovation.

The rest of the exhibitions are also about Swedish innovation, displayed through images. The pictures may look dull, but some behind-the-scene stories are interesting.

For example, one poster states how a Swedish artist plans to build a cottage on the moon. Africa Joint PavilionAfrica Joint Pavilion, with exhibitions from 43 countries and unions, is a walk-in venue due to its large capacity.

It is one of the largest pavilions in the Expo Park. There is no line at the entrance. On a crowded weekend, there might be a short line at the stamping station.

Many visitors have said the pavilion is more like a market. And it's true. You can find all kinds of African products in the pavilion - coffee, hand-made scarves, masks and jewelry, to name a few. Czech PavilionThe Czech Pavilion facade is covered with ice-hockey pucks in the shape of the Old Town of Prague. Circus performers entertain visitors in the queue now and then, with no fixed schedule.

The line usually takes less than 30 minutes on a normal weekday with 400,000 visitors. Some visitors consider it a highly underrated venue with exciting and interactive elements.

The pavilion showcases the two pieces of bronze relief with a statue of Saint Jan Nepomucky on the Charles Bridge in Prague. It's not that big deal though, if you have visited or will visit Prague.

Other sections are more exciting. The multimedia center in the main hall shows solutions to urban problems through over-head video projections. A virtual flight over the Czech countryside is also available in a model airplane next to the center.

LacrimAu is a golden tear made of pure gold, the size equivalent of 1 ton of pure gold. "The Golden Tip Competition" invites visitors to guess the exact weight of the metal through Bluetooth. The top 10 winners will divide 500,000 yuan (US$73,160). Turkey PavilionMany pavilions have brought national treasures to Expo Shanghai. Turkey has not. It does not prevent the pavilion designers from showing the ancient civilization through a cool replica of archeological sites.

The first section is the best, although a bit dark. Four copied archeological sites are in the hall with replicas of the world's first mirror, first man-made dam and other antique exhibitions.

The second hall is a short film about modern Turkey.

The third part contains a cafe where a fortune teller can predict your destiny through what is left from your coffee. He goes a few times a week.Poland PavilionPoland Pavilion has an impressive facade resembling a paper-cut. To amuse Chinese visitors, the feature of the pavilion is a Polish dragon on a big screen in the main hall.

A Chinese actor is the "voice" of the Polish dragon, which interacts with visitors by asking them to clap, sing and answer questions.

You might confront another two lines in the pavilion in front of the two cinemas - animated 3D films on Polish history and Polish economic history. The movies are worth the wait.


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