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China Pavilion camp out

PEOPLE are resorting to almost every conceivable means to get tickets to the China Pavilion.

The latest: camping out in tents overnight outside Expo entrance gates so they can get reservation tickets, which are distributed at entrances beginning at 9am. The 30,000 tickets are usually gone within five minutes.

Armed police officer Min Yeping, who stands guard overnight at one Expo entrance, told Shanghai Daily there are two or three groups of people every week camping out. They are usually tourists from other parts of the country.

Min said people start showing up around 2am at the No. 6 entrance gate on Yaohua Road.

He said some of them come directly after getting off trains. They bring sheets and blankets in their bags. One even set up a tent, Min said.

Others arrive in the middle of the night because their hotels are far away and they were worried that morning traffic jams would prevent them from arriving in time to get a China Pavilion ticket.

A spokesman of the Visitors Service Center of the Expo Bureau said it was not a good idea for people to wait overnight because of the hot weather.

Visitors can come early to get the tickets, but waiting overnight is a bit "extreme," spokesman Song Laixin said.

Ticket distributors said people could get a China Pavilion reservation by arriving at the entrance by 6am. On rainy days, people come around 7am and still get the tickets, said Zhao Junfeng, an Expo volunteer at the No. 6 entrance.

But the pavilion still seems beyond the reach of most enthusiastic visitors. Only the first 50 people waiting at every turnstile will get a ticket, Zhao said.

With demand huge and supply small, tickets for the pavilion are being scalped for as much as 800 yuan.


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