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April 26, 2010

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Expo site passes key crowd test

The Shanghai World Expo site yesterday came through a crucial test with flying colors.

Its fifth trial day received about 400,000 visitors - the most since 200,000-odd people got first their view of the site last Tuesday.

More than 60 pavilions were opened yesterday and drew understandably long queues in the 5.28-square-kilometer area.

The visitor total is expected to mirror the crowd for Saturday's official opening day.

About 150,000 people from neighboring Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces in tourist groups joined locals at the site yesterday.

Some of them set out at 4am and got to the site earlier than Shanghai visitors.

The China Pavilion drew the biggest queue and some groups began to stand in lines two hours before their reservation time.

It was also clear that some people were queue-jumping.

The security checks for gaining entry have been streamlined and shortened and each person yesterday was processed and into the site in about 15 seconds.

At the main entrance on Yaohua Road, most visitors entered the Pudong section of the World Expo site after 40 minutes of queueing.

Expo organizers have suggested that visitors bring as few things as possible to fast-track security checks.

They have also advised that people should consider entering the Expo site from the three entrances in the Puxi section to avoid long Pudong queues.

The Expo organizers recommend that Metro commuters get off at the stations of Nanpu Bridge, Gaoke Road W. and Yuntai Road for smooth entry.

On the lawns near the China Pavilion yesterday, people sat in twos and threes during lunch time, talking and enjoying bread and steamed buns bought at a dozen or so newly built stalls.

Thanks to many people deciding to eat outside restaurants or bring their own food, there was no rush or long queues for meals at eateries at the site.

The China Pavilion was still the most popular spot.

In just 20 minutes, about 50,000 reservation tickets were handed out.

Most European pavilions were also in high demand, with the queue outside the Germany Pavilion measuring about a kilometer. And people had to wait for two or three hours to enter the Saudi Arabian and Australian pavilions.


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