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Making a beeline for Zone B, Asia and Pacific

ZONE B is an enticing eclectic mix with plenty of performances. There are pavilions of Pacific Ocean and Southeast Asian nations, international organizations and theme pavilions featuring the pandas, endangered Yangtze River sturgeon and the many uses of bamboo and rattan.

The Australia Pavilion features, among other things, the performance by artists Chrome in their "Shark" routine, and at the New Zealand Pavilion Maori performers entertain visitors.

The World Meteorological Organization Pavilion lets visitors walk among clouds as it explains the impact of weather and the Urbanian Planet Pavilion showcases city families around the world. Australia Pavilion

Innovative and lively, Chrome is an interactive group of three artists from Sydney who launched the pavilion's cultural program with a blend of music, humor and crowd interaction. Visitors were wowed by their very Australian "Shark" routine.

Whether as a trio of crooners or in lizard costumes, Chrome street performers mingle with visitors to the Australia Pavilion and occasionally "capture" one for photographs.

"Chrome's engaging, quirky interaction with the crowds and classic Australian humor has enthralled and intrigued all the visitors," says Lyndall Sachs, commissioner-general for Australia.

The pavilion cultural program features daily performance of aerialists Airbourne in the atrium and the Sand Bar band in and around the pavilion.

Visiting artists over six months include the Jane Germain Duo from Western Australia on voice and guitar; Kulture Break, a hip-hop dance group from the Australian Capital Territory; University of Sydney Jazz Big Band; University of Sydney Modern Music Ensemble; Icarus street theater from New South Wales and Joel Salom circus.

There's plenty for the taste buds as well. A "snag from the barbie," such as lamb sausage, lamb skewers or pork sausage, is offered at the Aussie Grill BBQ.

Take note of the friendly bilingual pavilion staff. Summer has brought a change of uniform: Now they're wearing stylish Australian designed jade-colored uniforms, with scarves by designer Catherine Manuell. Cambodia Pavilion

The exterior of the Cambodia Pavilion is simple, but once inside visitors are overwhelmed by the magnificence of Cambodia's history and culture.

The pavilion embodies Cambodia's sense of cultural heritage protection with its three historical periods of Angkor, Odong and Phnom Penh and their art and culture.

A gatehouse of Angkor Wat was recreated inside the pavilion and a Cambodian warrior welcomes visitors.

Then visitors enter a timber house from the Odong Period where daily life is reenacted.

A vast tree with branches and roots embracing and entwining Ta Prohm temple has fascinated visitors.

The "modern" part of the pavilion presents how Cambodians built their capital of Phnom Penh with cement, gravel and sand and explains the legends of the city.

The Philippines Pavilion

This is a performing arts pavilion, filled with lively rhythms and infectious beats that invite the audience to clap, sway, chant and dance.

Filipino artists perform daily in the pavilion and also in Asia Square with counterparts from other countries.

Themed "Performing Cities," The Philippines Pavilion projects cities as melting pots of different sensibilities and cultural influences, blending traditional, tribal and rural with the urban, modern and contemporary.

The roster of regular performers includes Kontra Gapi, a group of percussionists, dancers and singers, playing gongs, gamelan, kulintang, drums, bamboo tubes, bamboo flutes, klulibaw bamboo mouth harps, hegalong wooden zithers and other instruments.

DJ Caliph8, one of hottest DJs in The Philippines, blends traditional and contemporary electronic music, branching out into chill and hip-hop in collaboration with gamelan players and other folk artists. He also reinvents ethnic and folk songs.

Emcy Faustino, an eminent vocalist, performs Philippine jazz, rhythm and blues and scat-singing.

The pavilion also draws crowds to its spa offering hilot, traditional massage. It raises the bar on spa design and moves away from the quasi-rural design that has dominated the spa look worldwide. This one has a strong urban feeling, but one that is calming.

Travel Cafe, the pavilion restaurant, is an exciting design space that brings together the best of Philippine cuisine combining recipes from Chinese, Spanish, multiple Asian and American sources. And there's famous halo halo dessert.

Don't forget the San Miguel Beer.

Numerous shell souvenirs and crafts are on sale.

At the Trade Zone, representatives explain advantages of doing business in The Philippines. I ndonesia Pavilion

Bamboo is the dominant construction material in this pavilion, as it is strong, durable, flexible and recyclable.

As it also "breathes," bamboo has long been favored in construction in Asia. The use of bamboo in the pavilion symbolizes the synergy between the traditional and contemporary lifestyles of Indonesians.

The four-story pavilion showcases daily life, rich land and marine resources, and diverse cultural heritage.

The audio exhibition features seven traditional musical instruments, including the guitar, Chinese erhu (two-stringed fiddle) and percussion instruments. Visitors can make their own music on them.

The pavilion features a 3-meter-high statue of famed Chinese navigator and explorer Zheng He and a traditional Indonesian ship.

Zheng, who made seven voyages to the Western Ocean, initiated diplomatic relations between China and Indonesia.

Chinese culture and craft brought by Zheng had a profound impact on the life of Indonesians.

To commemorate this history, the pavilion recreates the scene of "The Great Voyages of Zheng He."

Thailand Pavilion

The architecture vividly reflects the features of Thai culture in strong reds, saffron and gold.

It shows varied aspects of urban life in Thailand and the rural-urban mix.

The Expo's tallest robot, 3.5 meters high, an iconic Indrajit warrior, stands guard and welcomes visitors. His facial expressions change, he smiles and winks, makes simple movements and explains Thai culture.

A 4-D film on Thai culture is shown. New Zealand Pavilion

"Living Between Land and Sky" is the theme of the New Zealand Pavilion. At the entrance is a huge piece of jade and flowing water, echoing Chinese elements of jade and water.

Visitors can touch the 1.8-ton pounamu (jade) boulder that stands for the heart of New Zealand. The pounamu symbolizes the convergence of two jade cultures, as the Chinese and indigenous Maori of New Zealand both revere jade.

Inside, the pavilion displays urban lifestyles featuring nature. A "Cities of Nature" experience takes visitors through a day in the life of a composite New Zealand city, starting from the sea, moving through the suburbs, into the city center and out toward the mountains. Various themes overlap - the progression of dawn to dusk and of children to adults.

The pavilion shows a land of majestic scenery and New Zealanders as multicultural, vibrant and creative.

In the roof garden, visitors will find native plants such as ponga (tree ferns) and pohutukawa trees. They can walk along a recreated steamy thermal pond from the Rotorua region. Hot water bubbles and evokes the Maori myths of thermal waters as the "throat" of the god of the underworld.

Traditional Maori dance is performed outside the pavilion daily at 11:30am, 1:30pm, 3:30pm and 5:30pm. Traditional arts, including carvings and tattoo, are demonstrated.

Meteo World

The entire Meteo World Pavilion appears to be a white floating cloud, hovering in the center of a shallow pond. Visitors feel like they are walking through a cloud.

White and transparent membranes and mist sprayers are used in construction of the pavilion of the UN World Meteorological Organization. The pavilion explains the work of the organization and the impact of weather on our lives.

When the angle of sunshine is less than 42 degrees Celsius, the pavilion appears to be a shimmering mirage and a rainbow in the mist.

Inside, visitors can "walk in the clouds" and take a "space shuttle" into the sky and tour a climate change gallery, seeing how the Earth and its weather have changed.

There's a 4-D experience with 3-D images and animation, plus the experience of real wind, rain, thunder and lightning.

A high-tech weather station showcases frontier technologies used in the organization's demonstration project "Multi-Hazard Early Warning System."

It explains how early warning systems can prevent disaster in future cities. In the meantime, it works during the Expo to forecast the weather, up to the minute. Theme Pavilions

Urbanian Pavilion

Six families from six cities (Phoenix in the United States, Melbourne in Australia, San Paulo in Brazil, Rotterdam in the Netherlands, Tema in Ghana and Zhengzhou in China) on five continents are featured with video clips, settings and multimedia installations. Its five sections feature family, work, contact, learning and health.

In addition, 11 cities and their many faces are vividly presented.

City life is the wave of the future and a global migration to cities is underway. This pavilion explains how the pursuit of a better life draws people to urban areas.

A gigantic machine, symbolizing "factory, stock exchange and clock" is installed in the work section. On it are mounted screens of varying sizes that demonstrate how people work in different cities.

The learning section recreates a traditional classroom and library and shows the varying learning experience of family members in traditional and nontraditional ways.

In the contact section a dome-like screen creates a 360-degree projection of the social lives of the six different families. The health section shows videos and other data concerning the health issues of family members - infants, pregnant women, adults and the elderly - and it creates an environment that is hygienic and healthy.

Citizens Take Part

The Citizens' Participation Pavilion emphasizes the importance of citizen involvement, volunteering and building a strong civil society.

"Each action you take will change your life" is the motto.

Through interactivity, visitors will feel like both hosts and visitors.

Visitors can send their photos on site to the pavilion's website via their cell phones and then see their photos on a huge screen. Tens of thousands of pictures are shown every day.

Grassroots art and projects are featured.

Life and Sun

This is the first pavilion at any Expo especially designed for people with disabilities. It explains the needs, strengths and contributions of these people in cities.

Through its exhibitions the pavilion calls for more understanding of people with disabilities and recognition that they are urban resources.

Visitors without disabilities will be able to experience what many disabled people go through. In a completely dark zone (of the visually impaired), visitors perceive the environment by hearing, touching and smell, aided by canes. They can even experience a football match for the visually impaired with special equipment.

An "intelligent house" features many high- and low-tech facilities that can assist people with disabilities. In an obstacle-free space, there are automatic kitchens, toilets, wheelchairs that can climb stairs and robots that can assist and carry people.

Artists with disabilities perform and all the guides have some kind of disabilities.

Urban Planet Pavilion

This exhibition features five sections, including Blue Planet and The Only Planet We Have.

It explains the development and the over-development of cities that create social and environmental problems. Cities are presented as sources of both problems and solutions.

Blue Planet is a huge globe representing the Earth, telling in a poetic and metaphorical way how urban development and human behavior impact the Earth. The Only Planet We Have presents a short film about the interaction among cities, people and the Earth.

The pavilion offers a view of the Earth from outer space and covers the development of human civilization, the growth of cities and the impact on nature.

Joint Pavilion of nternational Organizations

Big BambooThe INBAR Pavilion was built by the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan, an international organization promoting sustainable use of bamboo and rattan.

It also challenges traditional perceptions of bamboo and rattan as primarily arts and crafts materials.

Environmentally friendly and biodegradable bamboo and rattan are used to make the pavilion's exterior, interior and flooring. The centerpiece is a structure made out of high-quality bamboo-based panels modeled after the historic Temple of Heaven in Beijing.

The exhibition features a striking, innovative products of bamboo and rattan, such as musical instruments, fine furniture, containers and ornaments.

Short films on an exterior LED screen depict the charms of nature and the harmonious environment created by using bamboo and rattan.

WWF Pavilion

Pandas and endangered species of China's Yangtze River wildlife are featured in the WWF (Worldwide Fund for Nature) Pavilion inside the Joint Pavilion of International Organizations.

There's a live show of the 10 Expo pandas, born after the 2008 Sichuan earthquake and sent to Shanghai as a gift for the Expo.

In addition, endangered species of the Yangtze River are featured in a 2.5-meter-wide container called the Life Ball.

On a two-week rotating basis, they include the Chinese sturgeon, Baiji, the Yangtze River dolphin, paddlefish, cow fish, giant salamander, mullet and the Songjiang weever.

Around 100 Yangtze River fish will be displayed.


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