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Stamps of a different kind set to make collectors go crazy

WHILE visitors are going crazy trying to fill their Expo passports with pavilion stamps, another group is also chasing stamps, postage ones this time.

At the San Marino Pavilion, a set of stamps is on sale featuring the country's landmark buildings and which appear in 3D through the glasses provided. Collectors can also buy Expo-themed postage stamps at the pavilion.

San Marino is famous for its stamp industry and 20 percent of its income comes from stamps.

The Austria Pavilion is also offering a 3D postage stamp of a football player.

Yu Zhongxi, the director of the pavilion's store, said 80 percent of customers who shopped at the store would buy at least one stamp. The most popular one, featuring a portrait of Princess Sissi, costs 15 yuan (US$2.21).

The Africa Joint Pavilion and the Pacific Pavilion also feature postage stamps from several countries.

Stamps issued by China Post are selling well at the DPRK Pavilion.

The most popular item is a book of stamps about the friendship between China and the North Korea. The 100 yuan (US$14.7) book even features Fuwa, mascot of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Also popular is a 200 yuan book of stamps featuring the folk customs, traditional costumes and sports of North Koreas.

Wei Bing from Chenzhou, Hunan Province, bought both and said they were well worth the money. "The folk customs stamps involved almost every part of the country's life and traditions," Wei said.

Visitors can also spend 10 to 50 yuan to buy single stamps featuring flowers and transport.

Postage stamps on sale at the United Nations Pavilion depict a monkey and the United Nations headquarters to celebrate the year of the monkey 30 years ago when China began to issue stamps based on the lunar calendar.

Postcards are also gaining in popularity among visitors. A set of three postcards on sale at the Switzerland Pavilion has a special feature.

Since they are of flowers, each postcard contains 10 seeds, including seed of the edelweiss, the flower made famous in "The Sound of Music" movie.

And if you purchase a postcard at the Lithuania Pavilion, some six weeks later, you will receive the postcard mailed from the country.

Pavilion staff will be taking the postcards home with them and posting them back to your address.


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