Saudi Pavilion rerun sparks Shanghai tourism
Shanghai's post-Expo enthusiasm is due to hit another high note as the Saudi Arabian Pavilion (aka Moon Boat), one of the most popular pavilions during last year’s Shanghai Expo, is set to re-open from September 28.
Having generated queues as long as 4,000 meters during the Expo, the pavilion's second appearance in the limelight is unlikely to grant Shanghai's professional queuers many gigs. The authorities have decided to distribute all tickets through travel agencies for the first month of the pavilion’s operation.
Many travel agencies -- including SH Holiday, Shanghai Spring Travel Service and Shanghai Jinjiang Travel -- have rushed to sell Saudi Pavilion-themed tours, ranging from a down-to-earth half-day trip (RMB 80-120) to a high-flying Saudi Pavilion-plus-hairy crab East China tour (around RMB 5,000).
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SH Holiday, which has put together a Saudi Pavilion half-day tour, received 600 applications in just three days.
“Probably because the Saudi Pavilion has a very high reputation in Shanghai, Shanghai residents have given a much warmer response than tourists from other part of East China,” Yu Dan (余丹), assistant to general manager at SH Holiday, told Xinmin Evening News.
While no individual visitors will be admitted to the Moon Boat from September 28-October 27, the best choice for self-guided tourists is the ticket-plus-one way bus package (from RMB 75) at the Shanghai Tourist Distribution Center (address below).
Visitors must show valid identification to purchase tickets and enter the pavilion.
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As much as the re-opening is causing a buzz, the authorities have yet to announce the exhibits inside the Saudi Arabia Pavilion, or the closing date of the rerun.
However, they’re confident about the visitor volume as a traffic-control policy has been released ahead of time -- a maximum of 1,400 people will be allowed into the pavilion in one hour.
It is the second pavilion to re-open -- following China Pavilion -- after the Shanghai Expo rang down the curtain on October 31, 2010.
Saudi Arabia Pavilion, on the crossroads of Gaoke Xi Lu and Shibo Da Dao 高科西路与世博大道路口, September 28-further notice, Tuesday-Sunday: 9 a.m.-6 p.m., RMB 60 (off-peak ticket), RMB 85 (weekend ticket), RMB 105 (October 1-7), www.saudiexpo2010.com
1. SH Holiday, Shop 2, No. 311 Xuanhua Lu, near Dingxi Lu 宣化路311号2号商铺, 近定西路, 9 a.m.-7 p.m., +86 21 95530, www.sh-holiday.com
2. Shanghai Spring Travel Service, 342 Xizang Zhong Lu, near Jiujiang Lu 西藏中路342号, 近九江路, 8 a.m.-10 p.m., +86 21 400 820 6222，www.springtour.com/
3. Shanghai Jinjiang Travel, 191 Changle Lu, near Maoming Nan Lu 长乐路191号, 近茂名南路, 9 a.m.-10 p.m., +86 21 6466 2828, www.jjtravel.com
4. Shanghai Tourist Distribution Center, 666 Tianyaoqiao Lu, under the No. 5 platform of Shanghai Stadium 天钥桥路666号, 上海体育场5号扶梯下, 6:30 a.m.-7 p.m., +86 21 6426 5555, www.chinassbc.com