Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Milano Expo 2015

The World Expo which is being held once every five years is currently ongoing in Milan, Italy. It opened its doors on the 1st of May and runs everyday until 31st October 2015. The theme for this expo is Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life which focuses on quality of food, science and technology behind food production and securing food to eradicate world hunger. However, not all countries follow the theme as some chose to promote their countries like tourism and business. Many middle eastern and oil producing countries also deviate far from the theme like showcasing their model cities and oil fields. In some pavilions, you'd be surprised to find weird objects being displayed like flying car, space age piano and nude arts. So it is a good mix of exhibition apart from just being food. This expo is like bringing the world to your doorstep where you can virtually travel and see many countries in one place.

The Milano Expo 2015 is located at Rho-fieramilano where it is best accessed by the M2 red metro line. While expo tickets can be bought from official online website or onsite, there are many ticket resellers around Milan that sell at cheaper price. I was at the Milano Centrale FS and bought the ticket from a reseller tobacco shop for only 32 euro instead of the official price of 39 euro.

I visited on a weekend so it was overcrowded. I reached at the opening time of 10am and there were already trains of people queuing up to go in. I made a mistake by following this train of people once inside. I had to queue for very long to go into each pavilion. Some queues were up to an hour long wait. From my experience, I would suggest a smart way to beat this queue. Once inside, you should walk all the way to the other end of the expo. The pavilions at the other end should be Oman and Indonesia. You should work your way back up in reverse of the train of people queuing from the start. By this way, you can avoid queuing at all to go inside the pavilions. Just a rough idea of how large the expo is, I visited from 10am until 8pm and still not manage to see all the pavilions.

After my visit, I have mixed reaction about my experience here. People with architecture background should love this expo as it is a display of architecture marvels with so many artistically and futuristic built pavilions. Many pavilions spent a lot of money in high tech projections which are quite nice to watch but I felt they relied too much on technology. In some pavilions, you spend 10-15 minutes walking from one room to another room just watching videos and come out still with no idea what they want to present. Some pavilions still rely on the good old fashioned exhibits and I really find it informative as I can take my time to soak up the information and also admire the things that were on display.

As this expo is themed around food, naturally all the countries try to showcase their local delicacies. But again I think it's a scam job and rip off. Many pavilions provide microwave packed food with lousy taste but exorbitant prices. There are some countries worth mentioning in providing freshly cooked food prepared from onsite kitchens. You should try the ones from Uruguay and Argentina. They really serve good meat and steak with wines. Else you can try the many food trucks selling hotdogs and other titbits especially from Holland or try the Belgian beer and waffles.

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