Turns out this way of doing things was so easy that it almost feels a little silly making a post out of it. But in case you needed an extra little push to figure things out, nothing demystifies a process like pictures, I say. Here is photo documentation of what exactly you need to do to buy an Expo ticket with your own suave self. (For how to buy them by phone, check out this post here)
Step 1: Find your outlet of choice
As I mentioned previously, your best bet is to go through the four official Expo ticket sellers – China Mobile, China Telecom, Bank of Communications, or the China Post. Chances are you already walk past one of those places daily. If you don’t though, give their hotlines a call and they’ll be happy to direct you to the nearest ticket seller. Based on yesterday’s experiences, don’t call China Telecom. Also, one reader mentioned that you could call the Expo hotline as well! The number is: 962288
I chose the China Post right by Jing’an Temple for its convenience; I happened to need to take the subway.
Step 2: Find the ticket booth
I was dismayed to see how crowded the post office was that day and it almost deterred me from trying to get a ticket. But, since I was already there, I figured I’d try it and see. Turns out Expo tickets aren’t being sold by the people behind the glasstic windows. They’re being sold by people at these kind of booths.
Phew! I asked for a standard day single day admission (平日普通票 ping ri putong piao) and they asked me for 150RMB. Unfortunately, China Post doesn’t let you pay in anything but cash – if someone is willing to check if other places will, please put it down in comments!
Step 3: Give them the money
And they will give you your ticket.
If you DO plan on going to the Expo and you plan on going only ONCE, then I would recommend actually getting the tickets now, though not because they’re going to run out. It’s 10RMB cheaper for a couple minutes of work, that’s all. I guess if I had had the foresight to buy these when they first came on sale, they would have been 30RMB cheaper.
I am quite excited about the Evening Admission tickets though, which should be coming on sale on May 1 and will provide you entry after 5pm for just 90RMB. Since it’ll be summer (which is horrible and humid here) and the Expo park opens until midnight, that will give you a good seven hours of cooler weather to wander around. The only catch is, if it’s been a particularly crowded day, they probably won’t sell you one and you can only buy it on site. Oh well – we’ll see how that all goes down come May.