OK, so here’s my first pavilion review. Let me state that these are just my opinions and others may have different thoughts about individual pavilions, so caveat emptor, so to speak.
I was going to give a grade to each pavilion, but, me being a teacher, that seems too pedantic. I’ll just give a recommendation about whether or not a pavilion is “must see.” Most of the international pavilions that I’ve seen are worth a visit. If you’ve got a lot of time, take in as many as you can. However, if you’re only going to be in Yeosu a day or two, you’re going to have to maximize your time. You really need at least several days to browse around. Hopefully, these reviews will help you.
Angola would seem to be an unlikely country to have a great pavilion, but it does. It has a beautiful exterior that easily catches the eye, but it’s kind of off in a corner. I haven’t noticed any long lines, but I’ve usually been by the pavilion before noon, so later times might mean longer lines. (That’s true of any of the pavilions–go early in the day to avoid the lines.)
This is one of those pavilions where visitors are ushered in in groups, probably about 20-30 at a time. Once inside, you’re given an introduction to the country by way of several video monitors. Then, you’re led into a larger theater with a large screen that shows a several-minutes long video about the gorgeous Angola coastline. Very nicely done. After that, you go into a small interactive area that also has a few cultural assets.
If that were all that the pavilion had, it probably wouldn’t be worth waiting in line for. The thing that makes this a special visit is the restaurant and performance stage. The restaurant has an extensive menu, and you can sip on a beverage, including various teas and beers. When I ate there this afternoon, the staff told me that only a few choices on the menu were available, but the food items would be arriving in the near future. Also, the Angolan beer, Cuca, hadn’t yet arrived. No problem.
After around 2 p.m., you can also take in some of the Angolan musical performers and dancers on the stage in the restaurant. I haven’t been there late enough to check that out, but I hope to go there tomorrow evening to catch some of the performances, and I’ll post my impressions at a later date. At any rate, the restaurant seems like a great place to chill and enjoy some African music. Adding to the laid back feeling is the friendly staff. If you go there, enjoy a chat with Uzail, Bernie, Leandro or Eldon. Cool dudes, and everyone else seems very accomodating, too.
On a couple of these photos, there seems to be some odd ghost-like figures on the back wall, but music videos are projected there when live performances aren’t taking place.
The paintings along the wall are part of a monthly rotating exhibit of Angolan artists. Here’s a close up of one of them.
Like I said, I had lunch there today. I ordered a rice and seafood stew and it was darn good! The downside was that there were a few small bits of crab shell that I bit into, so I don’t think I’d order that particular dish again, but it was good. I also had a small cup of coffee. The total bill was 16,000 Korean won , around 14 or 15 US dollars. Most of the pavilion restaurants, and there are many, charge between $10 and $20 an entree. You can get cheaper food outside the pavilions at any of the numerous food courts. The food in those courts, mostly Korean fare, is also quite edible. I promise, you won’t go hungry at the Expo. For even cheaper fare, there are many small Korean food stalls and coffee shops clustered around the main gate. Most of their food looks very palatable.
I didn’t notice a souvenir shop, but there may be a small one. I’ll report on that later.
So, here’s a short summary of the Angola Pavilion.
time and day visited–Tuesday, May 15th, 10:30 a.m. and Thursday, May 17th, 12:30 p.m.
decor–entrance good, restaurant awesome
lines–short in the morning, maybe longer later on
multimedia–large screen presentation, a few interactive screens
cultural assets–a few, except for the restaurant, which has many
restaurant/bar–superb, prices in line with other International Pavilion prices
overall rating–I consider this a must-see for the restaurant alone, although the large-screen video of the Angola coastline was spectacular. Laid back atmosphere with friendly staff. Make room for the Angola Pavilion on your itinerary.
OK, I hope you enjoyed my first review and I’ll try to get more of these posted on a frequent basis every few days, or, depending on time, perhaps a couple a day.