Following China's Opening Up and Reform policies, Shanghai rapidly transformed into one of the world's most developed and international cities.
With expats from all over the world calling Shanghai their new home, the Pearl of the Orient is one of the best places for foreigners to get a slice of home.
Perhaps no area better embodies Shanghai’s international development better than Xintiandi (新天地).
Located in the heart of the city, almost everything a Western expat misses about home can be found here.
Xintiandi is the perfect stop for those looking to get authentic Western cuisine or shopping for international brands.
Additionally, many of the service workers in Xintiandi speak English, giving the district a distinct international feel.
One of my favorite ways to spend an afternoon in Xintiandi is to visit the movie theater.
The local theater has a frequent expat clientele; with almost all of the most popular American films being screened in English.
To make it even better, unlike in the United States, movie-goers are allowed to enjoy outside food and beverages while watching their movie. (No need to sneak in your 7/11 candy with your oversized coat!)
My personal recommendation is to stop by the Shake Shack located just outside of the movie theater. Here you'll be able to easily get an American-quality burger to go.
Whether you're looking for a fine dining experience, itching to see a movie, or just want to see the success of China's development, Xintiandi is definitely worth the stop for any Western expat.
About the Author: Alexander Parini
Alexander is a recent graduate from Portland State University in the United States where he received his undergraduate degree in political science. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in international relations at Peking University in Beijing, China.