View from Penta Hotel
Skyline-The Bund
Sunset at Huangshan Mountain
Huangshan Hot Springs

Ciao from Italia! I have safely arrived in Milano! I’m adjusting to my new environment and apartment…and of course eating plenty of pasta! Before delving into my Italian adventures for the next four months, I wanted to do a long overdue travel guide for Shanghai & Huangshan.

To give you a little background…I studied abroad in Shanghai, China this summer for one month. I participated in a program sponsored by my college which involved me taking one economics course and completing an internship.

Where I Stayed: I lived in the Penta Hotel located in Zhongshan Park. While it was not ideal to live out of my suitcase in a small hotel room for four weeks, I really can’t complain. If you’re travelling to Shanghai in the near future, I would definitely recommend this hotel. It’s not in the main “touristy” area which is good and bad. I say it’s good because I really got the chance to become immersed in the local culture and try more authentic cuisine. It’s also good because it’s not nearly as pricey as some of the more touristy hotels in the downtown area. I say it’s bad because you do have to commute to the modern area where most of the tourist attractions are located. The hotel also offers free breakfast (Western & Chinese options).

Where I Ate: More like where I DIDN’T eat!! Haha! My friends and I tried to eat out at a new restaurant every night. Almost all of the restaurant signs were in Mandarin so it was very hard for me to remember the exact names. However, some of my favorites that I do remember were..Bella Napoli (amazing Italian food), T8, Din Tai Fung, Simply Thai, and Yang’s Dumplings. **Just a heads up…do not eat the street food as you can and will get very sick!!

Things To Do: 

  • Walk around the French Concession-great restaurants and cool atmosphere
  • Go to the top of the Financial Tower or the Pearl Tower on a clear night
  • Explore Tianzifang-great little market with amazing food
  • Head to the Science and Technology Metro Stop to go shopping for fake designer items 
  • Spend the afternoon at the Yuyuan Gardens
  • Walk along East Nanjing Road
  • Do NOT go to the ancient water towns…not worth the day trip 

Where I Interned: I interned at an international company called La Bottega. I cannot speak highly enough about this company. It was an outstanding experience and very meaningful. I had the chance to work on a marketing campaign/booklet that involved working with the Etro line of perfumeries.

Where I Traveled: I spent most of my time in the city. However, I did spend a weekend at Huangshan (Yellow Mountains). I took an hour flight from Shanghai to Huangshan City. From there, I took an hour taxi ride to the mountains, and then took a short bus ride to the entrance gate. I arrived at the gate around 3PM. It took about 3 hours to hike up the mountain. The views were SPECTACULAR. I stayed at the Beihai Hotel on top of the mountain. It was not the nicest hotel, but it was a great location. I woke up around 4AM to see the sunrise and it was totally worth it. I took the cablecar back down the mountain and spent the day relaxing in the Huangshan Hot Springs Resort before catching my flight back to Shanghai. I would 10 out of 10 recommend visiting these mountains!!

What To Be Prepared For:

  • Be prepared to get stared at A LOT as well as get your picture taken A LOT 
  • Be prepared to try new food
  • Be open-minded about the culture around you
  • Be prepared for massive crowds everywhere, especially on the subway. 
Thanks for reading as always and keep an eye out for more recent posts about my Italian adventures!! Follow my Instagram @anewerkatintown for more updates!