4 YouTube Channels That Can Give You a Sneak Peek Into China

In preparation for your trip to China, you have probably thought about doing some reading in your guide books and scanning blogs online. However, there is another way to school yourself on what you will encounter on your trip. YouTube is full of great channels that cover China from a whole variety of angles. Whether you want to learn a bit about the language, see what the tourist attractions actually will look like or just see some entertaining skits, these YouTube channels will give you a sneak peek into China without leaving your laptop.



This YouTube channel is run by a westerner who moved to China to enjoy life as a single guy, ready to explore. Laowhy86’s short videos document his solo adventures around the country and the observations he makes along the way. You can follow him as he tries out different restaurants and dishes, tells historical tales and tries some pretty questionable things like fetus soup, cicadas, and Baijiu. He takes viewers with him to the club scene, to freaky museums, and on outdoor adventures. The videos get into some of the deepest, darkest, strangest corners of China with a host who seems willing to try anything. However, later in his channel, the host marries a Chinese woman, has a baby and documents life in China from a whole new perspective. The newer videos talk about practical things like being a dad, buying property in China, what he has started to hate about the culture and places that are worth traveling to within the country.



If you are craving a bit more hands-on education before visiting China, this channel is one of the top for Mandarin learning on YouTube. Viewers can learn Chinese with the host Yang Yang who uses short and fun lessons to get her language message across. The videos are high quality and focus on grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation and culture. Her lessons into of her creative methods for incorporating the language. She uses U.S. movie soundtracks, Chinese songs, reality T.V shows and her family members to teach lessons. She also includes language lessons based on real life situations like celebrating Chinese New Year, eating at a restaurant, making small talk and introducing yourself. Plus, her lessons about culture are quite useful as she goes into differences between mainland Chinese people and those from Hong Kong, the stories behind the Chinese characters and insight from interviews with locals on the street.

TMD Shanghai


This well-rounded channel is full of entertainment as well as sneak peeks into the Chinese culture. TMD Shanghai‘s videos here range from pranks and sketches to music videos; with most being filmed straight from Shanghai. Many videos touch on popular news topics from a Chinese perspective like President Trump and local news around China. Many of the skits are especially funny because they make fun of Chinese culture in a way that sheds some light on how the people from the country actually live. Some of these skit topics include, “Things not to do when meeting Chinese parents,” “Chinese parents vs. Western parents,” Chinese vs. Western bosses.” Chinese vs. western first dates,” and “Chinese girlfriends, north vs. south.” The videos are funny and pretty addictive. Plus, you can learn a little of the language while you’re at it.

Teach English In China


This YouTube channel is all about, you guessed it, teaching English in China. However, it’s not necessarily about teaching itself. The channel features teachers who are living the expat life in China in the form of vlogs. The videos are comprised of teachers who are doing normal things while living in China like traveling to nearby destinations and trying to make sense of the cities. The topics touch on celebrating holidays, how they felt before moving to China, frequently asked questions about teaching English, settling into a new country, and day trips to other cities. It’s much more about the daily life of a person who makes the leap and goes to China to teach English than it is about the job itself.

Time surfing YouTube isn’t necessarily wasted if you are checking out these channels to learn more about China before you visit. Guide books are great too but watching these videos gives you the chance to see the country in another way.


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Shannon Ullman

Hey! I'm a published American travel blogger and teacher. My travel writing has been featured on Huffington Post, Elite Daily, Matador Network and Thought Catalog. I spent over a year living and traveling around China while I taught English there. I have also visited dozens of other countries around the world.