Looking for the best YouTube channels about China?
Even though I’ve been living in China for almost three years, I still love watching other people’s adventures on YouTube.
It’s the inspiration I need to plan my next trip. It’s the comic relief I need to make peace with the fact that living abroad comes with challenges. And it’s the motivation I need to start documenting my own travels!
For you, it could be the kick in the butt you need to get yourself over to China to work, study or travel.
So, in no particular order, here are the best China YouTube channels.
1. Blondie in China
Amy Lyons has traveled all over the country on and off for around five years. She calls herself a ‘professional tourist’ and it’s easy to see why.
She has a lot of energy and presents China to audiences in a lively and vibrant manner.
She’s stayed in many types of accommodation from luxury hotels to the dingiest hostels, and she does her best to present to viewers all that China has to offer.
Clearly Amy loves China and she endeavors to share this passion and enjoyment with those who watch her videos. Her content is entertaining, lighthearted yet also insightful, and her followers clearly agree.
Her Chinese language skills are pretty impressive too!
While on a visit home to Australia, she even did a series of vlogs exploring Chinese food with her family.
This allowed her to keep her YouTube channel relevant while taking a break from China, but also gave a unique insight into Chinese culture overseas.
So while this small collection wasn’t filmed in China, it’s definitely worth checking out.
With her knowledge of Chinese food, Amy managed to source pretty authentic dishes despite the West’s common misrepresentation of Chinese cuisine.
Her dad’s extortionate and rather large bowl of ‘málàtàng’ (麻辣烫) is a comical highlight, and also an incredibly easy mistake to make!
If you’re still curious about food in China, you can check out this article about some of the country’s most popular dishes.
This female vlogger hails from the UK but is now based in Beijing.
She has spent around seven years living, working and making YouTube videos in China with her husband, Jack.
She covers the usual topics such as food, travel, city guides and daily life. Her content ranges from street shots to on-camera Q&As and often features cinematic shots as well.
What Nico does well is audience engagement.
She will often open the floor to her YouTube and Instagram followers asking them to submit their questions and experiences.
This allows her to inform and educate those who are curious about life in China, but it also allows her to empathize with those who have experienced the highs and lows of living in China.
Nico doesn’t sugarcoat the reality of living in a foreign country, acknowledging that it can be frustrating at times. However, after so many years here, you can assume – and see for yourself – that the good times far outweigh the bad for her.
This is why I regard it as one of the best China YouTube channels.
Her video about getting married in China is super unique but also extremely personal and touching to watch.
It supports my claim that nothing is ever straightforward in China, especially when paperwork is involved.
Not many people can say they eloped, faced a time-crunch then took their own stunning wedding pictures on The Great Wall of China!
Although, I did visit the Wall in low season and got my own pictures with not a single soul in sight. I’m done bragging.
3. 李子柒 Li Ziqi
If travel vlogs aren’t really your thing, then keep reading because Li Ziqi is not a travel vlogger even in the slightest.
She lives in Pingwu County, a rural village in Mianyang, which is in Sichuan province, with her elderly grandmother.
(Never heard of Sichuan? Get a summary of all Chinese provinces here.)
Grandma is a fan favorite who does appear on camera from time to time.
Her content focuses on cooking and handicrafts often using traditional Chinese techniques or tools and basic ingredients found in her local area.
Apparently, her ultimate goal is to promote Chinese culture and creativity while making city dwellers more aware of where their food comes from.
The production quality of Li Ziqi’s videos is perhaps what most people know her for, and it’s for this reason why she’s on my list of the best China YouTube channels.
She now works with the help of an assistant to present beautiful time lapses, breathtaking scenery and intricate design processes with soothing Chinese music in the background.
Her more recent videos are around the 20-minute mark, but you can always speed them up a little without losing much of the charm.
Li Ziqi is also popular on Chinese social media platforms and is a well-known internet celebrity.
She even won the Chinese Communist Party’s People’s Choice Award, so I guess you could say that her YouTube channel is China approved?
I’ve seen him referred to as one of the ‘original Chinese YouTubers’ in comments and on various forums. This just means he’s been here for a long time and has a lot of content for you to devour.
He dubs himself a ‘human rights advocate for China’, but Matthew Tye is an American vlogger known for his videos about life in China.
He’s also worked on a few documentaries about China.
After living in the country for 10 years, he’s now married to a Chinese woman and a father to Olivia. Nobody asked me, but I think this is a truly wonderful name for any child.
You can see his wife, Vivienne, in the channel’s ‘Chinese Girl Tries’ videos.
Laowhy86 is super interesting as he even covers the less fun aspects of life in China such as how China’s social credit system works and the worst parts of being a foreigner in China.
He often likes to explore China’s relationship with the US, approaching topics from various points of view.
If you’re not familiar with the lingo, ‘lǎowài’ is a term used to refer to foreigners in China. So it’s creative use of the local language here.
I love a pun!
5. Mexicanos en China
Whilst these videos are in Spanish, I can’t not include this channel. Closed captions are your friend here and trust me, it’s worth reading along for the laughs.
Max and Noelia have called China their home for a little over a year. They both studied in China so speak Mandarin very well.
With sombreros on their heads, yes really, they record their travels and interactions with locals. Generally, with quite comical results.
One of my favorites is their video in which Chinese people try tequila for the first time. It ultimately shows us that the Chinese can be just as interested in learning about other cultures as we foreigners are about learning theirs.
I feel that this pair really don’t take themselves too seriously. They certainly show you that with a laidback attitude, exploring China can be so much fun!
6. Off The Great Wall
I’ll be honest, I’m a relatively new subscriber to this China YouTube channel, but so far I really do like it a lot!
The channel calls itself ‘edu-training’ and it’s pretty funny overall. It was established by four Americans with Chinese heritage named Mike, Mia, Yi and Mike again.
There is a wide range of content presented in a variety of ways.
There are skits, discussions, myths and legends, games and challenges, food… all with the goal of giving viewers a deeper insight into Chinese culture, history and daily life.
In my opinion, there’s an early BuzzFeed-esque style to how they try to both entertain and educate while mixing their knowledge of the West and China together.
On average, this YouTube channel uploads about one or two videos per month, ranging from a few minutes all the way up to an hour!
You know what that means? Whether you have five minutes free or a whole day to yourself, you can give yourself a little bit of entertainment and walk away knowing more about China than you did before.
7. YoYo Chinese
Guess what? You can even use YouTube to help you learn basic Mandarin!
Yoyo Chinese, set up by Yangyang Cheng, is one of the most (if not the most) popular YouTube channel for this.
You can find hundreds of videos covering pretty much every aspect of language learning you could wish for. From counting money in Chinese to grammar rules and Chinese idioms, there’s something for every level.
What’s nice about this China YouTube channel is that there is also a website of the same name that you can use to help support your learning.
Just be mindful that you need to sign up to gain access to all of the site’s features and only the first 20 lessons are free.
However, utilizing free tools such as their interactive pinyin chart and their extensive library of YouTube videos should be more than enough to get you started on your quest to master the language.
One thing to note is that this YouTube channel doesn’t have much content geared specifically towards HSK, a Mandarin proficiency test.
However, I’m lucky that my own Chinese teacher uploads such content to her channel and a quick search for HSK on YouTube will help you find plenty of other options to choose from!
That’s a wrap on the best China YouTube channels
And that’s it, my favorite YouTube channels about China at the moment.
As you can probably tell, I really enjoy YouTube. My lunchtimes would not be the same without my daily fix.
And remember, if you make it over to China and want to watch YouTube while you’re here, you’ll need to download a VPN before you arrive.
(You can look here to find out which VPNs work in China.)
My list is not extensive and I’m always stumbling upon new content creators, so if I missed your favorite from this post, let me know in the comments section.
Until next time, happy viewing!
If these YouTubers have you feeling inspired, why not find out more about famous people in China?
Main image credit: Top_CNX on Shutterstock.