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English blogs written by locals and expats based in Beijing are a handy shortcut for newcomers to get familiar with the city. Culture Trip selects the seven most popular Beijing-based blogs for you to discover, that cover a wide range of subjects from food and lifestyle to news and fashion.
Beijing-based Shameless is a popular English blog that discusses the lives of expats in China. Having created viral articles such as Eight Types of Foreigners in Beijing, Shameless guarantees a sarcastic and hilarious insight into cultural issues in its weekly blog posts since Laura, who once worked in PR, launched it on WeChat, the most popular mobile chatting and news feed platform in China. Her WeChat account was taken offline by the Chinese censors, but that hasn’t stopped Shameless from making a comeback with its new account called ShamelessPlus (WeChat ID: shamelessplus).
ChinaWire is the go-to blog for expats in China to find out what’s going on in the country. The Beijing-based blog has a website and a WeChat account (WeChat ID: ChinaWire) that provide less censored China news and culture stories targeted at expats. It also has a special column that teaches everyday Mandarin and useful Chinese slang.
Founded by Manya Koetse, a self-proclaimed sinologist from the Netherlands, What’s on Weibo is a Beijing and Amsterdam-based blog that shares everything viral on Sina Weibo, the most used social media platform in China (similar to Twitter). It dares to touch upon the most sensitive social issues like the recent kindergarten abuse scandal in Beijing, but it’s not always about heavy stuff, as you’ll also find the latest showbiz gossip and humorous everyday stories
Although having the Cantonese delicacy ‘dim sum’ in its name, LumDimSum is, in fact, a blog based in Beijing. It was opened by Kristen Lum in 2009 to share her experiences and thoughts with her family and friends abroad, after she moved to Beijing, and it soon grew into a comprehensive lifestyle blog that introduces Beijing’s best restaurants, gyms and fashion scenes.
This special bilingual news column is a useful tool especially for advanced Mandarin learners. Composed by masters of Mandarin and English, the posts contain respondent bilingual paragraphs for readers to study the language while learning about the viral social and cultural stories among the Chinese locals. It has both a website and a WeChat account (WeChat ID: Chinadaily_Mobile).
It’s basically impossible to find an expat who lives in Beijing who doesn’t know The Beijinger. It’s not only a Beijing lifestyle blog with contributions from a group of experienced expats, but also a forum to exchange ideas and meet new friends. It has an event calendar carefully sourced by its editors – they do work hard to make you feel less lonely in a foreign land.
This blog is very useful in a city where air pollution remains a serious problem. It was initiated by Dr Richard Saint Cyr, an American doctor, in 2009 when he became increasingly concerned with the information gap regarding health care issues while living in Beijing. His articles provide practical knowledge for readers to protect themselves from pollution. The doctor also shares his professional insights into food safety and children’s health issues in China. Even though he moved back to the US in 2016, he still continues to contribute to the website, sharing general health knowledge not just limited to Beijing and China.