There is still this idea that when you move to China, you leave behind all things familiar, comfortable and ‘Western’. As a living, breathing China expat, I can tell you this just isn’t so. In fact, if you really wanted to, you could create your own little Western world here in the East, though I suggest a nice balance between that and the fantastic Chinese culture. Here is a list of the top 10 things teachers in China can do to “western” fun in China!

  1. Spend a few hours at the one of the countless Cinemas/IMAX theatres– yes, they do have English films and subtitles.
  2. Go ice-skating – even better in the winter when the lakes freeze over in the North.
  3. Bowling – everyone loves bowling, right?!
  4. Visit a Spa – foot, shoulder, back, full body; every massage you can think of!
  5. Give in to cravings and eat Western food – restaurants serving burgers, pizza, pasta, fish ‘n’ chips; even a delicious roast dinner, are everywhere!
  6. Drink some craft beer – more and more micro-breweries are opening up in the big cities, creating that pub/bar feel every Westerner cherishes.
  7. Go shopping – it’s true that China is full of Malls. Adidas, H&M, Converse, North Face; they are all out here!
  8. Dance the night away – Choose between clubs with Chinese pop music or western classics, they are both recipes for a fun night out.
  9. Join a gym – There really is no excuse to keep fit when you have free outdoor gyms on every corner. Having failed that, join the more up-to-date, modern, air-conditioned gyms in the cities.
  10. Join a class – Whether it’s dance, yoga, Thai Chi, aerobics or Kung Fu, there is surely a class to suit everyone’s taste.

Let me introduce you also to San Li Tun, the Koh Sanh Rd of China. It is where 60% of Beijing’s bars are located, aptly named as Bar Street. It is the fashion centre for food, shopping and arts – a mix between Chinese and Western, though western culture definitely overrides here. A great place to watch live music, catch the game, meet other foreigners and enjoy your favourite glass of imported wine.

Enjoy a massage in a place like this!

Go shopping in one of the hundred Mall’s on offer







As you can see, this list is meant to match our western needs/desires, as Westerners. Moving to a new country is daunting, so to have fun, familiar options at hand, really is precious. Western fun in China doesn’t include the many other options for entertainment such as; trying an array of Chinese delicacies, joining in with the old ladies dancing in the parks, learning Chinese, exploring the city by tuktuk etc etc etc.

All that needs to be said is that being a teacher in China means the fun never stops, no matter what your preferences.