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Laowai Comics: Expat and Traveler Life In China

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If you’re ever wondering what it’s like to live in China, cut right to the point and go to Laowai Comics. Twice weekly, this site presents us with the comedic fodder that make us expats and travelers in China exclaim: “It’s true! It’s really like that!” They are the product of a long term traveler that we already know well here at Vagabond Journey, but who we’ll just call “The Laowai” here (which is Chinese for foreigner).

The main protagonist of these comics is The Laowai himself, but could be a stand in for just about any foreigner who has been in China for the long term. He is often shown venturing into all of the uncomfortable, intriguing, perplexing, frustrating, and downright funny situations that foreigners in China often know so well.

It’s my impression that for humor to work properly it needs to hit at the collective experience of the audience it’s made for. There simply isn’t that much comedy directed at travelers — especially those who are in China. For those of us who live here or have spent a good amount of time traveling through the Sino world, these comics hit the nail of our experience on the head and are something most of us can relate to. They show the little things that we all notice and experience here day to day and twists them in a way that reveals the underlying humor of life in China.

If you’re interested in coming to China, begin your preparation with these comics, as they are truly comedic rendition of the reality of living here. A sample from Laowai Comics:

The Mutual Stare


The Club


The Same Questions


1. Canada       2. Three years       3. Work       4. 27 years old
5. I’m used to it        6. I’m not telling you        7. Of course, they’re China’s

Chinese New Year


Child tamer


Interesting Insults


Other Foreigners

The Laowai is currently traveling for the Chinese New Year, but will resume publication when he returns at the end of February. This is a good time to dig through his archives and find out what he’s all about.

Filed under: China, Humor

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been moving through the world since 1999, traveling to 55 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, which is a first hand, experiential account of China’s urbanization drive which has created hundreds of completely new cities. has written 2813 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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Wade Shepard is currently in: Xiamen, ChinaMap