During the COVID-19 pandemic when things seem beyond our control, many people are finding respite and satisfaction in purposeful creation while staying at home. Activities that require working with our own hands allow us to see tangible results right away. Cooking, gardening, and handiwork give us greater happiness, which may explain the increased popularity of YouTube stars who feature such content in idyllic settings.
Here are six Asian YouTubers whose uplifting videos serve as urban escape fantasies. It is easy to forget the chaotic day as we are transported to a simpler way of life in the countryside, where we can make a deeper connection with the environment and food sources, and also rediscover our traditional roots along the way.
One of China’s biggest video bloggers, Li Ziqi (李子柒) has 24 million followers on Weibo and 10 million followers on YouTube. Once a migrant worker, she returned to her rural village in Sichuan where she currently lives with her grandmother to lead the lifestyle that makes her feel “truly alive”.
Food is often the focus in her videos, and Li Ziqi would source ingredients from the countryside if they are not available in her garden. Highly resourceful and skilled with her hands, she makes her own bamboo furniture, builds a clay oven, and even weaves and dyes her own lamb wool!
Li Ziqi’s cinematic videos are beautifully made and a must watch, inspiring the creator within all of us.
Dianxi Xiaoge‘s (滇西小哥) country living videos are often compared to Li Ziqi due to their similarities in themes and picturesque imagery. With five million followers on YouTube, Dianxi Xiaoge’s videos may seem more realistic than Li Ziqi’s romanticized style. Whether making hairy tofu, preserved vegetables, and cured meats, Dianxi Xiaoge takes us right to the farm which allow viewers to feel a deeper connection with food resources.
Often featuring traditional foods and preparation methods, Dianxi Xiaoge makes steamed bamboo rice cakes, a local Yunnan delicacy, in the below video.
XiaoXi’s Culinary Idyll
Hailing from Taiwan, XiaoXi (小喜) is a jack of all trades as he showcases his talent in cooking, blacksmithing and carpentry. While XiaoXi’s dishes look delicious, his traditional techniques in creating his tools take center focus. XiaoXi uses simple resources from the environment and carefully crafts them into common tools such as knives, mortar, and bamboo baskets. He makes the process look easier than it seems!
In this video, XiaoXi forges a beautiful cutter in order to gather bamboo shoots for his noodles. His video is soothing and inspiring as viewers see the process in creating his dish.
Kimi is a YouTuber who will take your stress away as she shows her peaceful countryside life in South Korea. In her picturesque videos, Kimi uses fresh ingredients from her lush garden to teach viewers how to make simple and nutritious recipes. For many people who are interested in clean and organic eating, Kimi’s garden is definitely enviable.
In this video, Kimi welcomes the warmer weather of spring as she harvest herbs and vegetables for bibimbap, a traditional Korean rice dish.
Ah Lin Tuch showcases the unique foods in Cambodia on her YouTube channel, Polin Lifestyle. Since the water levels rise during the rainy season in her home village, the houses are built on stilts and the locals use canoes to paddle around during floods. In this video, Ah Lin Tuch steps outside her yard where nets are set up to catch some fish, which she precedes to cook for lunch.
Bep Tren Dinh Doi
Time slows down in Bep Tren Dinh Doi’s videos. Whether the young mother is making vermicelli by hand, picking and drying persimmons, or bottling her own lemon jam, there is a simplistic beauty in her movements. As she rides her bicycle outside to source her ingredients, we are treated to the gorgeous views of her village in Vietnam.
In this video, she takes us to a surreal lotus field. She gathers the flowers to make tea and meticulously prepares the lotus seeds for a rice dish and stir fry.
This original feature article is written by Sammi and Jayne for JayneStars.com.