Hidden Gems: Teaching English in China’s less well-known cities

China is probably the biggest TEFL market in the world, and teaching English in China has become popular among educators. With a huge population that is becoming more urbanised and educated year on year, there are teaching jobs aplenty. As China becomes more cosmopolitan, it gets harder and harder to get your foot in the door of its hubs, its huge central metropolises. Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong are global cities, and opportunities there get snapped up very quickly.

China has so much more to offer than its super-cities; there are so many locations a little further off the beaten track to explore. Why not start your TEFL journey in China in one of these hidden gems?


If you’ve ever seen a Chinese 100 Yuan note then you’ll have had a flavour of what Guilin has to offer. It is built around two lakes, the Cedar and the Banyan, and surrounded by jaw-dropping limestone karst scenery.

Located in the South of China in the Guangxi region, Guilin has a population of over four million people and an international airport. You won’t ever feel out of the loop here, but the beautiful landscape gives you so much more room to breathe!

Teach English in China Guilin blog


Formerly known as Port Arthur, the city currently called Dalian has a history of being used as a port by foreign powers. Today, Da Lian is known for its strong economy, numerous centers of education and tourism.It boasts ski resorts, hot springs, wildlife centers and zoos, as well as areas of incredible natural beauty, such as Dahei Mountain.

On China’s east coast, located on the tip of the Liaodong Peninsula, Dalian is a wonderful place to get a feel for China while also being able to experience the influence of other cultures. Zhongshan Square boasts traditional Chinese architecture alongside Russian and Japanese contributions, making something unique!

Teach English in China Dalian blog


Urumqi is far removed from most people’s idea of a Chinese city. It only has a population of around three million (almost small by Chinese standards) and a fair-sized Muslim Uyghur demographic. It lies off the old Silk Road, and was established as a city because of the fertile land that surrounds it.

The Grand Bazaar is Urumqi’s most distinctive attraction. It is the largest such bazaar in the entire world, spreading over 4000m² and featuring an open mosque, opera house and a viewing towers that offers stunning views of it all. Teaching in Urumqi is a very different experience compared to working in the rest of China.

Teach English in China Urumqi blog


Located near the irresistible sprawl of Shanghai, Suzhou has history in abundance. Founded in 514 BC, today Suzhou is one of China’s best developed and most prosperous cities.It was a political center, in China’s storied Warring States period and a venue for the famous Civil Service Examinations that provided China with many generations of scholars, bureaucrats, and Mandarins.

As a rich and modern city, there are numerous opportunities to teach in Suzhou. Come and get to know a city that has been called Paradise on Earth.

Teach English in China Suzhou blog


Kunming is sometimes called “the Spring City” because of its clement weather. It is the capital of the beautiful Yunnan province and surrounded by limestone hills dotted with temples, and the huge Dian Lake. It is a transport hub for the whole of South-East Asia and plans are in place to connect it by rail to Singapore, Laos, Thailand, and even India.

With its gentle climate, thriving economy and stunning setting, Kunming is a perfect place to begin your TEFL journey!

Teach English in China Kunming blog