Southern China’s resident YouTube stars have an ambitious plan: conquer the north. By filming a motorcycle-borne travel series, that is.
“Our basic goal is to not be Lonely Planet – not the nonsense lets-go-see-an-ethnic-dance kind of thing,” says Winston Sterzel about the Conquering Northern China series. “We’re going to be going through the small villages and back roads and I’m pretty sure that some interesting things will pop up.”
Sterzel isn't the only one excited about the adventure.
Conquering Northern China is currently the second most popular video project on Kickstarter, with fans hungry for a follow up to last August’s Conquering Southern China already pledging more than RMB282,000.
The four-episode Conquering Southern China saw Sterzel and Matthew Tye bike to Guangdong's phallic Mount Danxia, try a vile ‘shampoo’ solution used by Guangxi’s Red Yao Tribe and chow on Guizhou’s cow dung hot pot, earning an impressive 9.5 rating on IMDB.
The first series saw them film at some beautiful, if familiar, scenery
But there was one common complaint.
“Pretty much every comment was ‘we love this show, but [the episodes] were too short,” says Huizhou-based Tye. Tye is known on YouTube as Laowhy86, where his 5-year-old channel’s videos have almost 13 million views.
The Red Yao and their long, long hair
“We were limited by our budget,” says Sterzel, who is perhaps China’s most popular foreign vlogger, with more than 24 million views on his SerpentZA account.
“It took us 15 days, it was nonstop. Nonstop traveling, recording,” Sterzel says. “Now, we’ll be out there double the amount of time.”
So far, they plan to visit German "war tunnels" near Qingdao, see volcanoes in northern China and meet ethnic Russians living along China’s northern border – avoiding highways the whole time.
“We’re also going to be eating some pretty disgusting food, like sea penis.” says Sterzel.
“We’re getting away from this idea that Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Shanghai are representative of the entire country,” says Tye. “The second season is going to be much more up in the air.”
The Kickstarter's 1,200 plus backers have pledged more than RMB282,000 towards the RMB301,000 goal. The Kickstarter ends April 25, 2017.
Watch the trailer for last year’s Conquering Southern China below (VPN off).
[Images via Kickstarter, Winston Sterzel]