Winter without heating in Guangzhou

guanghou winter

It doesn’t snow in Guangzhou and the temperature doesn’t go below zero, but that doesn’t mean it’s always Summer in Guangzhou either. One of the big surprises that living in Guangzhou has  brought me are the cold winters.

Yangtze River is the longest river in China, actually the longest in whole Asia. In China there is central heating North of the Yangtze River, but not in the South. Nanjing University was built on both sides of the river, meaning only half of the dormitories have central heating. (Source: Jason Cullen)

The temperature in Guangzhou has come up back to 16 Celsius beginning of today, but the last few days were both cold and rainy. For a Finn like me it isn’t a problem if the temperature outside is 10 Celsius, but when it’s as cold inside too, I start to shiver.

We don’t have any heating at home, we don’t have double glazing and the air has a straight access from outside to inside on the first floor. Sun doesn’t shine to our bedroom during Winter and it becomes the coldest room in our floor. I used to hate sleeping with my socks on, but it’s the only option to stay warm in Guangzhou.

During Winter I have to wear two trousers, t-shirt, woolen sweater and a jacket on top. My hands get cold quickly and I try to warm my self by drinking hot water or tea. Taking a shower is both hot and cold. It feels good under the hot water, but as soon as you close the water, all the warm air will escape outside.

After almost four years I’m still not used to the Winters here in the Southern China and I caught a cold. Many of my friends did too. I spent a few days at home sleeping and watching TV series, but now I’m feeling better. I’m wondering how many days per year does Guangzhou have weather that I can feel comfortable in?

My cats are feeling the cold as well, one of them sneaking under the blanket when she gets the chance. They sleep close to each other and nap in the sun when it shines through the windows.

How do you manage Winters in the Southern China without heating?

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