Shanghai is Freezing

Shanghai is so cool these days – the water in the lake before my apartment has already frozen- you can ice on the surface of the lake.

If you are coming to Shanghai, please take my alert: please bring some warm cloths with you.

Even people from Toronto, north part of China will feel the cold weather in Shanghai hard to bear. It is that kind of humid cold – very different from the coldness in north or central part of China. Let me tell you exactly how it feels – it is like putting you into the cold water of 0 degree. Don’t let the 0 degree mislead you – it is colder than you think if you come from somewhere the normal temperature is below 0. In those areas, there are heating equipment everywhere, and it may not as humid. Most large cities north of Shanghai have heating equipment in winter. Shanghai? No.

Good luck!

14 thoughts on “Shanghai is Freezing

  1. No “heating equipment”??? Good heavens! Do you mean that in your own apartment there is no way to make the air feel warmer? Or did you perhaps mean some type of heating is available for public areas in other places but not Shanghai?? In some small public areas around here (such as where there is outdoor seating at restaurants) there are portable “space heaters” so people can feel more comfortable for a short time, and I have heard of places such as outdoor malls where certain sections are warmed by heated air, or even radiant heat from the sidewalks. But even in sunny northern California (where it is predicted to be close to 65 degrees today :-) our homes all have some type of supplementary heat available for use in the colder winter months. Poor Yifan! I will have to start knitting him a very warm sweater :-)

  2. Carrol – I guess Jian shuo refers “no heating equipment” to the fact that average Chinese people’s residence has no pre-installed heater, the kind that can warm the entire suite, like the furnace most Americans use

    Yes, I totally understand how that type of cold makes people feel as my home city is Hangzhou. Actually if a person is not moving and just sit at home, 15C is cold. I still remember washing dishes using cold wash was painful as we did not have water heater …

  3. Carroll, by “there is no heating equipment”, I didn’t mean there is no ANY heating equipment. We have air condition, and hot water – don’t worry, Yifan is fine, but it is not like in northern part of China.

    In north China, even unlike California, every house has the water based heating system, and there are central heat station, which pumps hot water into the system so every room is warm. In some area, they have the special bed with a hot pot under it, so it is also very warm.

    When I am in Luoyang, in winter, I always wear T-Shirt, and running around between rooms, and sometimes still feel too hot so we have to keep the window open a little bit so it balances.

    In Shanghai, there are no such city wide large scale heating equipment.

  4. Oooooh, I love the idea of a hot-water-warmed bed. That sounds really cozy! And I knew, of course, that little Yifan was not really suffering — a good thing, since I am really not very skilled at knitting :-)

  5. We stayed at my wife’s uncle’s apartment in March of 2003. We were warm enough outside during the day time with normal activity, but in the evenings in the unheated apartment it felt damn cold. And the worst thing was that there was no obvious way to get warmer.

    Well…you could wrap yourself up in a quilt and wait until you gradually warmed up inside it. Fortunately the Chinese have developed quilt technology to a high level!!

    I told my wife about what i had read here about the freeze-up in SH. She called her aunt last night. The aunt said that it was not too bad. Has it warmed up again?

  6. i have read some comments from foreigner like Corrall,it is really funning,i think it is really difficult to understand what is the type of the cold in shanghai for a foreigner who has never come to china.

    p.s:my hometown is in ShanXi province which in the middle of china ,and the winter in there is also very cold ,but the cold is not the humid cold ,the humid is very low,people in there always light the fire in home to warm.

  7. Distinctively cold in Shanghai? Not really!

    Many cities are colder and have higher humidity than Shanghai and yet people living there do not complain about the weather.

    The problem in Shanghai is the city has a obsolete building code, very few buildings are required to have wall and window with “R” values which means to have the building insulated, so the people are exposed to the weather element all year long. Electric heating and cooling are widely used but it can be very expensive and waste of energy due to uninsulated wall and window and can hardly reach the comfort range. To make matter worse, Shanghai cooling and heating system does not include the ventilation thus creates “sick building syndrome” and many dwellers are not even aware of the problem.

    I saw many people never take off their winter gear even at home or at sleep, no wonder people find the winter or summer unbearable.

    Insulation can inexpensive at the construction stage, but the builders who are overwhelm by the cost and profit never think about such unvisible feature.

  8. Hi Wang Jian Shuo

    Can you eat from the hot-pot under the bed :) I loved the hotpot in Chengdu. Eating hotpot and drinking baijiu is the best way to fight the cold!


  9. im planning to visit shanghai this january 2010 for my post birthday celebration, can i ask expect a snow since it will be my first time to experience snow. it is ideal to tour shanghai during winter season?

    tnxs a lot

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