Yes, we have heard it too many times before: Winter in the southern part of China sucks. Without central heating anywhere, the cold season can be everybody’s worst nightmare. Especially if you live south of the Yangtze river, the natural “heating border”. But what can you do to make your life more endurable during winter in China?
Unfortunately, I currently live just under that natural “border” and have to freeze my behind off in winter. However, with a few easy helpers, I can stay warm and healthy!
The allrounder when it comes to the cold season! Stock up on teas, hot chocolate, milk tea or simply drink hot water! 喝热水 (Drink hot water.) is the health remedy for almost everything in China. Stomachache? Drink hot water! Feel sleepy? Drink hot water! Feel sad? Guess what, drink hot water!
If hot water is too boring for your taste buds, try tea! The Chinese especially recommend black tea for the winter months! Black tea is said to warm your body from the center, the stomach, and also protects and stimulates the stomach and all intestines. But beware and don’t drink too much black tea, especially not before going to bed as you might not fall asleep for hours!
Don’t forget to get the right tumbler for your beverage! If you want to go “Chinese style”, pay a visit to your nearest Starbucks and get your hands on one of their limited edition Chinese New Year tumblers! Another great choice is to spend your afternoon at one of the Korean coffeehouses Caffe Bene and order a Green Tea or Misubaru Latte! Delicious!
Since there’s no central heating in apartments south of the Yangtze in China, you need to be creative. Don’t spend hundreds of RMB for running the A/C day and night on hot! There are better ways to deal with the cold that don’t use up as much energy!
China has proved itself to be pretty creative when it comes to heated winter gadgets. You can basically purchase everything you want in a heated version: slippers, hand warmers, and more are available on Taobao and Tmall for ridiculously low prices! I got my hands on a couple of these gadgets and must say I really love them!
Heating Blanket 电热毯
This is your best friend at night. A heating blanket keeps you warm throughout the entire night. Before I got one, I usually woke up around 4 or 5 when my feet were as cold as ice and I couldn’t fall asleep anymore.
However, my life completely changed after I purchased a beautiful purple heating blanket on Tmall.com! My blanket has 9 different levels and can be turned on throughout the entire night without any problems.
This heating blanket only bost me RMB 268.00 (USD 40) and it’s really high-quality! It’s seriously the best investment I ever made and I will take it with me when I move.
Heated Slippers 电暖鞋
One of the best inventions are heated slippers or to be more precise, heated shoe soles. I got myself a pair of heated slippers for around 20 RMB (USD 3) which turned out to be the best 20 RMB I ever spent. The shoe soles are connected with a USB cable that can be plugged into your computer or external charger.
I basically used the shoe soles in my ordinary boots and plugged them in the computer while I was at work. When my feet are freezing, my entire body is cold and I can’t function properly. However, with the heated shoe soles, I have warm feet the entire day!
Heating Packs 暖身贴
Heating packs are great helpers to get through a rough winter! There are two types of packs: ones you place directly on your skin and ones you stick onto your clothing. I personally prefer the ones you stick onto your clothing since I don’t want to put the sticky glue directly onto my skin.
I have to say these little packs are really useful and I can recommend anyone to get your hands on some of these! They develop heat for 10-15 hours, which is ideal for a day at work, outside or even for a good night’s sleep! They are very inexpensive and can be bought for around 40 RMB for 60 packs! Click the photo to purchase them on Tmall!
Fish Soup & Hot Pot
The seasons and weather are strictly connected with food in China. There are certain foods that you should eat in winter and others you better avoid. Among the top dishes to consume in winter is fish soup! Restaurants tend to offer this kind of dish throughout the year but prize it as especially effective and good for your body in winter!
Another popular winter dish is hot pot! I love hot pot because there’s something for everybody: fish balls, meat, veggies, tofu… the options are endless! On top of that, it takes a while finishing it and keeps you warm almost the whole day! Yay!