The big question for many of many students coming over the winter to train Kungfu in China is: How is the heating in a Chinese Kungfu School?
Well how about barely existent xD
But that is not just a problem in Kungfu Schools, but in Hostels/Hotels all over the country (aside from the main tourist hotspots). Last year during my travels I had quite a few incidents with broken heaters. I had to make a fuss to switch the room or sometimes the water wasn’t hot in the showers. I also had a couple of rooms where the heaters were not enough to heat up any room in the Hostel.
Which is why I want to help you prepare!
How can you keep warm during the winter in China?
- Mind the weather when you pack. Layers is the keyword. I know Sky Underwear isn’t the most sexy (actually it does keep everything nicely in shape 😉 ), but it will safe your ass. Take at least 2 shirts and two pants with you, so that you can switch them up, while one is in the washing.
- Go for a run before you shower. I am not kidding you here. The bathrooms are pretty much never heated, even if the shower is hot. Getting out of your clothes and into that shower can prove to be a real challenge. Go for that run, warm up and then jump under. Turn in on really hot short before you exit, that helps until you have your clothes on again.
- Get those gloves and a hat. If you are training in a Kungfu School, you will train outside and grabbing a sword or staff when your hands are frozen stiff is pretty much impossible. Also protect your head, because this is where you lose most of your body heat.
- Again Layers…bring things you can fit above each other. Sky Underwear, Shirt, thin jumper, thick jumper or fleece jacket and a big winter jacket (You will be happy you got one, otherwise buy one here, my warmest jacket is from china, they really know how to make them really nice and cozy). You will need that jacket, even if it is just to go to the toilet in the night.
- Buy a pair of warm and fluffy house-shoes. Trust me flip-flops in winter ain’t fun.
- Buy snacks. You will need much more calories in the winter. Get some sugary stuff you can kill the worst cravings off. If you are not into sweets, then get crackers, bananas or anything that fills you up and has a shitload of calories.
- Get fur inlays for your shoes. When you walk the next time through the city you will thank me for those.
- Get out of your sweaty training clothes immediately and change into dry ones!
- Get wet wipes. What for? When you really don’t want to get under that shower. I know ewwww, how gross. Here me out, because it will probably happen. With wet wipes you at least can pretend to be somewhat clean and it helps against the worst smell…not that anybody will actually be able to smell something, because of all the clothes you have on and the runny noses everybody gets.
- Get a hot water bottle and place it into your bed before you go to bed. The rooms will often be as cold as the outside. Sometimes even colder (they really have to learn how to insulate their buildings-.-). The hot water bottle warms up your bed nicely before you snuggle in.
- Take cough and fever medicine with you. I know this has nothing to do with keeping warm, but you will probably at some point get a cold (they spread super fast in kungfu schools or hostels), so come prepared and save yourself the problem of explaining in chinese to the pharmacists what you want (and chinese cough medicine is pretty gross- so don’t want to drink them ever again).
So I know you don’t have much free luggage, but please don’t think China’s Winter are easy. The inside of the buildings are usually the same temperature then the outside. They turn the heating on by 0 degrees or lower and even then usually just for a couple of hours.
Pack those winter clothes.
Especially if you are not short and tiny you might have a hard time finding the right shoes or clothes in China. Remember I am already a Large or sometimes even Extra Large!
But no matter how the heating in a Chinese Kungfu School is, it will be the adventure of a life time! You will suffer, you will freeze, you will complain and you will come out stronger than you have been before!
It is a challenge, a game of : How tough are you?!
Keep this small tips and tricks in mind and I am sure you will survive 😉
I myself will be going home this winter, this post explains more about it. I had that once 2012 and I think I past my test. I really don’t want to repeat it 😉 I think I am getting to old and comfy for that 😀
Anymore tips? Feel free to share!