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AJ14

Winter clothes - Beijing

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AJ14

Hi guys,

can anyone reccomend what to wear in Beijing during winter?

is a down jacket with jeans enough, or do you need thermals?

AJ.

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abcdefg

You need thermal long underwear. If you don't already have some, it's easy to buy there.

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Jane_PA

Yes, it is usally can go under 0 C, not F. Also, it depends on your usual activity. Do you stay outside longer in the winter like for waiting for a bus? Do you drive? Down coat is a good.

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roddy

Lots of layers, one of which should be thermal. You don't need to worry about rain, so waterproofing isn't important. Unless you're some strange shape then you'll be able to buy stuff here easily enough.

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doraemon

It really depends on the person's physique and their ability to withstand the cold, but like everyone else said, thermal underwear is a must. And on top of that maybe a couple of jumpers and a large jacket/overcoat. But at least there's heaters indoors everywhere in Beijing, much better than in southern China. Although it's not as cold as the north outdoors, the buildings there don't have inbuilt heaters which can sometimes make them even colder than outside.

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adrianlondon

I spent a winter in Beijing (2006/7) and never needed thermals. My Indonesial friends all wore thermals but I'm from the UK and may have coincided with a warm Beijing winter. It never went below -8 that year. I've walked to work in Stuttgart once when it dropped to -17; that was cold. Two bottles of beer I was keeping on my balcony exploded during the night, and I had to cup my hands over my face and breathe out to stop my nose freezing.

Still didn't need thermals though; I usually fill my body with hot food at regular intervals washed down with piping hot tea or coffee. And I have a layer of fat insulation ...

Gloves and a continuous supply ot jianbing in the morning, or baozi during the rest of the day, will keep you warm enough.

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jmhcali

If you are from somewhere that already snows in the winter, you are probably used to it and won't need thermals.

In other news, 0℉ is a lot colder than 0℃. 0℃= 32℉, but 0℉ = -18℃. Big difference. Beijing gets down to 0℃. Chicago gets down to 0℉. Everyone needs thermals in Chicago.

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roddy

Beijing'll get a bit colder than that, minus ten easily. I guess you can get by without thermals, but I don't see why you'd want to - once you've tried 'em you can't go back.

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abcdefg
But at least there's heaters indoors everywhere in Beijing, much better than in southern China. Although it's not as cold as the north outdoors, the buildings there don't have inbuilt heaters which can sometimes make them even colder than outside.

This is highly relevant for people headed to the "City of Eternal Spring" over the winter months. Kunming gets to feeling real chilly sometimes in December and January, and houses have no heating. One needs to bundle up, indoors as well as out.

(I realize this is off topic for Beijing, and if Admin wishes to move the post, there will be no gripe from me.)

What I try to do wherever I go, be it Beijing or Kunming or elsewhere, is find out how the long-time local residents usually dress for the different seasons and then imitate them.

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gougou
is find out how the long-time local residents usually dress for the different seasons and then imitate them.
So what's the best method to find out whether they were thermals? Should I innocently stroll through hutongs and suddenly yank down that old guy's pants, or should I spy on people in public bath houses? ;)

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abcdefg
So what's the best method to find out whether they were thermals? Should I innocently stroll through hutongs and suddenly yank down that old guy's pants, or should I spy on people in public bath houses?

Actually, now that you mention it, paying attention to what "underlayers" others are wearing in the locker room at the bath house or sauna is a very good way to find out the local customs.

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jmhcali

If I were you, I'd just buy the thermals. Better to have them and not need them than to shiver miserably all the way to the store and back home to put them on if it turns out that you do.

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roddy

Trouble with copying the locals is that they're used to it - if you've just moved from a different climate, you're going to want different clothes, at least initially.

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abcdefg

What I've found, over and over and in several parts of China, is that the locals put on their thermals earlier in the fall and take them off later in the spring than I would do intuitively.

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feihong

It would be easier to give advice if the original poster had mentioned where he was from, or at least what climate he is used to.

For example, I live in the Chicago area. I do not wear thermals in the winter, nor do I know many people who do. I suspect a Beijing winter wouldn't compel me to wear thermals.

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roddy

You don't know what you're missing out on. Thermals are great.

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cui ruide

I thought the locals all wear TWO pairs of thermals... A little much for me, even if it was probably needed last year.

@adrianlondon: I was in Beijing for the first time January '07, and I remember, too, not needing thermals... Which has always let me down since moving back. <_<

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hanxue

As people above me mentioned, it is definitely a good idea to wear of thermal long underwear. I spent this year's spring semester in Beijing and the temperatures throughout February and March were pretty much in between -10 and 0 degrees (Celsius). In fact, this past year's winter was quite severe, apparently around the world as well. In Beijing it would only start to get warm as late as in May (I'm talking about this year in particular)! Sometimes when I went for longer walks around town in February, wearing rather thick jeans and came back home, I even noticed some sort of rash that appeared on my legs - due to the sharp cold weather! It is the dry cold air and wind that make the Beijing winter quite severe. I didn't wear any thermal underwear though. Who knows what next year will be like, you never know. It could be warmer.

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Tianjin42

Hi,

I'm from Northern England and found the Beijing/ Tianjin winters pretty cold but unless you are outside for an extended length of time, not too bad. Didn't need thermals for everyday stuff because I was inside at various points and it wasn't worth wearing them with the heating. If you are out and about from late November to early February, some thermals would be a good idea.

Needless to say, when visting Harbin for the ice festival from Beijing, it is dramatically colder and thermals (as well as QUALITY gloves, socks etc) are a must. Really, don't underestimate this one, friends who did had real difficulties.

I noticed that there is a Decathlon just outside of Gong Yi Xi Qiao subway station (bottom of Line 4) which if you don't know, is a good European outdoor store that (in my experience) sells pretty good quality stuff at low prices - held up in the Alps so should be fine in Beijing.

Hope this helps.

M

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jirbau

On top of thermals, would wearing denim jeans be enough? read somewhere that cotton and denim should be avoided during winter.

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