AHH! No one has mentioned the most important thing -- heaters take SPACE! I've only spent one winter (last) in HK, so I'm not the expert, but we were going to buy one last year as we were settling in. Then we never really got cold enough at all to need one. In the end we never bought one, and for the past 9 months we have been VERY grateful to not have one taking up non-existent space in our closet!
So if you're just moving here, then I highly recommend you first come, get your stuff here, get settled (because all your stuff if going to be a bit of a nightmare to unpack and organize when you go from a UK-sized place to a HK-sized place), wait for winter to come and then only get a heater when you really come to a point that you need one!
I am REALLY interested to see how the "bad" insulation and "single glazed windows" that you have here somehow drastically create a moldy, miserable winter that you don't (really??) get in the UK. I find the commends in this thread baffling! Our last apartment in the UK was AWFUL - only electric heaters, single glazed windows that constantly had a draft coming through them, paper thin walls that got completely moldy and damp from exposure to the outside (interior building walls were ok). It was 11C in the bedroom most nights!! HK is a dream so far - at least the single glazed windows here were made in the last century and close properly!
Last edited by Elegiaque; 13-11-2013 at 05:32 PM.
I like having my heater. It is absolutely worth it for those few weeks when my flat turns into a draughty ice box. Do it OP!
I'm always curious if it's the people who've lived in HK longest who find the HK winters coldest because they've adjusted to the HK climate. Like the locals who wear puffa jackets, hats and scarves when it's 15 degrees. I'd be pouring sweat with that lot on!! And I'm a wimp who isn't good with cold weather (which makes me a disgrace to my Northern roots as I appear to have turned into a "soft Southerner"). I did find last winter chilly but it was chilly rather than cold. Nothing like the below freezing temperatures of the Pennines where I grew up. Or New Year's Eve in Copenhagen when it was minus 20 and I stood outside at midnight in just a party dress drinking champagne (I admit I was still a hard Northerner back then lol...i.e. "coat? what's a coat?")
I know I'm slowly adjusting to the HK climate because when the temperature drops to 25 degrees, I take a cardigan out with me. And 23 degrees the other day was way too cold for my liking.
For someone about to move to HK, I'd trust newbies in HK (rather than "long timers") more on temperature advice as they haven't really adjusted to HK yet so their definition of "cold" maybe more "realistic" to someone outside HK (unless you're moving from Death Valley or somewhere scorchingly hot....in which case, bring heaters! Many many heaters!!)
Personally I have never lived in a non-insulated, non-centrally heated or single glazed house in the UK, from the shitty bedsit when I first arrived there to the 1960's detatched in a Yorkshire village. I'm sure they exist, but a lot people coming to HK from UK will be middle-class and unless they live in a listed building then it is most likely are they came from a house that was insulated and double glazed, with central heating.
All these houses I lived in were lovely and cosy in winter, no damp thanks to the double glazing and central heating. And I really noticed the difference in my first winter here in HK.
I have lived in New Zealand, with similar crap building standards, and similar mild winters (at least when I was living up North) to Hong Kong. And personally I'll take a UK house any day.
Damp isn't nice. It's bad for children, mould is an allergen that has nasty affects on those prone to allergies. The best way to keep it at bay is to use a dehumdifier, and the most efficient way for the dehumdifier to work is with warm air, which you simply won't get with some flats here in winter unless you use a heater.
IN MY OPINION.
My husband has a different opinion to me, he loves it cold and runs the air con at night in winter. I gave up after the first winter and moved into the spare room until our bedroom stopped feeling like a fridge.
Everyone is different, funny that. But even he hates the damp and insists on the dehumidifier in the main areas, and the bedroom before he goes to bed and turns the room into the Arctic winterland he loves. And he likes the heater on when he's watching telly, because it does get really cold in our lounge with huge floor to ceiling windows.
I don't think less of you if you like damp, I don't think less of you if you don't notice the cold, I don't think less of you if you live somewhere that gets the sun all day and keeps your place nice and warm.
I am really at a loss as to why some people on this thread are taking it all so personally. Just say how YOU find it and leave it at that, is that really so hard?
Is there really any need for the few posters here that have resorted to insulting others based on whether you find Hong Kong Accommodation cold or not in winter? I agree with Carang's post, the 'look at me, I'm so right' posting on here is unpleasant.
Last edited by kimwy66; 13-11-2013 at 06:05 PM.
No insult intended -- I really did find some of the other posts surprising, as I had an incredibly different experience in London and found HK to be much more comfortable in winter in terms of accommodation/warm in comparison. I do know of a couple of people who say this -- it's moldier and more damp in the HK winters, but I still find this hard to believe. So I think it's important -- if the OP is still reading this -- to have a different perspective. I guess the change to a HK winter all depends on the accommodation the OP is used to back at home. I know someone from the Lake District who would be miserably hot in a HK winter.
One thing that was particularly different in HK over winter for me is that it's much sunnier! And this kept me warmer in our south-facing apartment.
Having lived in close to a dozen places spread between the UK, Japan and HK I am very comfortable saying winters in HK accomodation are far more miserable than the far colder winters in Japan and the UK. Piss poor building standards and lack of either heaters or insulation means winters here are dank and cold inside... Even when its pleasant outside.
It does only last a few weeks at most though.
Elegiaque, it sounds like you had a really sh*t time when you were in London. I'm really sad to hear that because it can be such an amazing place. It can be cold and unfriendly too but if you're lucky enough to meet the right people, or just live there long enough, London can be a city of great experiences.
A local HK friend that I met on my first day at work here HATED London with a passion. Turns out he'd only been to a few of the more touristy areas and it wasn't his style at all. I always said that one day I'll show him the real London and he just pulled faces at me. Then this summer he was sent to London for 3 months on business (his bitching and moaning before he left was horrific!). During that time, I was also in London with work for a couple of days so I took him out for the day (and night) on the Sunday and showed him the "delights" of Spitalfields, Shoreditch, Butler's Wharf, St Katherine's Dock and Wapping going to more "local" places. He couldn't believe how good - and how cheap - the food was we ate. He loved everywhere we went. I don't think he was too keen on his first ever pint of cider but fair enough. He actually really likes being in London now (he's been sent back for another 2 months) and I'm as jealous as hell...or actually maybe not too jealous given how cold it's in London right now.
Never bothered with a dehumidifier either...