Archives For weather in China

There is continued good news from China! I know some of you may have heard negative things about China on the news, but there is something happening there that is an improvement. Would you like to know what it is?

The air quality in Beijing is improving at an amazing rate! The photo above was taken in the afternoon during the winter, so the sun was lower in the sky, and you can tell by the lack of leaves it was winter. The sun wasn’t brilliant and clear that day; rather it was dull from all of the air pollution.  Many times I have taken groups to China and our flight would arrive in the afternoon. While walking up the ramp (which had windows on each side) from the plane to the airport terminal, my friends would say, “Oh, it is going to rain today.” As I kind of chuckled to myself, I would explain to them the air in Beijing just looks like that on some days.

When I lived in Beijing several years ago, I lived on about the 20th floor of an apartment building. On some days it was difficult for me to see the telephone poles by the street from my apartment window. So, I am very happy to report that Beijing has done a marvelous job of improving their air quality. 

The photo above shows a building in Beijing. As you can see, now there is a beautiful blue sky!

Some industries have been invited to relocate outside the city, and I think that has had a positive and visible impact on the skies over Beijing. Public transportation is available and encouraged in Beijing, which has also helped control the air pollution. 

If you had considered travel plans to Beijing and were concerned about the air quality, I would encourage you to book your trip! Based on what I have seen, it would be surprising to me if you saw a return to the days of horrible air pollution. Maybe I will see you there!

One of the cities I return to often in China is in the northern part of the country. To give you an example of how cold it gets there, I have been told that people will ice skate to work when the river freezes. Also, one night I was waiting outside of the train station for a taxi, and I had to keep blinking my eyes, because the moisture on my eyes was freezing. By the way, when I returned to my hotel room, I looked on the Internet and it was minus eighteen degrees Fahrenheit! With all of the cold weather, this city receives surprisingly little snowfall. They have a dry climate, so there isn’t enough moisture in the air for as much snow as you would expect. So, do you want to know what people in this city do when it snows?
How Do You Enjoy the Snow?

They have a snowball fight! I can’t begin to tell you how cute this little girl was throwing snowballs at her dad. She would laugh and giggle every time she threw one or she got hit with some snow. Honestly, I think her dad was enjoying his time with her, as much as she was enjoying playing in the snow with him.

On a day when I was worried about being to keep my travel plans due to the snow, this was a pleasant distraction! This little girl was precious as she was having playtime in the snow with her dad. Maybe I should remember how happy and carefree this little girl was when I feel stressed!

What do you do to enjoy the snow?

 

I am 57 years old, and I have never had a white Christmas! Perhaps living near Atlanta, GA, doesn’t help in my quest for one. I think having a white Christmas would be wonderful, and I almost had one this year. I was in China shortly after Christmas, and they had snow, so do you want to see what an almost white Christmas looked like for me?

I'm Still Dreaming of a White Christmas

Someone had the Christmas spirit, and they decided to place a Christmas tree in the playground area of an apartment complex. Knowing how the wind blows in this city, I am surprised the tree was still standing! Across the street, there is a park, and it had a lovely view during my visit. I have actually seen people playing ping pong in this park when there was more snow on the ground than this.

I'm Still Dreaming of a White Christmas

I think the snow is so beautiful while it is falling and when it is nice and clean. It amazes me how quiet it makes the area . . . but there is a bad side to the snow. In my opinion, snow becomes ugly when it is driven on and becomes dirty.

I'm Still Dreaming of a White Christmas

There are other negative side effects of the snow, the cold being one of them. I took this picture where a man had a bike repair cart on a busy street corner. He was doing all he could to stay warm, and judging from the suit on the wall, I think he had employed this technique before.

I'm Still Dreaming of a White Christmas

Oh well, I guess I will continue to look forward to a white Christmas, and be happy when I don’t have one!

Have you ever had a white Christmas?

My last blog was about snow, and the recent weather in China has given me material to continue with that topic. So far this fall, China has had multiple snows. I have a friend in Shenyang, which is in the north east section of the country. It gets plenty cold to have snow, but their climate is dry so usually they don’t have much snow. There just isn’t enough moisture in the air. Well, he recently sent me a picture of himself in a hot springs hot tub and it was snowing. In fact, he said it was so cold that his hair froze, but the water was 110 F, so his body stayed very warm.

Moving southward to Beijing, I received another set of pictures with lots of snow on the ground. I have also heard of horrible traffic there and many canceled flights. I can’t imagine the chaos in a city the size of Beijing to have a heavy snow storm!

Still further south in the Shandong Province, a friend sent pictures of their snow. They are receiving the most snow in 50 years. Some of the sheds built to protect bicycles and scooters are falling down due to the weight of the snow. My friend has a thriving garden, and they had to shake the snow from their plants to keep them from breaking under the weight of the snow.

I think there are two big winners from the snow. The children that get to play in it, and the farmers who will use the moisture from the snow for their crops. Here are a couple of pictures of the snow around China this year.

image002

image004

image006

Beijing is one city in China that has huge swings in their weather and temperatures over the course of the year. One summer, while I was teaching in Beijing, I would ride a bus to the school to save money. It was so hot walking to the bus, ridding the bus, and walking to the school, that I would have to take an extra shirt in my backpack to change into once I got to the school.

A couple of years after that, I was showing a group of friends from the States the sights of Beijing and we had a flaw in our scheduling. With the way our time worked out, we went to the Temple of Heaven, Tiananmen Square, and the Forbidden City all in one hot afternoon. It was so hot that one of the people with me became overheated. We had to take them back to the hotel for some rest in their air conditioned room.

As you can see from this picture of some tourists, they are wearing sleeveless shirts, which indicates how warm it really was. Also, you can see they both have a bottle of water, which is very important to have with you during the Beijing summers!

022a_BeijingWeatherExtremes

Of course, the opposite of summer is winter. Winters in Beijing can be very cold, indeed! I am confident in saying the tourism decreases in the winter! Here is a snowy scene near the center of Beijing. This was taken in March, so January and February are even colder.

022b_BeijingWeatherExtremes

Once, I was with a friend from the States and they wanted to see the Summer Palace… in the winter! There is a lake at the Summer Palace and it had iced over. Man, it was cold that day! You can see some birds walking on the ice at the partially frozen lake. So, keep the weather in mind as you make you travel plans!

022c_BeijingWeatherExtremes

 

 

Shade!

May 8, 2014 — Leave a comment

Certain areas of China get very hot in the summer; therefore many people try to stay cool in the shade. A couple of hot cities I have visited are Shanghai and Xian. Shanghai feels hotter than it is because of the high humidity. Wow, one summer, when I went to Xian, the weather was so hot, that I couldn’t get my hotel room cool enough!

 

To beat the heat in China, the people find various ways of staying in the shade. As this first picture shows, the police in Tiananmen Square have large umbrellas to stand under― and they need them! As you can imagine, Tiananmen Square is very hot and crowded in the summer, and the cement surface absorbs the heat and makes the day that much hotter. I couldn’t imagine standing for a shift in all the heat and direct exposure to the sun.

 

Guard in Shade in China_Beau Sides_1

 

People that work outside wear hats designed to keep the sun off of them. These hats are commonly seen in China.

 

Shade hat_China_Beau Sides_2

 

The Chinese have beautiful skin with its nice olive tone, yet many Chinese want to avoid letting their skin get darker. For that reason, on hot days and when the sun is out, it is also common to see people protecting themselves from the sun by wearing full-face reflective sun visors (like sunglasses) that shield the entire face, ladies carrying umbrellas or wearing long gloves, and taxi drivers wearing gloves.

 

Hopefully, you now have a greater appreciation for the need for shade in China, and understand how refreshing it is to have a pagoda for some shade.

 

Pagoda for Shade_China_Beau Sides_3

 

Beau

 

To learn more about China, check out Lessons from China: A Westerner’s Cultural Education!

 

More Than One Way to Get Lessons From China!

Lessons from China: A Westerner’s Cultural Education now available as a paperback and as an e-book on Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes & Noble’s Nook!

 

You can buy Lessons from China on Amazon.com, Smile.Amazon.com (to donate a portion of the sale to Global Partners in Life), bn.com, and in Barnes and Noble stores and a variety of other bookstores and online booksellers.

 

Note: If you don’t see the book on the shelf at your local bookstore, just ask the sales clerk to order it for you. The booksellers are eager to accommodate you, whenever possible. Independent bookstores can order the book through Bookmasters.