The average temperature in January is 16ºc, so when the temperatures dropped to 3.3ºC this weekend, Hong Kong was in for a shock.
Low temperatures, a humid climate, strong winds and no central heating don’t mix well… everyone felt the bite.
Since homes are nearly as cold as outdoors, people flock to shopping centers, cinemas and restaurants to keep warm.
We saw long queues in home improvement stores, with many families buying space heaters and hot water bottles.
As it was the coldest day since 1957, many people decided to go to the highest peak in Hong Kong, Tai Mo Shan, to witness the frost and tiny snowflakes, causing an overnight traffic jam.
Unfortunately, the road turned to ice leaving 85 people stranded and falling on their bottoms trying to get down.
A 100KM marathon was also taking place, causing many participants to injure themselves or be sent to hospital for hypothermia.
On Monday schools were closed as they do not have heating facilities to keep children warm throughout the day. However, homeless shelters did not open during daytime, leaving deprived people out in the cold.
Luckily, temperatures are due to go up from Wednesday onwards!
A sentence I hear every winter is: “but you are used to it, you are European!”
True, but the air is dry in Europe, we also have central heating and double glazed windows (unless you live in an old terraced house in England) and that makes all the difference.
So tell me, would you have climbed up the mountain to see the rare frost or would you have stayed in bed with a cuppa?