No announcement yet.

Renting an apartment long term in Dengfeng...

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Renting an apartment long term in Dengfeng...

    I wanted to keep costs low, so I decided to rent an apartment and hire a Chinese woman to cook and clean. Have you ever considered doing such a thing? You said you always stay at the Fengyuan, and staying in a concrete room with a bare light bulb is "illegal", but I would be living in a legitimate place, whatever that means.

    I'm not certain whether there are any regulations not allowing foreigners to rent, and whether renting is done by yearly contract only. My friend had a huge 2 bedroom in Zhengzhou for 2000 RMB/month ($250 US), so I figure it would be even cheaper in Dengfeng. Plus, I've seen that they've been building some newer, townhome-like buildings in Dengfeng, I plan to check it out.

    What do you think?

    There does not seem to be any regulations anymore, or at least they're not enforced, about allowing foreigners to rent apartments. Hey, in Beijing, they're encouraging foreigners to buy apartments. Remember, we're in a rapidly evolving capitalistic economy over here. If you've got the cash, you've got what you want.

    But, even though it is much less expensive than a hotel (the schools are the cheapest, but not as comfy), an apartment can be a nightmare. Don't expect elevators to the fifth floor for one, few if any apartments in Dengfeng have elevators. Also, don't expect hot water, not all apartments have hot water heaters, which, by the way, tend to be small electric thingies that hang over the bathtub. Don't expect peace and quiet at night, the roads, if your apartment overlooks one, can be quite noisy all night, and with the incredible construction going on here in Dengfeng, (they work from 6AM to midnight, regularly), getting sleep can be difficult if your apartment resides next to a construction site.

    The apartment that you rent might not be furnished. Though furniture is not expensive, from my experience, local Chinese beds tend to be bamboo slats. Pretty hard and uncomfortable. Chinese mattresses seem to be also fairly hard and uncomfortable. The beds at the FengYuan seem to be much better.

    Chinese apartments seem to have more filth associated with them, both inside and out. Keep that in mind also.
    Experienced Community organizer. Yeah, let's choose him to run the free world. It will be historic. What could possibly go wrong...

    "You're just a jaded cynical mother****er...." Jeffpeg

    (more comments in my User Profile)

  • #2
    Spoke to my travel agent and he said apartments in Dengfeng cost around 1000 RMB/month. Considerably cheaper than the Fengyuan. Problem is that there is a minimum of 6 months rent, and no heat or hot water. I could always buy one of those crappy plug in heaters, but the hot water is a concern.

    The thing is I've seen several streets in Dengfeng, north of a park where they have outdoor pool tables, where there are townhomes (apartments?) that look new, like buildings you would see in Zhengzhou. It seems like Dengfeng is getting some investment. I can't imagine all the people live without hot water. Of course, maybe that's just a haughty American assumption. Any new info on your end?

    P.S. when using your laptop in China, you just bought a Chinese plug to RJ-11 adaptor right? Did you buy it in China, and did you have any problems setting it up?

    No new info on my end yet. Still trying to find someone who can provide a reliable answer. But I do know this.

    Costs of apartments to buy, are anywhere from fifteen to twenty five thousand USD.

    They tend to have no heat. Sometimes they will have the centralized steam heating system, but you have to rely upon Dengfeng city to turn it on, and they do that on a certain day, I think in November, regardless of how cold or hot it is outside. One of those portable heaters will do the trick nicely in your apartment.

    Not all apartments have phones; remember, cell phones are the thing out here. If you're bringing a laptop to stay connected, you might not have a phone line to tie into. And again, the jack might not be RJ11 compatible. Bring one of those converters (RJ11 to wire clips), which is what I used to do years ago in the wushu guan. Most wall jacks seem to be hard wired, most phones, if there are any, use the standard RJ11 jack.

    The FengYuan Hotel now has 100 mbps high speed cat five jacks in the fourth floor rooms. Another reason why I continue to stay here.

    Not all apartments have air conditioning. If you need it to be cold to sleep, the hot muggy nights of Dengfeng might make you kind of miserable. Portable air conditioners (window thingies) don't really exist here; most units have to be mounted both inside and out. Figure about 250 USD to buy a decent mounted air conditioner.

    Not all apartments have refrigerators. A decent Chinese sized refrigerator costs about 250 USD.

    Don't expect the Chinese kitchen to have a Subzero frig and a stainless steel cooktop. You'll find a propane take with a burner for a wok, and maybe a hot plate. And the kitchen is outside on the balcony. Also, there's no such thing as a washer/dryer combo; buy a small round basin to hand wash your clothing in.

    As for the new apartments, I don't know how much they cost to rent, nor do I know what they're amenities are. As China evolves, and it is evolving rapidly, I'm sure the quality of apartment living, and its costs, will increase.
    Experienced Community organizer. Yeah, let's choose him to run the free world. It will be historic. What could possibly go wrong...

    "You're just a jaded cynical mother****er...." Jeffpeg

    (more comments in my User Profile)


    • #3
      More on renting...

      Well, after the other night, I have mixed feelings about staying in Chinese apartments. My friend Lu Yong and Shi Xing Wei bought an apartment in Dengfeng, which, I almost contributed to (but decided that the website itself is now a responsiblity nearing that of a small apartment), but decided against. The last thing I need right now is more responsibility, and ownership in something in China. But, hell, I come here enough, so I did give it some thought.

      Foreigners can purchase apartments and the such here in China. True, years ago, foreigners had to stay in certified hotels that were "foreigner permissible", though it was common for some intrepid foreigners, looking to save money, to stay in concrete bunkers with solitary light bulbs. The law looked down upon it, but rarely did the police search for and evict non-Chinese. It did happen though, years ago.

      Currently, from what I found out,

      As for me staying in a Chinese apartment, I tried it one night. The apartment the gang got is a relatively nice one, on the fourth floor (no elevators, of course), with a nice view of an apartment building under construction about thirty feet away. The lack of air conditioning was tolerable, but the incessant slam of the jack hammering and near constant whir of the cement mixers (they mix and pour all the structural concrete basically by hand) from six AM to midnight, on a daily basis, was just too much for me to handle. Between the heat, the constant noise, and my having to get up to pee every two hours from the damn MSG in the food, I basically got no sleep. Which, when you've got a head like I do, is not very good. I moved to the Feng Yuan the next day, where air conditioning, relative quiet, and clean conditions led to a fairly good night's sleep (still had to pee every three hours though, lol...). With the special "doc rate", it's worth it to me. Besides, the fourth floor of the Feng Yuan now has high speed (100 mbps) internet in the rooms. Truly a plus for me, when I've got so much catching up to do with the web site.

      Just for your information, the Feng Yuan is now a three star hotel. It just got upgraded from it's past two star rating, because of some hotel wide renovations. The daily rate is now up to fifty dollars a night, though you could probably negotiate that downward for a long duration of stay. You'll find that all the hotels in the area are raising rates; this was to be expected as Dengfeng becomes a more popular tourist attraction. The incredible growth in gong fu schools here, because of the destruction of the Shaolin village, is fueling the increase in economy here. (Just think about the few that knew of the impending destruction of the village two years ago; land purchase in Dengfeng would have been hugely worthwhile). And new hotels are being built. The Dengfeng skyline, what little there is of it, is changing.

      For long duration of stay, for the least amount of money, your best bet is to stay in one of the schools. Shi De Cheng rented the building next to his school, to expand; now there are more sleeping quarters for foreign and domestic students. Not bad, a western toilet now, and a propane heated shower. Accommodations have improved. For those who need better surroundings, negotiating with a hotel manager for long term rates might be successful, but, since these hotels are fairly regularly fully booked, your bargaining power is diminished. Renting an apartment for long term use is not a bad idea, but you have to consider the amenities involved. Sleeping next to a construction site, or, in a room overlooking a street, is simply a terrible idea. Between the construction and the traffic noise, which is almost never ending, you'll be miserable.

      It all boils down to one thing. As it usually does. Location, location, location. If you rent a place short or long term, be aware of a few things. Hot water, air conditioning, construction sites, markets, streets. (I also look for fluorescent lighting, as it's fairly deadly to me). Renting may be cheaper, but, you might pay the price via other misfortunes.
      Experienced Community organizer. Yeah, let's choose him to run the free world. It will be historic. What could possibly go wrong...

      "You're just a jaded cynical mother****er...." Jeffpeg

      (more comments in my User Profile)


      Previously entered content was automatically saved. Restore or Discard.
      Insert: Thumbnail Small Medium Large Fullsize Remove