With housing prices jumping 16 percent in Beijing last month, and rentals on the way up as well, one Chinese woman has had to cut her housing costs by living in a rooftop yurt.
The yurt is a tent home traditionally used by Mongolian nomads on the plains of central Asia. However, Taiwan native Lili Huang has built hers atop one of downtown Beijing’s traditional hutong lane homes.
According to womenofchina.cn, Huang was about to become homeless because of skyrocketing rents in China’s capital, when one of her friends suggested that she set up a yurt on his roof. After spending about RMB 4000 (US$656) to buy the 3.5m diameter structure from a factory in Inner Mongolia, Huang is still living in the yurt a year later.
And she reports that her new tent home is quite cozy. “I’m often asked whether I feel cold when I’m in the yurt,” she said. “Actually I feel quite comfortable. I use a heater in winter and I sleep very well.” However, she does complain about the tent’s lack of soundproofing.
In her online post, Huang even said that her yurt home compared favorably with her former home in New York where she had previously spent two years sleeping in the living room of a two bed-room apartment, Her shared apartment in America’s largest city had only cost her US$300 per month, she said. Reporters from local media have so far been unsuccessful in attempting to locate the downtown yurt, and some have suggested that the post could be a hoax.
Unfortunately, Huang’s rooftop dwelling does not appear to meet Beijing housing standards, so the tent home may be better suited to use by nomads than by young urban professionals.
The gallery below shows more photos of the yurt in action.