Nanjing Apartment Tour

This past Wednesday, we parked ourselves in Jing Li Hotel in Nanjing, China for 3 nights. Within that time we had to find an apartment in Nanjing, and we did!

We were told the average price for a 6 month lease where we wanted to be in Nanjing’s Gulou District is about $615/month (4,000 RMB). We were shown one apartment by the realtor recommended by Eric’s school, and we signed the lease on the same day. The final price for 5 months, excluding security deposit, was about $2,900 USD (19,000 RMB) and we were asked to pay a substantial amount up-front.

https://www.linkev.com/?a_aid=laurenwithoutfear

Two days later, I hauled 150 lbs of luggage from the hotel through some alleyways, and up way too many steps. Take a look inside our new home!

La Vie Sans Peur lifestyle and travel blog | Anxious American girl living a fearless life with her husband in Nanjing China. Chinese apartment living, what a flat in China typically looks like for college students in the Gulou District attending Nanjing University

La Vie Sans Peur lifestyle and travel blog | Anxious American girl living a fearless life with her husband in Nanjing China. Chinese apartment living, what a flat in China typically looks like for college students in the Gulou District attending Nanjing University

The entrance to our place is absolutely hysterical to me. I don’t mean that in a negative way, because it’s honestly a great deterrent to potential thieves, I just mean it would NEVER fly in America as an entrance to an apartment building. I fondly refer to it as the bat cave.

The inside of our place is much, much nicer than the outside, which is typical of Nanjing buildings, it seems. We were told it’s because there’s no housing authority telling building owners they have to maintain outer appearances, and no one seems to care.

When you first walk in, you see this big dining table with wooden chairs that have what looks like the Mercedes-Benz logo on them. The shelving is really cool and came filled with decorative items like vases, candles, etc.

La Vie Sans Peur lifestyle and travel blog | Anxious American girl living a fearless life with her husband in Nanjing China. Chinese apartment living, what a flat in China typically looks like for college students in the Gulou District attending Nanjing University
I’ve set this up to be my work area for blogging. I’m watching Psycho Traveller on YouTube if you’re wondering 🙂

In order to make the 3-prong plug for my laptop work with the outlets here, I bought this inexpensive adapter in advance.

La Vie Sans Peur lifestyle and travel blog | Anxious American girl living a fearless life with her husband in Nanjing China. Chinese apartment living, what a flat in China typically looks like for college students in the Gulou District attending Nanjing University
The ceiling above our dining table. Still not sure how I feel about it…

The kitchen is clean and modern with metal countertops and a stainless steel fridge. The place is fully furnished, so we’re stocked all the way from a water heater to soy sauce. Even though we could survive on what came in the apartment, I’m glad we brought 2 of these chopsticks, 2 of these tea strainers, and this weird device.

http://www.laviesanspeur.com/?p=507

We’re abnormally stoked about our wok, gas stove and vents! I know vents are not that exciting, but we didn’t have them in our apartment in San Francisco, so it used to get super smoky inside when we pan-fried meat.

La Vie Sans Peur lifestyle and travel blog | Anxious American girl living a fearless life with her husband in Nanjing China. Chinese apartment living, what a flat in China typically looks like for college students in the Gulou District attending Nanjing University

You may notice there’s no microwave – I think this is fairly typical of a Chinese kitchen.

La Vie Sans Peur lifestyle and travel blog | Anxious American girl living a fearless life with her husband in Nanjing China. Chinese apartment living, what a flat in China typically looks like for college students in the Gulou District attending Nanjing University

La Vie Sans Peur lifestyle and travel blog | Anxious American girl living a fearless life with her husband in Nanjing China. Chinese apartment living, what a flat in China typically looks like for college students in the Gulou District attending Nanjing University

The bathroom speaks for itself. In America, this would be the strangest bathroom (unless you live in a Tiny House), but as we use it more and more, it’s making sense. The room dries surprisingly quickly after you shower!

La Vie Sans Peur lifestyle and travel blog | Anxious American girl living a fearless life with her husband in Nanjing China. Chinese apartment living, what a flat in China typically looks like for college students in the Gulou District attending Nanjing University

Oh, and Mona Lisa toilet…

La Vie Sans Peur lifestyle and travel blog | Anxious American girl living a fearless life with her husband in Nanjing China. Chinese apartment living, what a flat in China typically looks like for college students in the Gulou District attending Nanjing University

This apartment has two bedrooms, but it’s just Eric and I, so we’ll be using the spare bedroom as an office/the place where we sit when we want the fastest Wi-Fi (AKA the router room).

La Vie Sans Peur lifestyle and travel blog | Anxious American girl living a fearless life with her husband in Nanjing China. Chinese apartment living, what a flat in China typically looks like for college students in the Gulou District attending Nanjing University
The spare bedroom – anyone want to come visit??
La Vie Sans Peur lifestyle and travel blog | Anxious American girl living a fearless life with her husband in Nanjing China. Chinese apartment living, what a flat in China typically looks like for college students in the Gulou District attending Nanjing University
Spare bedroom

The bedroom is super awesome! I love our huge wooden dresser (Or would this be considered an armoire? Chest drawers? Anyone? Bueller?). Either way, it’s way more clothing storage than we had in San Francisco, and if we lived here long-term I would put so many shelves in this thing. I had to buy about a dozen hangers to make this work for us, but they were so cheap from the store nearby.

La Vie Sans Peur lifestyle and travel blog | Anxious American girl living a fearless life with her husband in Nanjing China. Chinese apartment living, what a flat in China typically looks like for college students in the Gulou District attending Nanjing University
The master bedroom.

La Vie Sans Peur lifestyle and travel blog | Anxious American girl living a fearless life with her husband in Nanjing China. Chinese apartment living, what a flat in China typically looks like for college students in the Gulou District attending Nanjing University

Downside to the bedroom: our mattress is hard as a rock. It’s about 2 inches thick and made of some kind of hard foam. We solved the issue by buying two mattress pads and layering them one on top of the other. The first night I slipped into bed we also realized the comforter was essentially a sleeping bag tucked poorly into a duvet cover, and one of the pillows has a gross sandy texture. It only took one night of sleep before we bought a new blanket and pillow. I was tempted to use this during that one night…

Attached to the bedroom area is a sun room, which is more like a laundry room. The washing machines I’ve seen here have been in-home, compact units like ours.

La Vie Sans Peur lifestyle and travel blog | Anxious American girl living a fearless life with her husband in Nanjing China. Chinese apartment living, what a flat in China typically looks like for college students in the Gulou District attending Nanjing University
Look how tiny our washing machine is! It fits a ton of stuff, too.

People here don’t typically have dryers, which is why we’ve got retractable poles attached to the building below our window. When you look at an apartment building here, you’re seeing dozens, if not hundreds, of articles of clothing on any given day, and that’s because of the no dryer thing.

That just about sums up our apartment! Let me know if you have any questions about living in China – I’m happy to answer them to the best of my ability, or ask questions to people who have lived here longer.

Thanks for reading! Talk to you soon 🙂

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4 thoughts on “Nanjing Apartment Tour”

  • Love it (except no microwave???)
    Very different culture (just from looking outside your window)
    Have fun exploring but please be careful ok
    Luv u
    Ps would love to come visit and even Mike is willing to let me go but Eric said China would not want me Ha ha

  • Wondering about societal problems in Nanjing. Is it a more affluent area due to the university? You’ve mentioned there’s a fair amount of theft (pickpockets, bikes and other property). What about homelessness? Unemployment?

    • I haven’t explored enough of this city to know for sure, but Nanjing seems to be somewhat affluent as a whole. There are so many shops here and somehow they all stay in business! Tons of people eat out regularly, and shops seem bustling everywhere. There is a fair amount of petty theft, not major theft. I think it’s more of an opportunity thing. Rather than categorizing people as “thieves” I tend to think there are “opportunists”. A lot of people are very trusting of their property around here, often leaving personal items out freely. I have seen very few homeless people. Not sure about unemployment, though! I’ll have to look into it. From what I’m hearing, it sounds like the general consensus is there are more job opportunities in China than in the US. Good questions!

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