I have been living in a yurt on top of an apartment building in Beijing for over a year. I moved to Beijing from Taiwan. Since the rent in Beijing keeps rising, one day I finally put a joke into practice – I built a yurt on top of a building. After finding a yurt online and assembling it, I became the only person in Beijing living in a yurt on a rooftop.
People who want to live in the old Beijing neighborhoods usually have to pay a higher cost. The lowest rent is about 3,000 yuan (USD 480) per month. I came to Beijing and planned to move out of the tenement I was staying in, but I could not find an affordable place.
When faced with homelessness, a friend pointed at his roof and joked: “Why don’t you build a yurt on that roof to live in!” We laughed, but later I realized this joke was the best option.
A few days later, I found a yurt factory located in Mongolia online and ordered the smallest sized yurt for 4,000 yuan (USD 640). We prepared the roof and constructed the platform for the yurt. The materials arrived and we assembled it. There is actually no need for tools. Each component just gets slotted in and tied together.
A few days after the yurt was built, a blizzard struck Beijing. Because of the snowstorm, I stayed at my friend’s home that night. I slept on a sofa located right beneath the yurt. As I listened to the fierce wind whistling, I did not fall asleep all night, wondering on whose roof I would find the wreckage the next day. At daybreak, I went up to the rooftop. I was surprised to find the yurt was still there, with its top covered with a layer of snow. After checking it carefully, no leaks were found, which made me feel very comfortable.
During the following year of living in the yurt, not only was I able to hear what was happening outside very clearly, I felt the yurt was as cozy or even cozier than the rooms in the tenement. People always ask if it isn’t too cold to sleep in the yurt. It isn’t. This can be proven by the picture of me sleeping that was taken in winter. An electric heater is enough for me to sleep quite soundly.