What’s the point of cold weather and dirty snow mounds piled up on the pavements when there’s absolutely nothing fun about it? Why do we even bother enduring the random snow showers that scare away taxi drivers and cripple public transport? Why do we even bother staying in Beijing during the winter at all? Maybe it’s because some of you have realised that it’s not only the city that provides fun and games. In fact, one if the greatest things about living in Beijing in the winter are the many great ski resorts not so far from the city, most of them surprisingly easy to reach and conveniently suitable for day trips. It’s all too easy to let yourself get fat, lazy and idle this winter simply due to slothfulness. With this guide, there should be nothing stopping you from embarking on an active, fun adventure on a snowy slope (even if it is fake snow).
Duolemeidi Ski Resort 多乐美地滑雪场/度假山庄 View In Map
This “national level skiing base” is situated 226 kilometers from Beijing, in Chongli County, Hebei Province, so strictly speaking it’s not in Beijing at all. The resort covers an area of 57 hectares and is the product of over 100 million euros of investment. With beautiful mountain scenery forming the backdrop of this top class resort, you’ll be forgiven for momentarily thinking you’re in the Alps, not China. During the winter season, the resort provides nine slopes, ranging from beginners to advanced. Though there has been an abundance of snow this year, the resort produces 90% of its snow artificially in order to ensure consistency and quality. Fake precipitation is something we’ve all grown accustomed to here in China anyway, whether we realise it or not. One thing that is very real about the resort however, is its international atmosphere and multi-lingual staff, always a big bonus as far as non-Chinese speaking expats are concerned. Noteworthy also are the resort’s chair lifts and top class skiing equipment available for rent. Prices for the ropeway start from 80 RMB depending on time and type, while standard ski rentals start from 66 RMB on weekdays. For a full list of prices including professional snowboard rental, equipment, clothes and ski passes click here.
Add: Xiqueliang, Chongli County, Zhangjiakou City, Hebei Province
Tel: 0313 461 2381
Hotline: 400 612 4567
Opening hours: 08:30-16:30 weekdays; 08:30-17:00 weekend/holiday*
*Holiday: Jan 1st-3rd, New Year's Day/Feb 13th-19th, Spring Festival
Getting there: A shuttle bus leaves from Beijing every Friday directly to the resort. The bus leaves at 19:30 from Lead Intl. Building (佳境天成大厦) at A2 Wanjing Zhonghuan Nan Lu (望京中环南路甲2号) in Chaoyang District.
Qiaobo Ice and Snow World 乔波滑雪世界 View In Map
For those not wishing to travel as far as Duolemeidi then Qiaobo Ice and Snow World is an option. Conveniently located in Beijing’s Shunyi District and easily reached by public transport, this indoor ice and snow world consists entirely of manufactured snow and ice, the price you have to pay when wishing to ski close to Beijing and/or all year round. The ski dome covers approximately 40,000 sq. metres and is equipped with various ski slopes to satisfy everyone’s need and level. The dome also includes a Children’s Snow Paradise, 30 metres long and 15 metres wide. The longest slope in the venue is the advanced one which is 300 metres long, 40 metres wide and with an average slope of 17 degrees. Skiing lessons and equipment rental are also offered on site. However, advanced skiers shouldn’t get too excited about this venue. It’s something of a last resort when you really don’t have the time to go to the professional resorts further away. One great thing about Qiaobo is that after an intense session on the snow or ice, you can easily hop over to Qiaobo’s Rehabilitation and Entertainment Center that includes a sauna & massage room, a standard swimming pool, bowling lanes, squash court, a play hall, billiards hall, KTV and
a supermarket selling over 1,000 types of Olympic Games souvenirs.
Add: 6 Shun’an Lu, Shunyi District, Beijing
Tel: 010 6941 9999
Price: Prices start from 150 RMB per hour during the week and 180 RMB at weekends. Night skiing runs from 18:00-22:00 and costs 198 RMB per person (incl one meal)
Opening hours: 08:00-22:00
Getting there: Take the No. 915 bus from Dongzhimen Station to Shengli Estate (胜利小区) in Shunyi (顺义). From there, change to bus No. 4 to the Ice and Snow World
Nanshan Ski Village 南山滑雪场 View In Map
Nanshan is hands down one of the most popular skiing resorts in northern China. Located in Miyun County about 80km from downtown Beijing, Nanshan is both a site for top class skiing that caters to all levels, and a first choice venue for major international winter sport events such as the annual Nanshan Red Bull Open snowboarding competition. Another integral reason for its popularity is the fact that Nanshan Ski Village is the largest of its kind in northern China. The resort currently boasts twelve slopes for beginners, intermediate and advanced skiers. The resort is equipped with top of the range facilities and high-tech snow making machines. Besides the ski trails, the resort also offers many other entertainment choices, such as a 1,318 metre long toboggan imported form Germany, sleds and children’s snowmobiles from Canada as well as cable hang-gliders. Ski lessons are also available starting form 200/240 RMB per person on weekdays and weekends respectively. Skiing, including ski rental and lift tickets, start from as little as 100 RMB per person for two hours on weekdays. For a more comprehensive price list click here. Though Nanshan can be reached by car in 30 minutes from Beijing via the new Jingcheng Highway making it a convenient day-trip ski destination, the resort also offers excellent food and lodging facilities for overnight guests.
Add: Shengshuitou Village,Miyun County, Beijing,
Tel: 010 8909 1909
Getting there: Special direct shuttle buses leave from Times Fortune near Sanyuanqiao on a daily basis and cost 30 RMB per ticket. Journey time is approximately 50 minutes. Buses depart from 08:30-17:30 and seats should be booked at least a day in advance. More info on the shuttle bus can be found here or by calling 89091909.
Beijing Yunfoshan Ski Resort北京云佛山滑雪场 View In Map
This is another popular large scale ski resort near Beijing. Located by the Miyun Reservoir, the site occupies a space of 450, 000 square metres. The resort has ten trails accommodating all levels. Among them is a 1000 metre intermediate run and four beginner runs ranging from 100 to 300 metres in length. It also provides a cross-country trail for snowmobiles and attractions such as ice sculptures, ice waterfalls and even fireworks.
Add: Xiwengzhuang Zhen, Miyun County, Beijing
Tel: 010 8903 2601/2602 ; 6901 6896/6895
Opening hours: 8.30-17:00 during winter
Website: www.yunfoshan.com/Corporation/SkiResort.asp?cInfoId=183&dInfoId=146(Chinese only)
Getting there: Take bus 987 from Dongzhimen
Also, don’t forget that if a trip to Beijing’s suburbs really is out of the question then the Bird’s Nest in Beijing has been turned into a temporary ski resort this winter, until February 20th. For more info read on here.
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