In Beijing, expat life outside of work can be one long succession of indulgent evenings out wining and dining, interspersed with evenings of DVD box sets. For many, their only adrenaline rush is the mad dash to the elevator before a less civically minded neighbour mercilessly jabs the 'door close' button in a bid to get to their apartment a few seconds sooner. Others enjoy the quickened pulse brought about by hunting a vacant Gongti cab at 11pm on a Friday; the thrill of the chase likely similar to what our primitive ancestors felt out on the hunt. Those that feel that their life in China has lost some of its previous luster, and seek an adrenaline rush in order to get some of their 'ooomphhh' back, need go no further than the following extreme sports.
Skiing and snowboarding
Nanshan Ski Village stakes the claim of being North China’s largest ski resort, boasting 12 pistes as well as the country’s first ever snowboard park. The resort, 64 km from Beijing, is open during the summer as well, offering both water and grass skiing. What are you waiting for? Get those skis on and ride those ripples and pastures.
Nanshan Ski Village南山滑雪场 View In Map
Add: Nanshan Ski Village, Miyun District, Beijing
Tel: 010 8909 1909
Opening hours: 09:00-17:30 daily
Price: One day ski passes are 130 RMB Mon-Fri, 210 RMB Sat-Sun
Getting there: There are public and coach buses that go from Dongzhimen to the resort, see their website for more details
Mountain bikingView In Map
Bicycle Kingdom bike tours and rentals offer a more extreme alternative to the more sedate peddle pushing involved in leisurely hutong tours, and trips round the city’s flat, rather unexciting, asphalt streets and cycle paths. The Bicycle Kingdom routes go through Beijing’s outlying countryside – allowing you to enjoy more rugged, challenging tracks, fresher air and views of the land, pretty much as Mother Nature intended it. Bicycle Kingdom tours aren’t limited to Beijing, they offer tours in many areas around China. Beijing tour options range from half day trips, to half month odysseys. Get off that frustrating, crowded cycle path and feel that fresh air in your face on a strenuous but rewarding mountain biking trek.
Add: No. 34, Donghuang Chenggen Nan Jie, Dongcheng District, Beijing
Tel: 010 6526 5857
Opening hours: 08:00-22:00 daily
Web: http://www.bicyclekingdom.com, http://www.bikebeijing.com
Anyone that saw the movie Cliff Hanger with Sylvester Stallone and thought climbing looked like a good entry into the realm of extreme sports would be well advised to try walking before they can run. In which case, trying a bit of climbing action at Ole Climbing Center would be a good place to start. The staff at the center is helpful and offer bilingual services (English/Chinese). There is a 4.5 meter free climbing wall and a more challenging 12 meter wall. A day pass comes at 50RMB – extreme sports do not get much cheaper in Beijing – all of the equipment is modern and well maintained. Ole Climbing Center is great for both beginners and more seasoned climbers.
Ole Climbing Center北京奥莱攀岩馆 View In Map
Add: No. 5 Dongshimencun Lu, Baiziwan Bridge, Dongsihuan Zhong Lu, Chaoyang District, Beijing
Tel: 010 6776 0608
Opening hours: Mon-Fr 10:00-22:00, Sat-Sun 10:00-20:00
Price: 50 RMB
The above mentioned sports are ones that, within reason, almost anyone can try. As accidents can lead to severe injury, Parkour is definitely something that only the more nimble of us should consider. If you are not sure what Parkour is look it up on YouTube or Youkou (www.youku.com). You will no doubt be amazed by the gap leaping, wall jumping, railing straddling, gravity defying lack of respect for ones personal safety. If you want to see people in Beijing doing Matrix-style back flips and propelling themselves off walls, or fancy having a go at it yourself, the best place to start is Beijing’s Parkour club, the aptly named Club Hero. Martial arts facilities and indoor rock climbing are also available at Club Hero. And if that wasn’t enough, they also organize paragliding and snowboarding trips.
Club Hero 英雄馆 View In Map
Add: Suite 110, Building D, No. 8 Liangjiayuan, Jianguo Lu, Chaoyang District, Beijing
Tel: 010 8919 3290
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s a paragliding guy! That’s right, many actually wish to defy that force – gravity – “invented” by the British guy in the wig and the pesky apple tree so many hundreds of years ago. For those without the balance and nerves of steel to give gravity the heave-ho the way fearless Parkour practitioners do, or aren’t interested in putting in grueling effort on the rock face, the perfect solution is to do as the birds do, and use a pair of wings. Beijing’s The Flying Man Club is a great place to start when investigating the exhilarating extreme sport of paragliding.
The Flying Man Club 北京飞人俱乐部 View In Map
Add: No. 5 Dadu Jiuba Dong Jie, Yuan Dynasty City Walls Ruins Park, Chaoyang District, Beijing
Tel: 010 6234 4230,135 2023 0772
Web: http://www.flying-man.com (Chinese)
Longqing Gorge is both relatively close to Beijing, and contains some seriously impressive scenery, making it a great place for Beijing-based expats to visit. For some, the views aren’t enough; they’re driven to visit this scenic spot in order to seek out the adrenalin rush induced by plummeting 50 meters from a slightly rickety looking tower. Tying an over sized elastic band to ones feet and hurling oneself from a tower over a gorge is not everyone’s idea of fun, but bungee jumping is an increasingly popular pastime in China. You can go to Longqing Gorge and try it out yourself for a mere 150 RMB. Go on, get xtreme!
Longqing Gorge 龙庆峡 View In Map
Add: Longqing Gorge, Gucheng Beicun, Jiuxian Zhen, Yanqing County, Beijing
Tel: 010 6919 1020, 6914 3388
Opening hours: 08:30-17:30 daily
Price: Entrance to the Gorge is 40 RMB, bungee jumping is 150 RMB
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Keywords: where to do extreme sports beijing Extreme sports beijing parkour beijing paragliding beijing extreme sports clubs Beijing
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