Our Top 4 Ski Areas in China
27 October 2021 by
In 2019, almost 21 million skiers and snowboarders visited the 770 resorts (including 31 indoor resorts) across the country. Heilongjiang province is home to most of the ski resorts in the country (124), yet Hebei province ski resorts had the most visitors in 2019. This is due, in large part, to the fact that four of the largest and most popular resorts are in Hebei (Thaiwoo, Wanlong, Genting Secret Garden, and Fulong).
Ski areas can be found all over China. Below are some of the main areas and a quick description.
|Main Ski Areas:||Genting Secret Garden, Thaiwoo, Wanlong, Fulong, Cuiyunshan|
|Ski Area Type:||Large resorts, can accommodate all skill levels|
|Snow Type:||All artificial|
|Key Features:||New high-speed rail and highway directly from Beijing, Olympic venues|
Chongli has seen amazing growth in the past 10 years. It went from being mostly unknown except to locals, to being one of the host sites of the upcoming 2022 Winter Olympics. As a result, many companies have scrambled to build resorts in the area. Most of the ski areas in Chongli are large resorts where guests can comfortably stay for multiple days, which is especially handy since most are far away from the town center.
Each ski area appeals to a different group of people: serious skiers and boarders tend to go to Wanlong and Genting Secret Garden while more novice skiers and boarders (or those wanting a more resort-like experience) tend to go to Thaiwoo or Fulong.
If you want to learn more about the history of the area (and potential business opportunities), please check out this article published by FAO Global: Opportunities for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
|Main Ski Areas:||Wanda Changbaishan, Beidahu, Songhua Lake|
|Ski Area Type:||Large resorts, can accommodate all skill levels|
|Snow Type:||Natural, good powder|
|Key Features:||Great powder, national team training center|
Changbaishan is consistently rated as one of the top resorts in the country and was designed by Ecosign, which designed ski resorts for five Winter Olympic Games. It also has great amenities and is surrounded by Changbai Mountain Nature Reserve.
Changbaishan and Beidahu have some of the best powder in China, making both attractive destinations. Beidahu has the longest trail vertical drop in Asia, dropping 930 meters over the course of the trail. Beidahu has also has high quality facilities and has successfully hosted multiple national winter games.
The ski areas in Jilin are more spread out and less convenient to reach as compared to areas in Beijing and Chongli, but the natural powder and amenities make these areas incredibly popular.
|Main Ski Areas:||Yabuli, Maoer Mountain, Harbin Sunac (Indoor)|
|Ski Area Type:||Yabuli – Large resort, Maoer Mountain – ski trail, Harbin Sunac – indoor, can accommodate all skill levels|
|Snow Type:||Natural (except for Harbin Sunac)|
|Key Features:||Easily accessible by train, Maoer mountain inconvenient without car|
Heilongjiang is home to the most ski areas in China. Yabuli is consistently rated as one of, if not the top resort in China. Yabuli caters to everyone, but especially to experienced skiers and boarders. There’s snow for almost half of the year, meaning it is always the perfect time to go. There is also a great number of other activities. It may be a bit out of the way (roughly a three hour train ride from Harbin), but it is worth it.
Maoer Mountain has also proved to be growing in popularity. However, it seems that amenities are scarce, and it can be quite inconvenient without a car as many customers have noted. It still seems well-rated and there are great times to be had there. Harbin Sunac is an indoor facility that is open year-round. It has 6 main trails that go up to 80 meters high. There are great amenities around and it is close to the city center as well.
Heilongjiang offers a wide variety of experiences for skiers and boarders of all levels. The ones listed here are considered some of the best and most popular in the country, but there are plenty more out there!
|Main Ski Areas:||National Alpine Ski Center in Yanqing, Nanshan, Huaibei|
|Ski Area Type:||Large resorts (except for Huaibei), can accommodate all skill levels|
|Key Features:||In Beijing, can do as a day trip or stay there, Yanqing will be an Olympic venue, proximity to the Great Wall|
Outside of several indoor ski areas scattered across Beijing, there are several outdoor areas. The National Alpine Ski Center in Yanqing will serve as host to the alpine events for the upcoming 2022 Winter Olympics. Like the ski areas in Chongli, it is under massive construction while also still accommodating customers.
Nanshan is a hugely popular tourist destination, receiving much of the country’s ski/snowboard traffic. Having great amenities while also being 60 km outside of the city center means that Nanshan is popular with those looking for a weekend getaway or a day trip.
Huaibei is mostly ski runs and has little to no resort structure of its own. Those who go to Huaibei should be prepared to either go back to Beijing or to stay in one of the several hotels in town. However, the trails are surrounded by the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall.
Between the resorts in Beijing and its proximity to Chongli, skiers in Beijing are spoiled for choice of great ski and resort experiences.
|Main Ski Areas:||Xiling, Bipenggou|
|Ski Area Type:||Large Resort, can accommodate all skill levels|
|Snow Type:||Natural and artificial mix|
|Key Features:||Great ski resorts in Southern China, has an incredible number of other things to do|
With Sichuan being so far South and Chengdu being considered one of the “Furnaces of China”, you would be forgiven for assuming that skiing is not an option there. However, Xiling and Bipenggou are two of the finest resorts in China. High up in the mountains and several hours outside of Chengdu, Xiling and Bipenggou both offer good trails and luxurious accommodations.
Xiling boast over 10 kilometers in trails and has a plethora of other activities available. It is also near several panda bases. However, as Xiling becomes more well known, it becomes more crowded.
A little further out in Li County is Bipenggou resort. The trails cater more towards the beginner and intermediate skiers and boarders but has thicker snow. Bipenggou has a wide variety of activities, and children and adult areas are separated as well. Nearby is Namu Lake Hot Spring. The beautiful views of forests, lakes, mountains, and glaciers are hard to beat.
If you ever venture out to Sichuan, both resorts would be well worth the visit.