Beijing might not be the first place you think of for snow sports, but in the winter, there are great options for skiers and snowboarders. Even for families with small children, there’s a range of affordable activities and features available. Here’s a roundup of the city’s local ski resorts.
Lianhua Shan Ski Resort
Size: Over 10,000sqm and includes a total of five ski trails.
Distance from Beijing: Located in Shunyi District, Lianhua Shan is just 30km from the airport and about 24km west of the center of Shunyi.
Pricing: An entire day at Lianhua Shan costs RMB 70 (weekdays), RMB 120 (weekends), or RMB 140 (holidays) per person. There’s also two-, three-, four-hour, and night pricing available. The price includes equipment rental and a lift ticket; a deposit of RMB 300 is required for rentals.
Features: There’s a children’s “snow world” with snow tubing (RMB 50/hour) and a sparse playground. Lianhua Shan also has an “eco-restaurant” with bamboo surroundings, a waterfall, glass walls, and a Chinese-style buffet.
English-speaking? Lianhua Shan’s website is Chinese-only. Some ski instructors speak very basic English.
How to get there: From Shunyi, it’s about a 50-minute drive to Lianhua Shan. Visitors can also take the 918 bus from Dongzhimen all the way to the resort.
Daily 8.30am-5pm. Liangshan Zhuang, Zhang Town, Shunyi District (6148 8111, 6148 8222, email@example.com) www.bjlhsski.com 莲花山滑雪场，顺义区张镇良善庄
Jundushun Ski Resort
Size: The Jundushuan Ski Resort boasts a total area of 150,000sqm and can accommodate 6,000 people.
Distance from Beijing: 30km from the CBD; located close to the famous Ming Tombs in Changping District.
Pricing: Jundushan doesn’t offer a whole day price, billing instead by two to eight hour intervals. For eight hours, it costs RMB 220 (weekdays), RMB 360 (weekends), or RMB 390 (holidays) per person. The price includes equipment rental and ski lifts, and requires an additional RMB 30 deposit. The resort also offers night skiing for RMB 80, which gets you five hours of skiing and a complimentary dinner. All guests must pay a separate RMB 20 entry fee, except for kids under 1.2m.
Features: Jundushan has a ski school made up of professionals trained by instructors from Switzerland, France, the US, and Austria. The resort also has Western-style restaurants, cafes, shops, supermarkets, massage treat ments, and other services.
English-speaking? The website is Chineseonly, and English-speaking ski instructors aren’t always available. Call ahead to ask.
How to get there: Driving to Jundushan takes around 1.5 hours from the CBD. The resort doesn’t offer a shuttle bus service, but visitors can take the 345, 888, or 884 buses to Changping.
Daily 8.30am-10pm. 588 Zhenshun Village, Cuicun Town, Changping District (6072 5888) www.bjski.com.cn 军都山滑雪场，昌平区崔村
Nanshan Ski Village
Size: Nanshan has 12 ski and snowboard trails over 2.5sq km, including several “firsts”: China’s first international standard half pipe, China’s first advanced mogul trail, and China’s January/February 2012 beijingkids 43 first snow football ground.
Distance from Beijing: 62km from the CBD
Pricing: Prices vary widely depending on when and how long you ski; equipment rental and a lift ticket are included. For a whole day, it costs RMB 240 (weekdays), RMB 360 (weekends), or RMB 390 (New Year’s and Spring Festival) for adults. There’s also two-hour, three-hour, or four-hour pricing available. Visitors can get a discount if they book at least one day in advance. There’s a separate RMB 20 entrance fee, which is waived for kids 1.2m and under. There’s a RMB 200 deposit fee for rentals.
Features: Besides hitting the slopes, visitors can also go tobogganing on a 1,318-meter long run (RMB 50 per run) or sledding (RMB 15-150 depending on duration). Kids can rent a children’s snow mobile for RMB 16 per minute (five minutes minimum) or enjoy the kids’ playground. There’s also a terrain park maintained by Mellow Parks, suitable for advanced skiers and boarders eager to perfect some tricks.
English-speaking? Nanshan has an English website and English-speaking ski instructors; just be sure to specify when you book your tickets.
How to get there: By car, it takes about 35 minutes to drive to Nanshan from the Jingcheng Expressway. The resort also offers a shuttle bus service that departs every day at 8.30am from two stops (Sanyuan Qiao and Wudaokou subway station) and returns at 5.30pm. A return ticket costs RMB 35 per person and must be booked a day in advance. Alternatively, visitors can also take the 980 bus from Dongzhimen for RMB 14 and then take a taxi to Nanshan (about RMB 20 per person).
Daily 8am-5.30pm. Sheng Shuitou Village, Henanzhai Town, Miyun County (8909 1909) www.nanshanski.com 北京南山滑雪度假村，密云河南寨镇圣水头村
Huaibei International Ski Resort
Size: Huaibei bills itself as the “largest ski resort in Beijing,” covering an area of 9.6sqkm. There are seven trails in total, as well as a ski park and more than 100 ski instructors. Distance from Beijing: 67km. It is located in the Jiugukou scenic area north of Huairou District, close to the Great Wall.
Pricing: Whole day pricing is RMB 220 (weekdays), RMB 360 (weekends), or RMB 390 (holidays) per person. The cost includes equipment rental and use of ski lifts, but not the RMB 20 entry fee. There’s also an RMB 500 deposit for all rentals. Visitors who bring their own equipment can get 60 percent off the market price.
Features: Huaibei has a ski school with winter camps for kids. Every year, the resort’s Minipark puts on different events. The 2011-2012 lineup includes a snow wedding (Jan 15) and a snow throwing festival (Jan 26-28).
English-speaking? Huaibei has an English website, but some sections are in Chinese only. The ski school offers English-speaking service for both kids and adults.
How to get there: It takes just over two hours to drive to Huaibei from the CBD. The resort offers a shuttle bus from Tue-Sun at Dongzhimen. It departs at 8.10am and returns from Huaibei at 4.30pm. Tickets are included in the cost of the ski package, but seats must be booked a day in advance at 8486 9353. The 936 bus from Dongzhimen also goes to Huaibei and costs RMB 7-14 per person.
Daily 8.30am-5.30pm. Hefangkou Village, Huaibei Town, Huairou District (8486 9353) www.hbski.com 怀北国际滑雪场，怀柔区怀北镇何方口村
Shijinglong Ski Resort
Size: The resort covers an area of 2.4sq km and can accommodate up to 5,000 people. There are a total of seven ski runs.
Distance from Beijing: 97km from the CBD Pricing: A day at Shijinglong costs RMB 200 (weekdays), RMB 360 (weekends), or RMB 380 (holidays) per adult. There is also four-hour pricing available, and the cost includes equipment rental and ski lift. Visitors can save up to 55 percent off ticket prices by pre-booking on the resort’s website or by telephone.
Features: Shijinglong’s other features include a spa (RMB 28-38), dog sledding (RMB 20), snow “surfing” (RMB 10/ride, RMB 100/hour) a horse-drawn carriage (RMB 10/person), ATV rides on a 1,000m runway (RMB 100/ride), snow soccer (RMB 100/hour), and more. The resort also has Western food, a French cafe, shopping, and convenience stores.
English-speaking? Shijinglong’s website and hotline are Chinese-only. The ski school has a few English-speaking instructors, but they’re not always available. Call ahead to find out.
How to get there: It takes about 2.5 hours to drive to Shijinglong from downtown Beijing. The adventurous can take the 919 express bus from Deshengmen, then transfer to the 920, but be warned – this would double travel time to about 4 hours and 40 minutes. Luckily, Shijinglong offers a shuttle bus for RMB 35 per person. Tickets can be booked at 5905 9088.
Daily 8am-6pm. Zhongyangfang Village, Zhangshanying Town, Yanqing County (5905 9088) www.sjlski.com 石京龙滑雪场，延庆县张山营镇中羊坊村