Skiing In China: The Ultimate Guide

Last Updated on March 24, 2021 by James

Skiing in China is seeing a rise in popularity. This is from both inside and outside the country, where interest has never been higher.

Although the Chinese ski industry is starting to receive more attention, accurate information still remains difficult to obtain.

In this comprehensive guide; we are going to analyse all things related to the ski scene in China and give you a complete insight into everything you need to know about skiing in China.

Everything You Need To Know About Skiing In China (Photo: Yabing Wu)

China Ski Resorts Map

China has a very large and ever growing amount of ski resorts within its borders. If you are looking for a ski resort to visit in china, you will never be short of options.

Below, we have put together a China ski resorts map to help you locate some of the best ski resorts that China has to offer.

China Ski Resorts Map
China Ski Resorts Map: Showing Some Of The Best Ski Resorts In China

Ski Resorts In China

Official figures show that China currently houses around 770 functioning ski resorts. However, it must be noted that only around 150 of these are equipped with at least one ‘aerial ropeway’ (functioning ski lift).

Although there are a huge amount of ski resorts across the expanse of China, not all of them are operating at the same level. However, China does have many ski resorts that offer modern facilities, state of the art lift systems and plenty of well-groomed pistes.

Here, we will look at some of the best ski resorts that China has to offer.

China Has Many Ski Resorts To Offer (Photo: Chen Zhao CC BY 2.0)

Yabuli Ski Resort

  • Location: Heilongjiang Province
  • Skiable Pistes: 35km
  • Ski Lifts: 11 (not inc. magic carpets)
  • Maximum Elevation: 1375m
  • Ski Season: Late November – Late March
Yabuli Ski Resort Piste Map
Yabuli Ski Resort Piste Map

Yabuli Ski Resort has been commonly recognised as the largest and most well known ski area in China for many years.

Located in the North Eastern Province of Heilongjiang, it is reachable by train in around 2.5 hours from the Provincial capital of Harbin.

Although Yabuli has a remote location, it still remains one of the most popular ski resorts in China. This is due to it offering high quality accommodation, up to date lift systems and a range of pistes to suit all ability levels.

Yabuli has also long been the training home of the Chinese National Ski Team, further proving Yabuli’s prowess as one of China’s main ski resorts.

Yabuli Ski Resort
Yabuli is One Of China’s Best Ski Resorts (Photo: Ski China CC BY 2.0)

Alshan Alpine Ski Resort

  • Location: Inner Mongolia Province (Northern China)
  • Skiable Pistes: 4km
  • Ski Lifts: 4 (not inc. magic carpets)
  • Maximum Elevation: 1185m
  • Ski Season: Mid November – Early April
Ski Slope In Chhina
Alshan Ski Resort Is Located Within Inner Mongolia

Alshan Ski Resort is located within the Northern Autonomous Region of Inner Mongolia.

Situated near to the border of Mongolia, Alshan is one of the more remote ski resorts in China. Alshan Ski Resort can be reached by train; taking 3.5 hours from the nearest airport city of Ulanhot.

Alshan is not one of the biggest ski resorts in China. However, it is well known due to its high quality snow conditions.

Alshan’s northern location means it offers one of the longest ski seasons in China, as well as some of the best natural snow conditions.

Beijing Nanshan Ski Resort

  • Location: Miyun Village, Beijing
  • Skiable Pistes: 5km
  • Ski lifts: 13 (not inc. magic carpets)
  • Maximum Elevation: 215m
  • Ski Season: Early December – Late February
Skiing In China Piste Map
Nanshan Ski Resort Piste Map

Nanshan International Ski Resort has become well known in China. This is mainly due to its ‘terrain park’ facilities and close proximity to Beijing.

Nanshan sits around 80km outside of Beijing, making it easily accessible by car, bus or train. This makes Nanshan a popular daytrip ski destination for people from the capital.

Nanshan Ski Resort has seen a large amount of investment in recent years. This is in part due to the awarding of the 2022 Winter Olympics to the nearby capital of Beijing.

Although Nanshan doesn’t offer the size or elevation of many Chinese ski resorts, it does boast great facilities for anyone new to skiing. It also provides a great training ground for skiers looking to further their freestyle skills!

Skiing In Nanshan, China
Nanshan Ski Resort Has Become Very Popular (Photo: Chen Zhao CC BY 2.0)

Changbaishan International Ski Center

  • Location: Baishan City, Jilin Province
  • Skiable Piste: 40km
  • Ski Lifts: 9 (not inc. magic carpets)
  • Maximum Elevation: 1210m
  • Ski Season: Early November – Late April
SKiing In China Map
Changbaishan Is One Of The Biggest Ski Areas In China

Changbaishan Ski Resort has recently become one of the most well known ski areas in China. This is due to its size (currently the biggest in China) and its scenic nature reserve location.

Changbaishan is located in the North Eastern Province of Jilin, sitting close to the North Korean border. It can be easily reached by shuttle bus from Changbaishan airport (which opened in 2008).

Due to its location, Changbaishan Ski Resort is able to maintain good quality snow throughout the winter. This means it can offer a longer ski season than many other resorts in China.

The ski area in Changbaishan boasts 43 ski slopes, suitable for skiers of all levels. It also has one of the largest learning areas around, with a whopping 11 magic carpets servicing 20 beginner slopes!

Skiing At Changbaishan Ski Resort, China
Ideal Conditions In Changbaishan! (Photo: Bezrodnaya Aleksandra)

Xiling Snow Mountain Ski Resort

  • Location: Chengdu, Sichuan Province
  • Skiable Pistes: 10km
  • Ski Lifts: 5 (not inc. magic carpets)
  • Maximum Elevation: 2400m
  • Ski Season: Early December – Late March
Skiing In China
Xiling Shares Close Proximity With Chengdu

Xiling Ski Resort is one of the most important and successful in China. This is partly due to its Southern location, making it accessible for many skiers living in the (generally warmer) south of China.

Located in the centre of Sichuan Province, Xiling Ski Resort can be accessed easily from the major Chinese city of Chengdu.

Xiling offers some of the highest skiing in China, with the ski area being based between 2200m – 2400m. This height allows Xiling to maintain snow throughout the winter season, despite being located in the warmer climates of Sichuan Province.

The ski area of Xiling has seen huge growth in recent years. Xiling’s height provides relatively reliable snow conditions within reach of the major transport hub of Chengdu.

Xiling Ski Resort Can Be A Busy Place (Photo: gaew_kletkaeo)

Chongli Ski Resort Area (Zhangjiakou)

  • Location: Chongli County, Zhangjiakou, Hebei Province
  • Skiable Piste: 7 Ski Resorts, 100km (Estimate)
  • Ski Lifts: 30 (Estimate, not inc. magic carpets)
  • Maximum Elevation: 2160m (Thaiwoo Ski Resort)
  • Ski Season: Late November – Late March
Skiing In Chongli, China
Thaiwoo Is One Of Chongli’s Best Ski Resorts (Photo: Nora Eranpalo CC BY 2.0)

Chongli is a county located near to Zhangjiakou City in Hebei Province. Chongli is home to 7 ski resorts, which are all closely linked and will provide the base for much of the 2022 Winter Olympics.

The Chongli Ski Resort area is located 240km North of Beijing, in the Province of Hebei. Chongli can be accessed by car, bus or the new high-speed train that has been installed (taking roughly 1 hour by rail).

Several of China’s more ‘high profile’ ski resorts are housed in the Chongli Ski Resort District, offering a total of more than 200 ski slopes. Chongli’s ski resorts include Thaiwoo, Wanlong, Genting Resort Secret Garden, Duolemeidi and more.

Genting Resort Secret Garden Is Another Major Chongli Ski Resort (Photo: Tao Long)

The ski resorts based in Chongli have seen huge development in recent years and have become some of the ‘go-to’ ski areas in China.

With modern infrastructure, high speed transport links and proximity to the capital (Beijing); Chongli is becoming the ‘jewel in the crown’ of the Chinese ski industry.

Beidahu Ski Resort

  • Location: Near Jilin City, Jilin Province
  • Skiable Piste: 11km
  • Ski Lifts: 10 (not inc. magic carpets)
  • Maximum Elevation: 1370m
  • Ski Season: Late November – Late March
China Skiing Map
Beidahu Is Located In Jilin (North East China)

Beidahu is a ski resort that has grown in stature in recent years. After facing financial difficulty during the early stages of its development, it has eventually become one of China’s most well known ski resorts.

Situated 180km from Jilin’s Provincial Capital of Changchun, Beidahu Ski Resort can be reached in around 2 hours by car or 1 hour by train if you’re travelling from the airport. This means that although it’s Jilin location is remote for many, it still remains accessible.

Beidahu has continued to grow over recent years. After initially being known for its ‘steep slopes’, continued investment has allowed them expand the beginner area’s and make room for additional skiers.

Beidahu has also prospered due to the addition of high quality infrastructure in the form of; hotels, lift systems and transport links.

Snowboarding In Beidahu, China
Proving Beidahu Isn’t Just For Skiers! (Photo: Jed Chen)

Harbin Wanda Indoor Ski Resort

  • Location: Harbin, Heilongjiang Province
  • Skiable Piste: 3km
  • Ski Lifts: 2 (not inc. magic carpets)
  • Maximum Elevation: 200m
  • Ski Season: Year-Round
Harbin Skiing In China Map
Wanda Harbin Indoor Ski Resort Offer A Lot Of Indoor Skiing!

The Harbin Wanda Ski Park (part of the Wanda Harbin Mall) is currently the largest indoor ski slope in China… and the world!

The Harbin Indoor Ski Resort is situated within the city of Harbin (the Provincial Capital of Heilongjiang). This means it can be easily accessed with a short ride from Harbin airport.

Like the ski industry as a whole, indoor skiing has seen tremendous growth across China in recent years. Nothing symbolises this as much as the Harbin Indoor Ski Slope.

The Harbin Indoor Ski Area boasts 6 ski slopes spread across a total area of 80,000 square meters. If you’re looking for year-round skiing, it’s unlikely you will find a better venue than this!

The Growth Of The Chinese Ski Industry

The aims put forward by China since the awarding of the Winter Olympics to Beijing in 2015 have been ambitious. Coupled with China’s government promoting sports to improve health, the ski industry in China has been the focus of some huge investment.

The main growth goal put forward by the Chinese government in 2016 was simple; 300 million people engaged in winter sports by 2025.

China Has Ambitious Plans To Fill These Ski Slopes (Photo: Chen Zhao CC BY 2.0)

Infrastructure

Since the announcement of the government’s aim to encourage winter sports, new skiing infrastructure has been built at an unprecedented rate.

As seen from the chart below, there has been a substantial year-on-year increase in the number of ski resorts in China.

The Number Of Ski Resorts In China
The Number Of Ski Resorts in China Increasing

It’s not only the number of ski resorts that have increased, but also the number of artificial ski alternatives. The popularity of dry slope skiing, indoor skiing and artificial endless slopes have all seen a dramatic increase.

Indoor ski slopes have also been on the rise in China, with them now boasting the most (and the largest) indoor ski slopes in the world.

The Number Of Indoor Ski Resorts In China
The Number Of Indoor Ski Resorts In China Increasing

Dry ski slopes in China have also followed a similar pattern of growth during the last decade. With the rapid building of so many artificial ski surfaces, China now has the second most dry ski slopes in the world (second only to the UK).

The Number Of Dry Ski Slopes In China
The Number Of Dry Ski Slopes In China Increasing

Outside of skiing, China has looked to greatly increase activity in winter sports as a whole.

In 2003, China had a total of 21 indoor ice rinks. Following the new government initiative, they are aiming to have 800 by the time the Winter Olympics comes around in 2022.

Snowsports In China Is Increasing
Ice Rinks Have Also Been Built Across China (Photo: John Seb Barber CC BY 2.0)

China are also proving they are not only developing the winter sports sector for the short term. They have also outlined plans to build 5000 ‘winter sports specialty’ schools.

These schools will be hoping to produce winter sports athletes who can carry the torch for China for many years to come.

The Numbers Behind The Growth

China has not only seen growth in terms of infrastructure, but also in terms of skiers. During the last decade, China has seen a sizeable increase in the amount of ski resort visitors; the majority of which are from inside China.

Skier Visits To SKi Resorts In China
Skier Visits To China’s Ski Resorts Are Increasing

Alongside the growth of ski resorts, heavy investment into dry ski slopes has also led to a large increase in the amount of skiers visiting artificial surfaces.

Increased numbers, modern facilities and improved accessibility has seen dry ski slopes grow dramatically in popularity year-on-year.

Skier Visits To Dry Ski Slopes In China
Skier Visits To Dry Ski Slopes In China Are Increasing

China has also invested heavily into the emerging ski simulator market. Ski simulators are becoming increasingly popular across the globe, since their recent introduction as an artificial skiing alternative.

Skier Visits To Ski Simulators In China
Skier Visits To Ski Simulators In China Are Increasing

This increase in skiers proves that the investment being made is yielding results. However, it will take a combination of continued investment over a sustained period of years (and decades!) to see China reach their long term goal of becoming a well established snowsports nation.

Is Skiing Popular In China?

The Facts

Skiing has not traditionally been a popular sport within China during recent centuries. However, in the 21st century, this is changing rapidly.

The latest figures reported just over 13 million skiing participants in China over the course of the year. In comparison, the figures produced 5 years prior show just over 8 million visitors.

Number Of Skiers In China
The Number Of Skiers In China Has Increased

13 million skiers is a very large market. In fact, according to skiing popularity studies, this means that China has the second biggest ski market in the world (narrowly behind Germany).

Although the data proves China has one of the biggest ski economies in the world, this does not necessarily mean that skiing is popular in China.

China has a population of over 1.4 billion. This means that although China has a large amount of skiers, they only equate to less than 1% of its population.

China Still Has Plenty Of Ski Slope Space To Fill! (Photo: Yabing Wu)

In comparison: The UK has 6.3 million skiers, equating to almost 10% of its population.

Skiing has also seen a dramatic increase in popularity due to the rapid economic growth they have experienced over recent decades. It’s worth noting that skiing is an expensive sport, often pursued by those with a higher disposable income.

The growth of China’s economy has lead to many people greatly increasing their earning potential. This means more people being able to afford ‘luxury’ holidays, with skiing often falling into this bracket.

Speaking From Experience

Over the past decade, there has been prominent growth in the popularity of skiing in China. The ski industry within China has come on leaps-and-bounds, which goes hand-in-hand with the increased participation of skiing.

Spending time in ski resorts across China, the increased popularity of skiing has been evident. There has been a huge influx of new skiers, which has been shown across the busy beginner slopes of ski resorts in China.

Beginner Ski Slope In China
These Is A Large Amount Of New Beginners In China (Photo: Ski China CC BY 2.0)

There has also been a noticeable increase in the amount of Chinese skiers in resorts outside of China. This has been most apparent in Japan, where more than 50% of Chinese skiers holidaying abroad have chosen as their preferred destination.

The new popularity of skiing in China is not only apparent through the sheer number of new skiers, but also throughout the entire industry. There has also been a noticeable increase in the amount of qualified Chinese ski instructors.

China Ski Instructors
China Now Has A Lot More Qualified Instructors

China has not only improved infrastructure, but also improved the regulation of the ski industry. This has lead to training providers and ski associations moving into China and providing courses and qualification routes.

The introduction of formal ski qualifications should lead to more Chinese skiers pursuing skiing as a career. In the coming years, we may start to see more ski instructors from China working in ski resorts across the world.

Skiing In China Beginner Ski Slope
Are We Going To See More Chinese Instructors Working Across The Globe? (Photo: Ski China CC BY 2.0)

What’s Skiing In China Like?

China is a very large and diverse country. Each region has its own cultural differences, weather and terrain types.

However, there are some common themes that run through the ski scene in China.

In this section, we will use our experiences to analyse what skiing in China is really like.

Ski Lift In China, Xiling
Want To Know What Skiing In China Is really Like? Let’s Find Out! (Photo: gaew_kletkaeo)

Climate

Climate is something that can vary greatly between different ski resorts in China. Since China is such a large country, average temperatures can be vastly different between north and south.

However, apart from a couple of exceptions, you can generally expect ski resorts in China to be extremely cold.

Temperatures in the ski resorts close to Beijing often average around -10C. However, you can expect to see temperatures frequently dipping below -20C.

Skiing In China
It’s Colder Than It Looks In The Photo’s! (Photo: Yabing Wu)

If you head further north you can expect temperatures to be even lower. In ski resorts around Jilin and Heilongjiang, temperatures have been known to go below -40C.

Although average temperatures might be low, weather conditions generally remain fairly stable in Chinese ski resorts.

Snowfall tends to lack frequency, so you shouldn’t expect many snow storms to affect your ski plans. Furthermore, chances of low visibility skiing are minimal.

Terrain

Ski resorts in China are still comparatively small. Especially when compared to the larger alpine regions in Europe and North America.

Although China currently houses 770 ski resorts, only four of them offer more than 30km of total ski slope length. Each of these larger Chinese ski resorts are located in the Northern Provinces of Jilin and Heilongjiang.

Many of the well known ski resorts across the rest of China average roughly between 10km and 20km of skiable slope.

In comparison: Many European resorts have over 100km of skiable piste!

China Changbaishan Ski Resort
Ski Resorts In China Are Not Always The Biggest (Photo: Yabing Wu)

However, the focus of recent investment has not just been based around creating new resorts. Existing resorts have also been expanding in size to accommodate the growing ski population.

The ski area elevation difference in Chinese ski resorts is generally fairly short.

The biggest ski elevation change possible in China is around 1000m. This is comparatively small when judged against many alpine resorts across the world.

In general, you can expect to find ski resorts in China averaging 500m of elevation change from top to bottom of the ski terrain. Although there is a lot of variation between resorts, this average is especially true for the major resorts around Beijing.

Ski Resort In China
Some Ski Resorts In China Are Bigger Than Others! (Photo: Ski China CC BY 2.0)

Shorter elevation difference generally means shorter advanced level slopes. When you’re skiing in China, advanced slopes will generally run from top to bottom of the mountain.

Although expert slopes are generally shorter, this is not usually the case with beginner areas.

The domestic Chinese ski market is predominantly made up of beginner skier’s. This is something that hasn’t gone unnoticed during the design stages of the ski resorts in China.

China has some of the largest and most well equipped beginner areas around. Click To Tweet

In the below chart, you can see the importance that has been placed on optimizing beginner areas across Chinese ski resorts in recent years through the building of many additional magic carpet lifts.

Snow Conditions

Since China covers such a large area, snow conditions between different resorts can vary greatly.

Ski Resorts In The North

If you are looking for the best natural snow, you should be looking at China’s northernmost ski resorts. Ski resorts in Jilin, Heilongjiang and Inner Mongolia are likely to provide the best snow coverage.

Due to the extremely cold and dry nature of the ski resorts in these regions, snowfall tends to be in the form of small ‘ice flakes’ (rather than larger ‘snow flakes’). This means that you will seldom find a thick layer of powder snow, even after a snowfall.

The snow conditions are generally hard packed and icy. This is due to the cold temperatures, type of snowfall and generally bleak conditions.

The snow base layer is generally quite shallow. It’s not uncommon to see snow depth of less than 1m throughout the entire ski season.

Cold weather conditions are enough to stop the snow melting, making even this shallow base layer enough to provide whole season snow coverage.

However, when spring comes around, you can expect the mountain to become completely devoid of snow very quickly.

The Snow Can Be Good, But Don’t Expect Much Powder! (Photo: Ski China CC BY 2.0)

Ski Resorts Further South

Further south, you can expect many resorts to operate using predominantly manmade snow. This includes the ski resorts close to Beijing and Zhangjiakou (Chongli).

Many ski resorts around Beijing (or lower) will use snow cannons to make up for the lack of natural snowfall they receive.

Although temperatures in many of these resorts are low enough to maintain snow, the climate does not have the required precipitation to produce natural snow.

Many of these ski resorts do receive some snowfall.

However, the dry air found in many of these resorts fails to produce the ‘snow clouds’ needed for the required natural snowfall.

The snow is generally quite hard packed. This is due to the combination of manmade ‘icy’ snow and the cold/dry air temperatures.

High amounts of manmade snow usually means a shallow base layer, so you might expect the season to be over abruptly when the ‘springtime sun’ starts to melt the snow.

Skiing Snow Cannon
Many Resorts Rely On Snow Cannons To Get Through The Season

Busy or Quiet? Depends On Your Ability!

In China, the ski market is still undergoing rapid expansion and growth. Skiing is still a new sport to many.

The fact that skiing is still in its relative infancy is plain to see when visiting many ski resorts across China. This is demonstrated by the distribution of skiers across the different ski slope types.

In China, it’s often the beginner slopes that are the busiest. Click To Tweet
Your Ability Dictates How Busy The Slopes Might Be! (Photo: Nora Eranpalo CC BY 2.0)

Beginner Ski Slopes In China

If you’re planning to learn skiing for the first time in China, then you are not alone.

The recent rapid growth of the ski industry means that many visitors to China’s ski resorts are still in the beginning stages of their skiing journey.

Busy Beginner Ski Area In China
Many People In China Are New To Skiing (Photo: gaew_kletkaeo)

Put Simply: Expect Crowded Beginner Slopes

China has a lot of beginner skiers. However, it has also built some of the best beginner areas around.

Skiing In China, Busy Beginner Slope
Beginner Slopes Can Often Be Busy! (Photo: Chen Zhao CC BY 2.0)

Beginner slopes in China are usually large in area and often use multiple magic carpets, which are frequently very long.

That being said, it takes a lot of slope to satisfy the growing ski slope needs of the country with the largest population in the world.

During holiday times (especially Chinese New Year), you can expect many beginner slopes to be exceptionally busy.

Beginner Slopes Are Often Busy, But You Can Still Find Space (Photo: Chen Zhao CC BY 2.0)

Advanced Ski Slopes In China

Due to the relative infancy of the now ‘booming’ ski industry in China, many ski resort visitors are still learning the basics of skiing. This is an advantage to any advanced level skiers visiting ski resorts in China.

One common theme runs across many of the worlds ski resorts: The more challenging the ski slope, the quieter it is. Click To Tweet

This is clearly evidenced in Chinese ski resorts, where the ratio of beginners to experts is heavily skewed towards the beginners.

If you’re looking for quiet pistes, you better make sure you can already ski.

Skiing In Changbaishan, China
Advanced Skiers Get The Quiet Slopes (Photo: Bezrodnaya Aleksandra)

Friendly Local Skiers

Aiming to be a celebrity skier? China might just be your best bet! Click To Tweet

If you are skiing in China, you might be reminded that they have only relatively recently opened up to foreign tourism.

If you enjoy the spotlight, this might be your time to shine. Especially if you’re a good skier!

Skiing In Changbaishan, China
If You’re Good At Skiing, You Will Get Attention (Photo: Bezrodnaya Aleksandra)

Chinese skiers within the resorts are extremely friendly. So be prepared to have your picture taken many times, and probably pose for a few ‘selfie’s’ as well.

Aside from the photo’s, you will find many of the people in China to be extremely hospitable.  This is true both on and off the snow, where you won’t be short of people to eat and drink with!

Opportunities To Travel

Skiing in China is not just about skiing. If you’re travelling to China for your winter holiday, it’s an excellent chance to build in some sightseeing along the way!

It’s common to add a trip to Beijing into any China ski holiday, usually to see the great wall. Whether you are travelling to a resort near the capital, or further afield, your flight will often be stopping in Beijing at some point.

Great Wall Of China
Why Not Visit The Great Wall During Your Ski Trip?

Many of China’s ski resorts are set in more rural provinces. This gives you a great opportunity to explore parts of China that are not on the standard ‘tourist trail’.

One common option is to visit the Harbin Ice Festival (Jan/Feb) as part of a ski trip to Heilongjiang Province.

Both on and off the slopes, China is a fascinating country. Full of amazing scenery and traditional culture – you will not be short of things to see during your stay.

Harbin Ice Festival
The Harbin Ice Festival Is A Must See If You Are In Heilongjiang

Backcountry Skiing In China

If you are looking for powder skiing, China may not be your best option. However, that does not mean that backcountry skiing is out of the question.

The larger ski areas to the north generally offer the best off-piste and backcountry skiing in China.

If you’re heading off-piste, it usually means heading into wooded areas. Ski resorts in China are generally carved into mountainous forestry areas.

Backcountry skiing in China is extremely challenging and strictly for expert skiers only. Click To Tweet
You Can Find Backcountry Skiing In China (Photo: Thaiwoo Ski Resort By Nora Eranpalo CC BY 2.0)

If you’re heading off-piste in China, you should be prepared for dense tree skiing in overgrown forest. This means tight turns and ducking branches, so be prepared for some reactive skiing!

If you are looking for fresh tracks, it’s certainly possible to find them in the backcountry. However, don’t expect the deep fluffy powder you might find in the ski resorts of some other countries.

The off-piste powder in China is often somewhat ‘heavier’ than that of other well-known powder skiing nations. This makes skiing backcountry terrain increasingly challenging.

With off of these points in mind; you’re sure to find ‘gnarly’, challenging and somewhat crazy backcountry skiing in China.

Snowboarding In China

Snowboarding, like skiing, has also seen a surge in popularity over the last decade.

Although the majority of the Chinese snowsports population are still ‘ski centric’, the gap between snowboarding and skiing is a lot smaller in China than in many of the other alpine nations.

Skiing is something that is frequently passed down through generations, with parents often ensuring kids learn skiing at a very young age.

Snowboarding In China
Snowboarding In China Has Been Comparatively Popular (Photo: Bezrodnaya Aleksandra)

However, since snowboarding is a newer phenomenon, many people who are joining the snowsports world in adulthood are showing an interest in snowboarding. This has been the case in China.

Snowboarding is associated with riding powder for many backcountry enthusiasts. This means that the hard packed snow in China’s resorts does not always lend itself well to snowboarding.

However, they do have newer resorts that are building some fantastic terrain park facilities.

Terrain parks are part of snowsports that are often associated with snowboarding and the improvement of these can only boost snowboard participation in China.

Snowboarding In China, Genting Resort Secret Garden
Terrain Park Facilities Can Be Quality In China (Photo: Tao Long)

Ski Resort Accommodation In China

Ski resorts usually offer a big mix of accommodation options, often showing no common theme or pattern. Traditional Chinese style hotels are blended in with well known upmarket western names.

The quality of accommodation in China’s ski resorts has improved drastically over recent years. New investment and growing interest in skiing has seen plenty of infrastructure being built and renovated around mountain resorts.

China Has A Mix Of Old And New

Major global chain hotel brands such as Club Med, Sheraton and Holiday Inn can now be found in many resorts across China. They offer all of the high-class amenities you would expect to find, but command high-class prices as well.

If you are looking for a more authentic option, Chinese style hotels offer a great way to bring some culture to your ski trip. However, don’t expect them to speak English!

Skiing In China Hotel
China Has A Range Of Accommodation Options (Photo: Ski China CC BY 2.0)

The Cost Of Skiing In China

Ski resort prices in China vary greatly, depending on location and date (e.g. weekends or holidays are usually more expensive).

However, we can give you some average estimates based on ski resort information.

  • Ski Lift Pass (1 Day): $49 (CNY342)
  • Ski Equipment Hire (1 Day): $26 (CNY180)
  • Western Style Hotel Stay (4 Star, 1 Night): $144 (CNY996)
  • Chinese Style Hotel Stay (4 Star, 1 Night): $66 (CNY454)
  • Lunch/Dinner Meal (Mid Level Restaurant, 1 Person): $14 (CNY97)
  • Beer (Bar/Restaurant, Bottle/Draft): $3 (CNY21)

Average estimated prices are based on our personal experiences of skiing in China and from online research. The true figures differ greatly between time, quality and location – so be prepared to do your own research as well before travelling!

As evidenced by the above figures, the cost of skiing in China is still relatively low in comparison to many of the bigger ski resorts across the world.

Since skiing in China is still in its growth phase, you might well expect the cost of skiing in China to increase over the coming years.

With the influence of luxury hotels and international visitors, you may see the currently affordable ski resorts in China raising prices to mirror the ski resorts of other established ski nations.

Nicer Facilities May Start To Increase Prices (Photo: Ski China CC BY 2.0)

Where Is The Best Skiing In China?

China has so many ski options, each one varying greatly in many aspects and offering their own pros and cons.

The major development of ski resorts across China has created competition to offer the best skiing in China.

If you are looking for the best combination of snow conditions, ski terrain, facilities and culture; Yabuli is still rated as the best skiing in China by many.

Yabuli Ski Resort, China
For The Best Skiing In China, Yabuli Might Be Your Best Bet!

Yabuli offers great natural snow coverage, a large amount of skiable piste, backcountry skiing and quality accommodation.

Visiting Yabuli also offers you a chance to do some sight seeing off the slopes as well. Its location in Heilongjiang Province allows for some amazing sight seeing trips, including the Harbin Ice Festival.

However, all of China’s ski resorts have so much to offer. Every skier has their preferences; and China has a ski resort to suit the needs of almost anyone.

China Has A Ski Resort To Suir Anyone (Photo: Nanshan Ski Village – San Andreas CC BY-SA 4.0)

Summing Up Skiing In China

China is not always the first country you think of when discussing skiing. However, they are working tirelessly to become part of the ‘alpine elite’.

The Chinese ski industry is an exciting prospect for snow lovers the world over. Providing fascinating ski destinations, ambitious business prospects and a new frontier for many adventurous skiers.

In our opinion, China is a fantastic ski destination. Providing an ever-growing amount of ski resort options combined with its traditional culture, it’s a place not to be missed off your ski bucket list.


What’s your experience of skiing in China? How do you feel about the ski industry in China? Leave a comment and share the knowledge with our community!

8 thoughts on “Skiing In China: The Ultimate Guide”

  1. Thanks for the comprehensive article. It is why SnowOnly partnered with Juwai in order to attract buyers from China into aki resorts around the world. So it is great to see that skiing is growing domestically which will hopefully see more chinese travelling to bigger and more established resorts in Japan, europe and US.

    1. It’s a pleasure to shed any light we can into the ski industry in China. It’s certainly a land of opportunity for everyone who loves skiing!

  2. I never thought or imagined that I would go to China for whatever the reason is, but recently the urge to be on winter snow tingling my nerve and this article made me rethink to take china as an option to enjoy the snow and learning to ski again.

Comments are closed.