Is China The Next Big Ski Destination? The Ski Project's Sandy Ip Lets Us In On Her Experience
Where did you stay and how did you get there?
One of the most popular places to ski for Chinese nationals this year is Chongli––unlike the more famous Changbaisan which is further away in the north, Chongli is only an hour train ride from the capital city of Beijing.
From Shanghai airport there is a daily flight to Zhangjaikou 2:30 hour flight, then a 45 minute car ride to ski resort. From Beijing there is an express train that runs every hour from Beijing North station directly to Chongli Town and only five minutes to hotel.
I stayed at the Genting Resort Secret Garden. Chongli city, which is an hour away from Beijing, is the Host city of China Winter Olympics 2022, so all facilities including ski lifts have been updated and all have covers––unlike some older lifts in Niskeo––and when all of the ski areas open, connecting all three mountains, it will be one of the largest ski area in China.
How was the Genting Resort's equipment, vibe, restaurants, etc?––Tell us the good and the bad!
I think most important thing is be opened minded––just like you cannot compare Niseko to Europe. All ski resorts have their pros and cons––the China ski resort is new and extremely busy on the weekend––a lot of affluent tourists from Beijing and surrounding regions travel to Chongli to ski on a weekly basis in the winter.
Equipment rentals are very good––at Genting Resort Secret Garden where I visited, all rental equipment are supplied by Head and are brand new and sterilised. I suggest visit during weekdays to avoid the crowds.
The food on offer is mainly Chinese––hot pot restaurants here are the best. The hotel is also able to call you a car to take you to surrounding Thaiwoo on Wanlong ski resort which are only a 15 minute drive from Genting Resort Secret Garden for more food options. One of my favourite is the hill top restaurant––they served everything from dumplings to noodles to curries––and is great for an in between ski and post ski snack.
Crazy animal butt pads everywhere! We know what to add to The Ski Project curation next year ;)
Would you recommend it as the next ski destination for people in Hong Kong? How does it compare to Niseko?
Though Niseko will always be my winter home. I would recommend it to anyone who haven’t been skiing in China. The whole nation is counting down to 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
China is set to be one of the biggest ski markets in the world, and the more world class ski resorts opening in China means that we can all do multiple ski trips a year when the travel resumes.
Bear in mind that the weather is quite a bit harsher than Niseko, so the right kind of layering is needed to keep warm. When skiing in China helmets are mandatory, and face shields are recommended to protect from strong winds, along with ski gloves with proper insulation, inner layers for top and bottom with additional mid layers under ski jacket.
In terms of the ski slopes in China, Chongli is going to be a designated ski town which will be hosting the Winter Olympics, so in terms of facilities and number of terrains, it offers the most variety, along with the newest facilities.
Expect food to be mainly be Chinese cusine––hot pot and northern Chinese. You'll be able to find other cuisines and lots of dumplings on the slopes.
I would recommend staying at Genting Resort Secret Garden, but another more well known choice for mainland Chinese is Changbaisan––I recommend Park Hyatt Changbaisan and M Gallery Changbaisan, but make sure you book early as rooms usually they get sold out months before ski season.