Wanlong Ski Resort
Wanlong Ski Resort is one of China's newest and biggest ski resorts. It is considered one of China's best ski resorts, and the facilities are new, but it isn't crowded. Over a thousand skiers come each weekend during ski season. It is less than a 4 hour drive from Beijing. It is at an elevation over 6000 feet, and has one of China's longest ski seasons from Nov. 1 to April 1. There is a new 3 star hotel, 4 chair lifts, and a trails starting from a peak with an elevation of about 2110 meters or about 6900 feet; and the quad chairlift goes all the way to the top. There is no problem with lack of capacity on the lift to the top. Good quality snow boards and skis can be rented. For all the features and amenities, you might be surprised at the comparatively low prices and the inexpensive transportation in China. Skiers seeking new mountains, a place to practice on a mogul field or for Nastar, interesting sites to visit nearby like the Great Wall and ancient sites in Beijing, and lower prices than in the US or Europe can find all that here.
Wanlong Ski Resort is in Hebei Province, near the city of Zhangjiakou. It was opened to accommodate international skiers and Chinese who are becoming increasingly interested in the sport. The company has announced plans to turn the resort into one of China's best. Because Chinese are new to skiing, most skiers rent equipment. They don't have their own. The resort facilities are among the top ten in China. The Chinese government has announced plans to build 300 new ski resorts. See China Highlights ski tours to ski in Wanlong Ski Resort.
There are about 15 trails. There is a wide beginning/intermediate slope. It is the primary teaching area and is good learning terrain, and instructors are available for lessons. There are also 4 other beginners' slopes. There is a magic carpet for transportation for beginners. There are 10 slopes open for advanced skiers. About 9 of these advanced trails are over 1500 meters long and their gradients range from 16 to 25. 4 and 5 other advanced trails are planned.
There is a mogul field on top. A mogul field has bumps on a trail that are man-made or are formed when skiers push the snow into mounds or piles as they execute short-radius turns. There is also a Nastar-like run open to anyone at any time unless there is a competition being run. So it is a good place to practice for the competition.
The 3 star hotel has 101 rooms. They start at 100 a night for two people. A good combination Western and Chinese breakfast is complemental. There are Western and Chinese restaurants and cafes. Dinner at the hotel dining room runs between 100 to 180 RMB (14 to 26 USD) for a meal for 1 to three people. The hotel's food is said to be good.
At the top, there is a newly built ski lodge that is said to have been built using logs imported from Finland. Lunch at the ski lodge is 40 - 80 RMB per person or between 5 and 11 USD. The lodge sits at the top and commands a view of the entire region. It has a fireplace where you can rest and a restaurant.
Wanlong Ski Resort is about 250 kilometers away from Beijing. The nearest airport is in Beijing. You'll find that inland transportation is inexpensive, but if you can't speak Mandarin or if you are not familiar with travel inland, you may find travel to be very confusing. You may find few English signs and few English speakers. You can take buses or trains to the city of Zhangjiakou that is about 60 kilometers away. The last 60 kilometers can be covered by taxi for about 190 RNB (about 27 USD). For 10 RNB or 1.50 USD, you can take a bus to the nearby town of Chongli and then hire a taxi to take you to the resort for about 50 RNB.
Hebei Province has the longest, the best preserved and the best built sections of the Great Wall. Places to see well preserved sections include the Jiaoshan Great Wall, Shanhaiguan Pass, Xifengkou Gateway, and Zijingguan Pass.
- Of course, you can find less expensive lodging and restaurants in the town of Chongli.
- It is best to travel with people who are experienced traveling inland. Beware of pickpockets, counterfeit money especially from taxi drivers, and people offering phony tickets.
- The peak crowds on the slopes come during the two week Spring Festival national holidays that start on the lunar new year; that is, during the two weeks after February 13, 2010. The area will be unusually busy on these days, and transportation is more difficult and more expensive. You may not be able to get a train ticket or a bus ticket during those holidays.
- The low temperatures in the region in the winter allow skiing all season long. The resort has snow making equipment.
Continue to read China ski resorts.
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I updated this article on February 10, 2014
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