A Beijing Snow Adventure

Travel Stories — By on 05/03/2011 3:27 pm

Beijing Snow A Beijing Snow AdventureThough not widley known for skiing, China has several world class ski resorts and a number of less than world class ski resorts. All accessible (as are all places in China) through Beijing.

My favourite resort for skiing is Bei Da Hu near Jilin city in Jilin province. Great snow, excellent facilities, some awesome runs……… more about that in another post J

This is a recent experience by AN Australian in China for a snow adventure.

“Yes they all said I was a little crazy to come to China looking for snow, especially after our wonderful adventures in Switzerland, NZ and Japan – but I have so far not been disappointed!..

A little tricky getting two people from opposites sides of Australia to meet in Beijing , but I bit the bullet and came early to check out the sights and hopefully some snow before heading together to Yabuli and Harbin .

Firstly let me just say, there is almost nothing on the web for these places, accomodation is a little difficult to book if you dont speak Chinese and the weather is not reported accurately (I rang the hotel and they informed me there had been new snow over 2 days which had not been reported on the weather website!)

I have only just begun my journey but so far it has been amazing.

Arrived from Adelaide, via Sydney & Hong Kong in the last evening after a restful plane flight. Qantas and Dragonair were fantastic and the plane wasnt overloaded so there was plenty of room to stretch out. Staff were very helpful. Transfers were a breeze in both Sydney and HK with my luggage flying direct and boarding passes given to me in Adelaide for the trip.

Arriving at Beijing was amazing. The airport is beautiful, clean and functional. The baggage (I had oversized) was fast to arrive, customs and passport checks were easy and a helpful customs officer completed my arrival form as I didnt have the address for the hotel (yes but my visa was all in order!). I had arranged for the hotel to collect me directly and there was a rep standing with a sign with my name on it – easy to spot and a nice guy called Mark who could speak English.

We loaded my equipment into the awaiting taxi (they couldnt get the idea of what a snowboard was so I took it out and showed them!) and we headed uneventfully into the city centre which took about 35min.

Arrived at the Novotel Peace Hotel and was checked in with the greatest of ease. Mark confirmed my room number and contact details as I had a tour booked the following day for city highlights and then the Great Wall the following day. I was happy as Mark advised he would need to collect me an hour early as there was snow (yes snow folks!) forecast overnight in Beijing.

I awoke to a white city, clean and crisp (aka freezing) much to my delight. It has been high 30 degrees in Australia and I have been looking forward to feeling cold without airconditioning.

I was collected promptly at 0700 and we made our way through the city to collect the rest of our tour group. Being the off season there were just 4 of us, a perfect small group. Jackie was our guide today. We headed directly for the summer palace which was not crowded despite been a Saturday morning and the fresh snow was keeping the workers busy sweeping. We had no problems seeing all the sights and taking plenty of pictures, there was even some of it snowing while we were there. We then headed to the forbidden city stopping at the pearl factory on the way – I made a small purchase for my daughter, feeling mildly pressured once I started looking. The salestaff were all pleasent though and not to pushy.

Forbidden city and then the temple heaven, both a bit busier now the day was warming up to a mild 3 degrees!..

We finished the day with a visit to a tea house, not my thing as I am a coffee drinker, but there were some interesting facts to learn.

I was first back to my hotel and a little exhausted, but wondered out to the local shopping centre to buy some new gloves. It was cold with snow on the ground still, but not to windy or cold.

Fell into bed feeling rather pleased that I could get facebook via my iphone and post some pictures about my days adventures.

Day 2 – tour of Great Wall of China – We had a change in plans as the gondala ride wall section was out of bounds with the heavy overnight snowfall. It was a slippery and freezing but well worth the trip. We climbed three sections of the wall, and again it was small group as it was off season, with just 5 of us.

We then headed to warm up with some lunch at the Jade factory, making another small purchase and then to the Ming tombs. What an adventure filled day!..I fell into bed, wishing for no snow tomorrow as it was time to walk the city – Slept for 12 hours and woke up to sunny skies!…”

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