Best China Ski Resorts – Instructor’s Top Picks

This is a review of the top China ski resorts.

I am Aspen, a duel ski (New Zealand Level 2, NZSIA) and snowboard instructor (Australia system, APSI) with 10 seasons of experience. I’ve been working in China as a ski and snowboarding instructor since 2017.

Over the years, I have visited almost all of the most popular ski resorts in China, including but not limited to:

  • North West – Xinjiang
  • Noth East – Harbin, Jilin, Changbaishan
  • Beijing and Surrounding – Chongli
  • Southern China – Guangzhou

Helping non-Chinese-speaking guests to organize ski trips and lessons is a huge part of my job. Today, I will share with you my very best pick of China ski resorts.

No matter if you are looking for a wild adventure to the untouched nature or a family-friendly ski resort, you will be able to find something here. The best part is, my team and I have personally visited there, so everything we provide is based on our experience (as an expert, skier, and snowboarder).

Sounds good? Keep reading!

Quick Summary

  • Zhangjiakou Chongli Wanlong Ski Resort (Beijing Surrounding)
  • Zhangjiakou Chongli Thaiwoo Ski Resort (Beijing Surrounding)
  • Altay General’s Mountain Ski Resort (Northern Xinjiang)
  • Altay Powder Snow Park (Northern Xinjiang)
  • Guangzhou Sunac Snow Park (Guangzhou Indoor Ski Resort)

Top 5 China Ski Resorts – Detailed Reviews

Here are my top picks of China Ski Resorts.

Zhangjiakou Chongli Wanlong Ski Resort (Beijing Surrounding)

  • Snow Quality: 4/5
  • Ski Resort Size: 4.5/5
  • Terrains: 4.5/5
  • Accommodation: 4.5/5
  • Food: 5/5
  • Convenient: 5/5
  • Highlights: Variety of terrains, best food among all Chinese ski resorts, great snow quality
  • Levels: 23% beginners, 20% intermediate, 50% experts
  • English Speaking Ski School Recommended: SSWBoardHouse

We love Chongli Wanlong ski resort so much that we have written a detailed guide about it, do check it out for more in-depth Wanlong information!

Chongli Wanlong ski resort is only 1 hour away from Beijing via high-speed train. If you prefer to take a private transfer, it’s only 2 to 3 hours away from Beijing too. This is probably one of the most convenient, large-scale ski resorts in China. 

Being the 2022 Winter Olympic appointed Venue in China, Chongli Ski resorts group is probably the most famous China resort among skiers and boarders (including experts).

To be very honest, the natural snowfall of Chongli resorts is not as attractive as those in the Northwest area, like Xinjiang. However, Wanlong ski resort is one of those willing to spend a lot of resources on making snow, and we have tested and confirmed they have the best snow around the whole area.

If you have never been skiing before and want to have a fun skiing holiday in China? Chongli Wanlong ski resort is probably your best shot.

Our ski school because offers reliable English, Chinese, and Cantonese speaking instructors who hold Canadian, New Zealand, Australian ski instructor certificates. SSWBoardHouse is also one of the organizers of Canadian ski and snowboarding instructors exams (CSIA and CASI) in China.

Food is amazing! The canteen located on the 2nd floor of the ski center offers super duper yummy meals. It’s a place you can eat there every day and won’t get bored till the season ends.

There are no international branded hotels in Wanlong, but all the three ski-in-ski-out hotels are well built and managed. Clean, comfortable, and great services, nothing very fancy but pretty high value!

Oh yes, one of the reasons why I highly recommend Wanlong ski resorts is, the best boot fitter in China is also located in Chongli. He can help you fix all the ski/snowboard boots problems. Very professional, he learned everything from a Canadian Level 4 instructor and experienced boot fitter.

He saved my friend’s ski boots from a shop offering not-so-professional boot fitting services.

Zhangjiakou Chongli Thaiwoo Ski Resort (Beijing Surrounding)

  • Snow Quality: 3.5/5
  • Ski Resort Size: 3.5/5
  • Terrains: 3.5/5
  • Levels: 40% beginners, 35% intermediate, 25% experts
  • Accommodation: 5/5
  • Food: 4/5
  • Convenient: 5/5
  • Highlights: Ski town atmosphere, high-end hotels, good food, and many ski gears shops
  • English Speaking Ski School Recommended: SSWBoardHouse

Located 30 mins away from Wanlong ski resort, Chongli Thaiwoo ski resort is a beginner-friendly ski resort and another venue of the 2022 Winter Olympics. There is a giant beginner-friendly area, very suitable for first-timers.

I love the beautifully built ski town of Thaiwoo, and you can find hot springs, restaurants, cinema, and ski shops over there. 

Thaiwoo also has the best hotels around the Chongli area. For example, high-end hotels like Element Chongli and Hyatt Place Chongli are managed by Marriott and Hyatt group, respectively.

Location is also perfect, only 5 mins by car to high-speed train station “Taizicheng Railway Station.” Shuttle buses are running around the railway station and the ski towns, connecting different hotels, ski resorts, and car parks.

By the way, we can also teach in the Thaiwoo ski resort, so feel free to book a lesson or a guided ski trip with us! 😉

Tips: Chongli area can be really cool on a windy day, so it’s a good idea to get some high-quality base layers, I got myself accessories like heated gloves, heated socks, and a thin down jacket.

Altay General’s Mountain Ski Resort (Northern Xinjiang)

  • Snow Quality: 4/5
  • Ski Resort Size: 4/5
  • Terrains: 4/5
  • Levels: 35% beginners, 35% intermediate, 30% experts
  • Accommodation: 4/5
  • Food: 4.5/5
  • Convenient: 5/5
  • Highlights: Beautiful sunset view, night skiing available, very close to the city center
  • Local Agency Providing Tour Planning Services for Expert: Whitemileage.com

Located in the far northwest Xinjiang, General’s mountain ski resort (also named Jiangjun Shan ski resorts) takes you longer time to arrive there. You need to go to Urumqi first, then go there by flight (around 1 hour), night train (approximately 10 +hours), or by car (about 6 – 7 hours).

However, once arrived in Altai city, General mountain ski resorts rocks. It’s very close to the town (10 mins by bus or car), airport and train station (around 25 – 30 mins away only). So basically, you can do what I did: ski in the morning, grab some quick snacks and go back to the city for a late lunch. 

Or even go back to the hotel for a nap, then go back to the mountain for the beautiful sunset view and do some excellent skiing there.

This is a decent ski resort with 3200 meters run, nice powder, moguls, and a well-built terrain park. And the snow quality is pretty awesome because of the location! Much better than the northeast area in China.

Although you don’t need a border license to ski or ride in General’s mountain ski resort, Note that only appointed hotels provide accommodations for foreigners. So do check with the local agency first. 

WhiteMileage.com offers Xinjiang touring services in English. They can also arrange an English-speaking instructor or tour guide if needed.

Altay Powder Snow Park (Northern Xinjiang)

  • Snow Quality: 5/5
  • Ski Resort Size: 5/5
  • Terrains: 5/5
  • Levels: 20% beginners, 80% experts
  • Accommodation: 1/5
  • Food: 2/5
  • Convenient: 1-/5
  • Highlights: Stunning powder snow, snowmobile/snowcat arrangement
  • English Speaking Ski School Recommended: Whitemileage.com

If you are an expert skier and want to explore the untouched powder snow, then altay powder snow park is built for you. It is not convenient at all. For experts, you need to arrive at Altay city first, check-in at a hotel and apply for the license to enter the border. Lol, yes, the powder snow park is located very close to the China-Russia border.

Our partner have made a video in Chinese, just managed to upload the English subtitles, you can take a look via here (make sure you’ve switched on the youtube subtitles):

Definitely not beginner-friendly, and it takes you 2 hours to go there, and another 2 hours to go back to the city, but it’s all worth it. There is no terrain there, and you will be taken to the mountain via snowmobile, snowcat, or even helicopter, then you ride down to the bottom, then take the snowmobile up again.

But it’s all worth it when you reach that mountain. It’s a snowmobile tour + powder snow riding day + exploring breathtakingly beautiful nature too. the moment you left the town center, your journey already started. You will be doing backcountry skiing, just with no ski skins… but a snow mobile or snowcat!

Because of all the restrictions, experts, people from Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan need to ask a local agency for help to obtain the license to enter the park. 

Guangzhou Indoor Ski Resort (Southern China)

  • Snow Quality: 4/5
  • Ski Resort Size: 5/5 (in terms of indoor ski dorm), 1/5 (compared to outdoor ski resort)
  • Terrains: 2/5
  • Levels: 30% beginners, 40% intermediate, 30% experts
  • Accommodation: 5/5
  • Food: 5/5
  • Convenient: 5/5
  • Highlights: 365 days skiing, close to transportation, nice hotel, next to shopping malls and theme parks
  • English Speaking Ski School Recommended: Guangzhou Indoor Ski School

Most of the largest indoor ski resorts are located in China, and more mega-size indoor ski resorts will be opening in China in the next few years. Guangzhou indoor ski resort is the most popular one among all the indoor ski resorts in China.

Being part of the property development project managed by Sunac group, there is a water park, theme park, snow park, shopping mall, and high-end hotels in the area. You can easily spend few days in the area, one-day skiing, one-day water park, and one day visiting the theme park and indoor sports world.

I love that they offer all-inclusive tickets, which means you don’t need to spend any extra money on rentals. And you can go there in shorts and flip-flops.

Snow quality is pretty good, like spring snow but a dry one. It cannot compare to a mountain, but there are three decent slopes, and I am grateful to get to ski in hot summer. It’s also an excellent place for you to learn before heading to an actual ski resort. Much cheaper and with probably the best instructors in China.

Guangzhou indoor ski school is probably your best shot if you are looking for English skiing lessons. All of their instructors hold international licenses and have taught overseas before, like Niseko, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.

Just that there is a risk of running out of tickets on busy days, so do check with them at least 1 – 2 days before you go to confirm there are tickets.

Best China Ski Resort – Why These?

Here are the factors we’ve taken into account before recommending the resort.

How Easy is it to Organize Your Trip?

This is probably the most important factor, how easy and safe it is to get around the area.

So we will only recommend those we’ve visited and personally tried their services or facilities. It’s not like we will guarantee you that you can receive the same service quality, but at least that’s something we’ve tried, so we will recommend you with something we liked.

For example, we don’t like the overall snow in the Northeast area, so we are not recommending many resorts there. Chongli is easy and capable of hosting foreigners. Xinjiang? It isn’t easy even for Hong Kong or Taiwanese (well… in somehow, for mainland Chinese also…) to get around too. So you probably need an English-speaking agent to arrange everything for you.

The English-speaking agent needs to guarantee your acts in Xinjiang, especially in the border area, so I suggest going as early as possible before the price becomes so expensive.

Professionalism

How often do they maintain the facilities? How professional are the staff? Safety standard? These may be standard in North America or Europe, but it’s not the case in China.

Once, my friend was riding in a small China ski resort, and his hoodie was trapped on the chair lift. Instead of stopping the chair lift, the staff ran over to pull the chair lift. Luckily there is an auto stop system, but as you can see, sometimes, shit happens…

So I tend to pick those most staff who are acting normal, and I can see they are willing to spend resources on maintaining the resorts.

Everything Else

Skiing and snowboarding are the love of my life, no doubt. But then I also love all those after skiing activities, so I tend to pick resorts with nice restaurants and accommodation around.

Easy to get around is very important too. I also love the cheap massage services you can get around. All the resorts I’ve recommended have very nice massage services nearby… lol.

China Skiing Tips

Here are some useful tips before planning your China Ski trips:

  • Always wear a helmet! It’s almost like a basic requirement if you want to go skiing in China, for example, you can’t go skiing in Guangzhou without wearing a helmet.
  • Purchase insurance before you go for your ski trips
  • Get a Walkie-Talkie so it’s easier to communicate with your friends (especially in Xinjiang area)
  • Some resorts will allow you to store your skis at the base overnight, check with them if they offer such services. For sure, they will not guarantee the safety of your skis.

FAQs

Here are some commonly asked questions regarding best ski resorts in China

Does China have ski resorts?

Yes, there are over 700 ski resorts in China, but many of them are pretty small, if you are looking for decent size ski resorts that can host international skiers, there are around 20 ski resorts, located in the northeast, northwest, and Beijing surrounding area.

Is there any good skiing in China?

Yes, I highly recommend Chongli Wanlong Ski Resorts, Xinjiang General’s Mountain (Jiangjun Shan) for skiing in winter.

If you live in Southern China, Guangzhou indoor ski resort is probably your best choice for learning or warming up for the Winter.

Can you snowboard in China?

Yes, in fact, there is more snowboarder in China than skiers. Most of the resort built in China are very snowboarding friendly. Chongli Fulong ski resort is one of resorts preferred by most snowboarders.

Wrapping Up

I hope you find this article helpful in organizing your ski and snowboard trips in China. Have loads of fun and stay safe!