ad info

TIME Asia Home
Current Issue
Magazine Archive
Asia Buzz
Travel Watch
Web Features
  Photo Essays

Subscribe to TIME
Customer Services
About Us
Write to TIME Asia
TIME Canada
TIME Europe
TIME Pacific
TIME Digital
Latest CNN News

Young China
Olympics 2000
On The Road

  east asia
  southeast asia
  south asia
  central asia

Other News
From TIME Asia

Culture on Demand: Black is Beautiful
The American Express black card is the ultimate status symbol

Asia Buzz: Should the Net Be Free?
Web heads want it all -- for nothing

JAPAN: Failed Revolution
Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori clings to power as dissidents in his party finally decide not to back a no-confidence motion

Cover: Endgame?
After Florida's controversial ballot recount, Bush holds a 537-vote lead in the state, which could give him the election

TIME Digest

TIME Asia Services
Subscribe to TIME! Get up to 3 MONTHS FREE!

Bookmark TIME
TIME Media Kit
Recent awards

TIME Asia Asiaweek Asia Now TIME Asia story
China Spices Things Up for Skiers in Asia

Illustration for TIME by Wu Wing Yee


Sports editors the world over must have done a double take last month when Zali Steggall of Australia--no, not Austria--won the women's slalom at the World Ski Championships in Vail, Colorado. Suddenly, skiing in the Asian-Pacific region doesn't seem so silly after all. And with winter waning, it's a great time to strap on the boards: the days are growing longer, and Asian resorts have plenty of granular "corn" snow for easy schussing. A further incentive is that Asia has never been friendlier for the novice and intermediate skier, thanks to softer currencies and the rise of a new destination, China.

While South Korea and Japan have many established resorts, ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous (in Japan, some indulge their passion in indoor, underground ski garages), China has some relatively new, inexpensive destinations. The front-runner--and recent host to the Third Asian Winter Games--is Yabuli Resort, a three-year-old, 400-hectare area 200 km northeast of Harbin in Heilongjiang province. Norwegian-built chair lifts (two on the lower slopes, connecting to a third that scales the summit) service 13 trails and a vertical drop of more than 700 m, offering intermediate skiing with decent conditions stretching well into April. The prices are reasonable, too: a lift ticket plus a complete set of rental equipment--skis, boots and poles--is less than $50 a day. (Jackets, goggles and gloves can also be rented.) Accommodations run from $15 dorms to $100 A-frame chalets. There is also unique après-ski, with bonfires, rice wine and horse-drawn sleighs piloted by wiry local Santa Clauses. A week's package from Hong Kong, with accommodation, flights and three days of skiing, costs $1,100. Several Chinese carriers have flights to Harbin through Beijing or direct from Hong Kong. From Harbin, Yabuli is a two-hour drive along a smooth two-lane highway. Call Yabuli Ski in Beijing at 86-10-2880-4553.

Just south, in neighboring Jilin province, lie Songhuahu Qingshan and Beidahu resorts--each with lifts serving two separate trail systems on 371-m and 400-m verticals respectively. While the après-ski is more deep-China than St. Moritz, it's steeped in rustic atmosphere. Accommodation is cheap and basic (from $4 bunks to $50 rooms), though facilities are improving. Getting there--ideally by rail from Beijing or Harbin, to avoid icy roads--takes longer but makes for great sightseeing.

For more adventure, China Ski Corp. has launched its first Spring Summits package: a two-week walking, skiing and road tour (four-wheel-drive car with driver included) of Heilongjiang and Qinghai provinces at $2,895 a person (plus a $450 government fee). After two days on the slopes of Yabuli, the trip shifts to guest houses in Qinghai. From the foot of 6,670-m Mt. Animaqin, skiers hike to 5,100 m and descend through expert terrain. Aiming to combine the ski experience with the cultural, the trip includes two nights' lodging with a local family. Go to China Adventure Travel Online or call 1-303-277-0500. China doesn't yet offer a Kitzbuhl or a Whistler. But skiers may discover that pairing their sport with an unusual look at Chinese rural life has plenty to fire the imagination.


March 8, 1999

Off The Shelf
Travelers' Tales Japan: an alternative guidebook with offbeat topics

Short Cuts
BA sweetens the deal for passengers flying out of Hong Kong

A spin at the pottery wheel

Main Feature
Asia has never been friendlier for the novice and intermediate skier, thanks to softer currencies and the rise of a new destination, China

ASIANOW Travel Home | TIME Asia home



U.S. secretary of state says China should be 'tolerant'

Philippine government denies Estrada's claim to presidency

Faith, madness, magic mix at sacred Hindu festival

Land mine explosion kills 11 Sri Lankan soldiers

Japan claims StarLink found in U.S. corn sample

Thai party announces first coalition partner


COVER: President Joseph Estrada gives in to the chanting crowds on the streets of Manila and agrees to make room for his Vice President

THAILAND: Twin teenage warriors turn themselves in to Bangkok officials

CHINA: Despite official vilification, hip Chinese dig Lamaist culture

PHOTO ESSAY: Estrada Calls Snap Election

WEB-ONLY INTERVIEW: Jimmy Lai on feeling lucky -- and why he's committed to the island state


COVER: The DoCoMo generation - Japan's leading mobile phone company goes global

Bandwidth Boom: Racing to wire - how underseas cable systems may yet fall short

TAIWAN: Party intrigues add to Chen Shui-bian's woes

JAPAN: Japan's ruling party crushes a rebel at a cost

SINGAPORE: Singaporeans need to have more babies. But success breeds selfishness

Launch CNN's Desktop Ticker and get the latest news, delivered right on your desktop!

Today on CNN

Back to the top   © 2000 Time Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.