Feb 26, 2005

skiing in China

Beijing has some small ski areas located 1-2 hours outside of the city. I went on a package tour to Nanshan resort for the day, which ran about 200 RMB for everything except food. I think it costs about twice that much if you go individually without a large group, which definitely would not be worth it given the size of the resort. They only have 2 lifts, but one plus is that it's built on an actual mountain rather than on top of a landfill.

Some interesting observations:

  • The rental skis and bindings were OK, but the boots were not very good quality

  • If you've been to China, you'll know that pushing and shoving is normal crowd behavior. The inability to wait patiently in an organized queue also applies to the ski lift line. People huddle in together as close as possible and step on each other's skis while waiting. I guess if you have a nice set of skis you would be advised to rent instead rather than bring them.

  • Credit cards are still not commonly used in China, so you must leave a deposit of 200 RMB for the ski rental which you get back when you return everything.

  • There are numerous open manhole covers and dangling electrical wires that one encounters while walking around China. It's considered one's personal responsibility to not do anything stupid like falling in an open sewer or getting electrocuted. In spite of this, the ski resort employees were vigilant in making sure that everyone used the safety bar while on the lift.

  • In addition to skiing, there are some other mountain-oriented activities, like sliding down a cable attached to a hang-glider, or going down a stainless steel slide in a wheeled sled, sort of like a luge or bobsled. The latter looked like an accident waiting to happen

  • I didn't see anyone coughing up phlegm and spitting it from the chair lift.


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