Changbaishan - Making its Debut in 2012-2013 as One of China's Major Ski Resorts
We have had many questions about whether Changbaishan in Jilinprovince on the border of China and North Korea is a viable skiing destination option so we have made a few trips there over the last two winters watching the developments. Before, if you were looking for a majestic mountain covered in deep natural powder for open bowl skiing the answer was maybe if your timing was lucky. However, if you were looking for a lift serviced, multi trail, decent vertical drop mountian then the answer was clearly that you needed to wait until at least this year. With 2012 upon us, the question now is how good is the new Wanda Changbaishan Resort and how much will be open next winter.
Potentially, the biggest attraction for Changbaishan may be that with the new Wanda Resort open, one can book a top quality ski holiday with confidence that the skiing will be good and then, if your timing is right and the Changbaishan free ride mountain gets a good dump, you can hop over there to get the only deep powder natural snow skiing experience availble commercially in China.
Getting to Changbaishan has a variety of options. The original was to fly to Yanji and then take a bus (26 RMB) to Baihe on the north slope of the mountain. An alternative is the train going through Longjing (20 minutes minivan ride from Yanji - 5 RMB). The Bus ride is 3 1/2 hours on a recently upgraded two lane partially mountainous road. A new option, is the Changbaishan airport opened in 2008. The airport is located 20 KM from the West attractions gate and 88 KM from Baihe. The drawbacks here are that there are relatively few flights and they are not discounted (the same flight that goes from Yanji to Beijing and stops in Changbaishan in between was 570 RMB if you got on in Yanji and 1030 if you got on in Changbaishan!) However, as with all China domestic flights, things change constantly so we would always recommend checking this option first with connections through Beijing, Changchun or Qingdao. In a couple of years though, a new highway between Changchun and Changbaishan West will open making a flight to Changchun and car to Changbaishan another very viable option.