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Hebei province: a tourist destination not to be missed

2013-11-12 16:58:46

(China Today)


Chongli, Paradise for Skiing in Winter

Over 1,000 years ago, the Tang Dynasty poet Li Bai wrote: “Snowflakes on Yanshan (a mountain ridge in Hebei) are as big as mats.” This would not be hard to imagine if you have ever seen the meter-deep snow on the mountains throughout the winter in Chongli County, Zhangjiakou City in northwestern Hebei.

The region is the natural ski resort closest to Beijing, a three-hour drive of 249 kilometers. It sits in the transition zone between the Inner Mongolian Plateau and North China Plain and is checkered with mountains, meadows and woods, with 30 percent forest cover. These factors contribute to the long 150-day period of annual snowfall and superior quality of snow, with granule hardness, viscosity of flakes and other parameters, making Chongli a paradise for skiing.

The several ski resorts in the region promise fun and excitement for skiers. Charging down high slopes on sleds or snowfield motorcycles, a sense of flight fires everyone’s hidden yearnings.

For history devotees, Changchengling (Great Wall Range) is a good choice. This newly established ski resort, 18 km away from the county seat of Chongli and covering more than 1,530 hectares, has been honored by China’s General Administration of Sports and the China Ski Association as the ideal natural ski resort in northern China. It takes its name from its proximity to a section of the Ming Dynasty Great Wall. Remnants of the wall and the beacon towers along it can be spotted across boundless whiteness at the end of the horizon to the southwest. Skiing here uniquely meshes history and modernity.

Chongli has now set its sights on hosting the National Winter Games, the Asian Winter Games and even the Winter Olympics, building up skiing and resort facilities to international standards and growing into a national hub for snow sports and tourism.

For skiing enthusiasts, this place is truly a gift from heaven.

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