The end of the year brings the first snowfallsin North Asiaand the adrenaline-pumping outdoor sports of alpine skiing and snowboarding.
Let’s go on awinterjourney to Asia’s nine world-class ski destinations, some of which also offer exciting cultural activities that make eachdestination unique.
Japan has long been one of the world’s choices for skiing and otherwinter sports, since it not only boast stop quality snow, but also provides a wide choice of other activities to enjoy,such as outdoor hot springs, Japanese onsen,and slurping hotramen in the freezing weather. Some of Japan’smoreimpressive ski towns are:
Popular among locals and foreign visitors alike, Niseko is a ski village with tons of light powder throughout the season, which runs from mid-November to early May. Each resort features ski and snowmobile trails which are open both during the daytime and at night.
Host of the 1998 Winter Olympic Games, Nagano is a gateway to ski resorts and a variety of activities,including onsen. It is especially well-known for watchingthe ‘monkey onsen’at Jigokudani, where Japanese macaques enjoy bathing. Nagano is well connected to Tokyo by Shinkansen, which will get you there in just 2½ hours.
About two hours from Tokyo is Yamagata Prefecture,where Zao Onsen Ski Resort, a popular ski and onsen destination, is situated. This placeis also famous for the ‘IceMonsters’ (Juhyo), formed by the building up of thick layers of snow and ice on the trees, which are really photogenic.
The frosty winter of South Korea guarantees that the country is one of Asia’s best winter sport spots. While the skiingand snowboarding slopes are excellent, some resorts also attract fans of TV dramas, since the scenic surroundings are often chosen as settings for movies.
Vivaldi Park Ski World
With state-of-the-art facilities, Vivaldi Park Ski World has been South Korea’s most visited ski resort for seven consecutive years. It features slopes suitable for all levels and is just a 45-minute drive from Seoul.
Jisan Forest Ski Resort
Only 40 minutes away from Seoul, Jisan Forest Ski Resort is perfect for a one day trip. It boasts scenic beauty and the comprehensive ski facilities cater to both beginners and more advanced skiers. It is located not far from Everland Amusement Park and Incheon Ceramics Complex, where you can check out Korean ceramic ware.
Yong Pyong Resort
This forty-year-old ski resort is nestled in nature around 200 kilometers from Seoul. With an elevation of 700 meters above sea level, it offers 28 ski slopes and many other leisure facilities for the perfect family holiday. In addition, Yong Pyong Resort was the location for the Korean TV drama “Winter Sonata”, a popular love story.
China may be best known for its historical attractions, such as the Great Wall and Terracotta Army, or natural wonders like Jiuzhaigou National Park, Zhangjiajie National Forest Park and Kunming Stone Forest. However, China’s cold winter climate, with the temperature dropping well below zero in many cities, ensures that China has plenty of world-class ski resorts.
Beijing Nanshan Ski Village
Around 60 kilometers from the capital, BeijingNanshan Ski Village is the city’s best and largest ski attraction. Ideal for both advanced skiersand beginners, it features 25 ski trails, and a famous snowboarding park. The latest ski equipment and facilities come along with 150 certified instructors.
Chengdu Xiling Snow Mountain Resort
Only about three hours flight from Bangkok, Chengduisthe capital of Sichuan Province and home to the Giant Panda. Xiling is the highest peak in Chengdu,and the ski base is situated 2,100-2,800 meters above sea level and coversan area of seven square kilometers.It can accommodate 2,000 people at a time and boastsfull facilities.
Yabuli Ski Resort
China’s best and largest ski resortis gaining in popularity with foreign visitors,particularly since it was announced that the host of the 2022 Olympic Winter Games will be the Chinese capital,Beijing. Located 180 kilometers from Harbin, the capital of Heilongjiang province, Yabuli Ski Resort serves as a training venue for China’s national teams—Alpine, cross-country and freestyle, so world-class equipment and facilities are guaranteed.
Go on a journey through the snow to the best Asian ski destinations with THAI flights between Bangkok and Sapporo, Tokyo, Seoul, Beijing and Chengdu. Book now at thaiairways.com.