I have visited four seasons countries before, yet I never experienced to ski. The reason are whether it is to cold or no one (means my family) wanted to accompanied me. So when I visited Beijing with my two other friends, we decided to go skiing. It was our first time ski experience!
I have research all over the internet on ski resort near Beijing. The result there were several ski resort names, Huaibei Ski Resort, Nanshan Ski Resort, Jundushan Ski Resort, and Badaling Ski Resort. From all the resort, I still did not understand how to get there. I even asked about which resort is nearest from downtown Beijing in several forums, from backpacker group in Facebook, Trip Advisor, Travel China Guide to Quora. All the answers did not well explained, so our plan to go skiing was quite blurry.
But it doesn’t stop us to go skiing. We decided to just go to the Badaling Ski Resort (which Google said it is the nearest ski resort from downtown) and browse for the info on our way. Some posts in Google suggest to take a bus to go to Badaling, whether it is bus No. 919 or 877 from Dongzhimen Bus Terminal. When we arrived at the bus terminal, we immediately asked the officers about how to get to Badaling Ski Resort. They explained in a language we didn’t even understand. We asked the tourist officers, but they gave us the wrong direction, which is to Badaling Great Wall, even tough we showed them the ski resort picture, the resort name on Chinese, and we mimicked the ski gesture. How came they still didn’t understand!
We still didn’t have the answers about the transportation to the ski resort. We asked a dozens of people, from a group of young people, tourist officers, a grandma, a young couple, to an old man, but each one of them gave us different explanation. We spent an hour confused walking on the bus terminal and it was so frustrating.
Yet we didn’t easily gave up and decided to believe Google once again. This time, we move from Dongzhimen Bus Terminal to Jishuitan Bus Terminal, which is the same bus terminal if you want to go to Badaling Great Wall. Since we went to the ski resort a day before we went to Great Wall, we still confused on what bus to take. At the terminal, we decided to queue for the bus No. 919, but then some officers told us that we queue the wrong bus and suggested us to take 877 bus.
It turns out wrong. We should take the bus no. 919 to go to Badaling Ski Resort. We explained to those officers that we want to go to Badaling Ski Resort, but they assumed that we want to go to Badaling Great Wall, since most of the foreigners went there instead of ski resort. Please note that if you want to go to Great Wall, it is correct to take 877 bus, but if you want to go to the ski resort, go for the 919 bus so you don’t end up getting lost like us.
It took about an hour to arrived in Badaling. The bus final stop is in Badaling Great Wall entrance gate. Since our destination is to Badaling Ski Resort, we asked the tourist police about the direction to go there. The tourist police didn’t even understand a single word we said and vice versa to us. Google Translate for the answer! It was funny that we have to type first and then show the translation to them. But, they explanation still wasn’t clear. So, we decided to just walk downhill.
In the middle of the road, we met a group of young people and asked them about the direction. This time we used Google Map to explain that we want to go to the ski resort. Their answer was pretty clear and told us that we have to take the 919 bus from the bus stop. So we continue to walked downhill in the cold 5 degrees weather, I felt like gave up.
We found the bus stop in the right side of a quite road. When we just meters away from the bus, the bus approached. We ran, but we still can’t catch the bus. I was so exhausted. 10 mins later, the bus 919 passed and stop. The bus was full and we have to stand. We told the bus conductor that we want to go to ski resort, he just nodded. Google Map said after two bus stop, we must get off the bus and walk. So, we follow the direction and get off nowhere.
The bus stop was quite crowded filled with locals. They approached us and offer us to rent car. We were tempted to just go with the car and asked about the rent price. They gave us ¥300 or about IDR 500.000 to go the ski resort. Umm no thanks. We decided to wait for another bus. But we got rejected every time we try to get in the bus, we even got shouted by one of the bus conductor. What did we do wrong 😦
So, we just played innocent and try to get in the bus. We told the bus conductor we need to get off in the ski resort. She drop us in the middle of highway and told that we just had to walk from there. But it was freaking nowhere! Thank God there was this driver that offer us to rent his car for just about ¥70 or about IDR 150.000. We accepted the offer, because we were on the verge of gave up.
It turns out that we couldn’t walk to go to the ski resort. It was pretty far from the bus drop off point. Our decision to rent the car was right. We asked the driver to wait for us, so we didn’t have to walk to go to the bus stop, because the ski resort location was desolated and there were no public transportation.
After a long long way and got lost, we finally made it to the ski resort! The resort was quite, I even taught that it was closed, since no one was seen. But when we opened the big wood door, we could see the reception desk. The entrance fee and the equipments rental fees was pretty affordable, it is even cheaper from the price on their website, I didn’t know why. We paid for the ski set rental, entrance fee, locker rental, and deposit fee. No need to rent the ski clothes, since the snow was not thick.
Badaling Ski Resort features a 8000 square meters ski service building. The ski resort equipped with cafe, restaurants, hotel, conference rooms, ski school, shops, and working area. There are four ski trails with different level of difficulty. I expected thick white snow, but since it was in the late winter, the snow was thin and it had already mixed with soil, so the color was not pure white.
We couldn’t set the ski set and no one appears to helped us, so we must figure it by ourself. We also couldn’t move at first, it was really hard lol! To go uphill, we need to climb with magic carpet or a slope escalator. I couldn’t move my feet and caused a long queue. Thank God there were this nice little kid who helped me.
At the peak hill, I tried to slide my way down. It was really slippery and I got the wrong move, so I keep on sliding and couldn’t stop. My friend even got slipped and need to support her body with her bare hand. I knew it was cold, but I also couldn’t move to helped her. Everyone passed us and no one have the desire to helped. Thank God this nice little kid climb to our position and helped us. He was really nice and cute. He even taught us how to ski. Thank you, kiddo!
For about two laps, we decided to stop because we got tired. After returning the equipment, we collected our deposit and went home. I have to say that my first ski experience was unpleasant. If you want to experience ski for the first time, I wouldn’t recommend to do it in Beijing.
Lesson learned: for convenient journey to the Badaling Ski Resort, took the non-stop bus no. 877 from Jishuitan bus terminal to Badaling Great Wall, walk downhill to the bus stop near the entrance portal and took bus 919. If you took bus no. 919 from downtown, it will took two hours to get there and the bus usually full, so you have to stand all the way.