Our White Christmas III – Yabuli Ski Resort (25th – 28th Dec)

We finally arrived at Yabuli Ski Resort after a long 15-hour train ride. This is China’s largest and best ski resort. It provides skiing facilities of international standards with high mountains and good snow. Snow falls for a period of 170 days and temperate goes as low as -10˚ Cecilius. It is also China’s biggest training center for alpine skiers where it hosted many international ski events (3rd Winter Asian Games in 1996 and the Winter Universiade in 2009).

Strangely, this was supposed to be the peak travel season during Christmas and New Year but our hotel was extremely quiet with very few guests. It was like staying in a ghost hotel/town. When we arrived at the hotel at 11pm, we saw only 2 staffs. It was unusually quiet for a 5-star ski resort during this time of the year. There was no other guests in the lounge and lobby. The bar and cafe were closed. It seemed we were the only guests in the hotel.

We were very hungry after the long journey. We were told there was no one working in the hotel kitchen! In the end, we drove out to a nearby farmhouse for our late dinner. It was a farmhouse – not a restaurant. Dining was on a concrete fire-heating platform. The owners burnt firewood underneath the platform to keep the floor warm. There was no chair, all of us sat on the floor by the low dinning table. Dinner was served by the mother and her daughter. Food comes in big serving portions in Northeastern China. The home-cooked food was so tasty that we returned on our last day for our farewell meal!

We spent 2 days in Yabuli. The weather was very cold but it was sunny + blue sky. The snow was good too – not too hard or wet. It was thick and powdery. At some areas, the snow was at least 2ft deep. It wasn’t very crowded so we had the whole place to ourselves. All of us had so much fun in the snow. Elkan was jumping and rolling down the soft snowy slopes. The girls were busily cam-whoring in their pretty ski attires. Harshad got himself a personal pretty snowboard instructor. I was lying comfortably on the snow, enjoying the joyous moments.

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