Singapore is blessed with a warm and stable climate all-year round, however, come Christmas time, rain comes storming in. While we all love a few splashes once in a while, it can get pretty dreary after some time. What better time than Christmas to travel out to a place with white powdery snow and winter wonderland vibes?
Here are our recommendations for your next snowy getaway:
1. Nanshan Ski Resort
Miyun Country, Beijing, China
(Source: Flickr_Livepine and Flickr_sevenseven)
Situated half an hour from Beijing, Nanshan Ski Resort is China’s largest ski resort specialising in snowboarding. Set against a picturesque backdrop, the park boasts a range of ski trails for all skill levels. Nanshan provides an excellent selection of gear for rent, along with a host of instructors (with some hailing from Austria) for the newbies. If beginner trails were so last season for you, head over to their 600-metre-long Mogul Expert Trail, a definite thrill for experienced snowboarders and skiers. If it’s the year-end school holidays and you have the little ones with you on the trip, the resort also has a snowmobile route, 1,318-metre toboggan run, and sledding, where kids can race down the slopes and have some fun. Once you’re all skii’ed out and ready for bed, a few metres away from the ski area is Shirton Inn, a large wooden cabin comprising of 24 rooms, each well-furnished and equipped with a fireplace.
2. High1 Resort
Kangwon, South Korea
(Source: Flickr_toughkidcst and [email protected])
With the highest altitude (an impressive 1,345m) of all Korean ski resorts, High1 is one of the best places in Asia to roll around, create snow angels in powdery fluffy snow, and get an awesome view while you’re at it. Just 4 hours away from Incheon International airport, this environmentally friendly resort is home to many well-preserved native trees and over 18 slopes which are uniquely named after Greek gods like Athena and Zeus. Keen skiers can enjoy a full ski experience amidst the scenic atmosphere which might soon become an ecological tourist attraction all year round with the region’s beautiful wild flowers on display throughout the seasons. Visitors can also dine in the peak’s revolving restaurant and enjoy sweeping views of the mountain ranges, or hit the casino if they are feeling lucky. Connected by a gondola to the ski resort is High1 Hotel, a convenient accommodation option for those looking for a place to cosy up after a long day out on the slopes.
3. Grand Hirafu Resort
Located in northern Hokkaido, Grand Hirafu is the largest of the Niseko ski resorts with over a dozen lifts and a town area (Hirafu Town) which offers holiday cabins and hotels to visitors. Popular for its annual layers of fresh snow, skiers of all levels will appreciate the access to 23 marked ski runs served by 13 ski lifts. If you happen to be there during Christmas, you may even find Santa on the slopes during the day! Be sure to also catch the fireworks as they light up the sky every Christmas Eve night annually. When you need a break from all the skiing and boarding, you can find interesting little restaurants and bars in Hirafu Town to keep yourself entertained, or visit an onsen or massage parlour for some rest and relaxation. Hotel Niseko Alpen is an excellent choice for visitors, being situated just steps away from one of Hirafu’s main ski lifts.
4. Gulmarg Ski Resort
Known affectionately as ‘The Meadow of Flowers’ which was inspired by grassy slopes dotted with wild flowers during the summer, Gulmarg – previously a hill station in the 19th century, is a world-class ski resort that enjoys light powder snow right from the Himalayas. Famous for its 3,979-metre high ski lift – the Gulmarg Gondola, skiers from all around the world flock here to take on the challenging ski runs and slopes. With Nanga Parbat, the world’s highest peak acting as the gorgeous backdrop, it is easy to see why people fall in love with the magnificent nature of the Gulmarg. Just walking distance from the gondola station is Heevan Retreat Gulmarg, which offers spacious rooms to get some down time amidst magnificent views of the Affarvat range of the mountains.
Longing for all that winter white already? Start planning your dream year-end vacation now, the snowy world awaits!