Sports and outdoor activities in China
China is becoming, more and more, a country that encourages sports and outdoor activities, especially after organizing the Olympic Games in Beijing, in 2008. Put that next to the fact that China is becoming more and more cosmopolitan and you end up with a diversity of sport activities that you can commit to in the country, with more and more facilities being built, especially in the large urban areas.
Traditionally, there are two categories of sports that you would associate China with and this can still be seen on the streets and in the parks of the cities, as well as in the performances of Chinese athletes at different international events. Sports such as table tennis or badminton make up the first category and many of the recreation areas in the city have areas that are dedicated to these games.
The second category is martial arts and it is not uncommon to see groups of people practicing martial arts moves in the parks and on the streets.
If you want to stick more to the traditional sports from the West, skiing is always an option, especially since the interest of the Chinese in skiing has led to new resorts being built. The Huaibei Ski Resort is located about 70 kilometers from Beijing and has 6 trails for beginners through advanced levels. Another option close to Beijing is also the Nanshan International Ski Slope & Resort.
In both cases, expect a cost of skiing of about $50 for the day. This figure goes down significantly if you try a resort such as the Changchun Beidahu Ski Resort, in the Eastern part of the country. This is a drive of about 11 hours away, so flying from Beijing to Jilin and then taking a car from there for about an hour and a half is always a better option.
Cycling has always been a traditional transportation mean for the average Chinese, but you need to think twice whether you have the necessary courage to venture on the bicycle in a city as busy and bustling as Beijing. A better alternative would be to combine this with a travel experience and take an organized bike tour of the city that will include some of the more traditional areas in the city. Cycle China is always a good choice, with well-informed guides and good services.