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  • Writer's pictureAnja

Ski Opening in chinese

Friday after work we headed southeast to Changbai, about four hours from Changchun. The Changbai Mountains, translated more or less as "always white", are in our province of Jilin and on the border with North Korea. The highest mountain, at 2750 m, is Baitou. An active volcano with a crater lake and a view of North Korea.

So far, we have not been able to bring ourselves to go there, as there are only guided tours. That means driving there by car, parking, getting on the bus, being driven to the peak, taking photos and back again. Maybe that's because the border is right there, but we don't really like these "being taken by the hand" excursions.

The border mountains are a nature reserve with an area of 1900 km² and there are even supposed to be leopards, Siberian tigers and brown bears here.

But we didn't see any.

After we had informed ourselves a day in advance whether we needed a current Covid test to check into the hotel (no, we didn't need one), the hotel staff still didn't want to let us check in. Denny was already worried that we would now have to drive 4 hours back and was correspondingly unrelaxed. Due to the additional language barrier, it took a while until the Holiday Inn accepted our flat confirmation for Changchun and we got a room. The rule referenced for this is: "If you live in Changchun, haven't left the city within the last 14 days and can provide proof of both, you don't need a PCR test."

Breakfast only had coffee ready for me, Denny is always very satisfied with the Chinese breakfast option and gets full. There was also a pastry/cake corner, but unfortunately the waffles, cinnamon buns, brioches and pieces of cake were already so dry and hard that I thought I had landed in the decoration corner...

I'm not big on rice and noodle soup or fried vegetables for breakfast. The butter pot in the toast corner didn't look very fresh either, but the coffee was good and we had taken our emergency rations with us.

The skiing area actually offers enough space with about 40 km total distance, 18 slopes and 9 lifts. Unfortunately, only one green slope (F1) was open, as the rest of the slopes didn't have enough snow.

From 8:30 a.m., the lift was running in the best sunny weather. You could even see the volcano.

As I still had a bad cold, Denny had successfully infected me the week before, I only went down a few times and then put my nose in the sun.

What we also noticed is that many snowboarders take the board off completely for the lift ride and not just the back foot. Sometimes they put the board on the back of the seat and sit in front of it, or they hold it in their hands during the ride.

I think that's very reckless. Not only could the board fall out of the lift, but there is also the risk of an icy slope on the way out. With the board on your feet, you slide down elegantly, at best. On foot, falling down is almost guaranteed.

But that doesn't matter, the bum is well padded.

Here, the term " wrapped up" takes on a whole new dimension... There are pandas, avocados, polar bears, pikachus in yellow and grey, bananas and even turtles. There are no limits to the wishes and preferences of the stylish snowboarder.

What do you think, would these butt pillows also have potential in Germany, Austria, Switzerland?

On Sunday afternoon we returned the 4 hours to Changchun.

The rural population lives mostly in stone or tin houses (...huts) but always with tin roofs. And obviously without a heating connection. Now in winter time it is cold and people have to heat if they don't want to freeze (to death). But there seems to be no rule about what can be used for heating. So everything that burns is simply burnt. And it smells accordingly...

It's like sitting on the wrong side of a bonfire. Whole regions are covered in smoke.

Can you smell that picture?

In Germany, a chimney is not allowed to be operated until it has been inspected 5 times by the German Technical Inspection Agency (TÜV), need 3 approvals and 20 inspections, and here old socks are being burned...

I know that someone has to start with climate protection and so on, but when you look at this and experience it here, you really ask yourself what the point of it all is.

Especially since the issue of climate protection, particulate matter and pollutants in the air has reached the rural population here, people are sensitised to it and then decide to heat differently, it is too late anyway...

But someone has to start and set a good example. So Germany sorts its way through the rubbish, the Netherlands seals the sea valves on boats so that the pee is not released into the water, and China?

China wants to become climate-neutral by 2060....

As of today: Um, there's still room for improvement!

But I've already learned that things are always different here in China than you think, and anyway... but I still keep shaking my head over such things.

That hasn't changed after the first year and, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that it won't have changed after three years either.

Many greetings


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