Naturalists will love the Changbaishan Nature Reserve, first established in 1960 and part of UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere Program
It’s another one of China’s hidden treasures that’s gaining buzz among the travel-elite, especially those who enjoy winter sports. The Changbaishan region is an unspoiled nature escape with soaring mountains, crystal clear lakes and a plethora of animal and plant life. Changbaishan translates to “eternally white mountains” and sweeping peaks on the Changbai Mountain Range reach up to 2,744 meters in height. The range is also impressive in length and forms a natural border between China, North Korea and Russia.
Naturalists will love the Changbaishan Nature Reserve, first established in 1960 and part of UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere Program. It encapsulates 210,000 hectares on the eastern edge of Jilin province. Exotic wildlife like Siberian tigers, leopards, lynx, black storks and mandarin ducks are occasionally spotted by hikers exploring the extensive trail system. Heaven Lake (Tianchi), China’s largest volcanic crater lake, is sourced by three rivers and is a major draw. The lake is surrounded by 16 jagged mountain peaks that are reflected in the water on clear days.
The region is also home to Changbaishan International Resort, which includes 43 ski runs and can accommodate up to 8,000 skiers. Starwood Hotels & Resorts capitalized on this by opening its first dual-branded ski resort complex in the area this year. The Westin Changbaishan Resort has 262 guestrooms with thick down comforters and down pillows. After a busy day outdoors, guests can slip into the resort’s hot spring swimming pools or visit the spa. The Sheraton Changbaishan Resort is slightly larger with 297 guestrooms and suites decorated in warm wood tones. Oversized bathrooms include full-size bathtubs and separate rainforest showers. An indoor heated pool and sauna are available following a full day or skiing, golfing, hiking and exploring the beauty of the region.
Images courtesy of Bdpmax and Starwood Hotels & Resorts