china-banner-image

China

When is the best time to visit China

Overall, the best time to visit China is generally in spring (March to May) and autumn (September to October) when the weather is pleasant in many parts of the country. However, China is vast. Stretching over 5,000km, it includes the world’s highest plateau, as well as deserts, jungles, alpine rainforests, sunken basins, and over a thousand km of coastline, so the best time to visit will depend on where you’re travelling to. Central China has brief, cold winters, and long, hot, humid summers. In Inner Mongolia, winters are at least clear and dry, but temperatures remain way below zero, while summers can be uncomfortably warm. Tibet is ideal in midsummer, when its mountain plateaus are pleasantly warm and dry; in winter, however, temperatures in the capital, Lhasa, frequently fall below freezing. Xinjiang gets fiercely hot in summer, and winters are as bitter as anywhere else in northern China. The south is subtropical, with wet, humid summers, when temperatures can approach 40°C.
Speak to someone who’s
been there
Start planning your tailor-made trip by calling one of our
China specialists on:
+84 865 815 200
or click below
Make an Enquiry

Month by Month Guide To Travel in China

Visit China in January

It’s winter in January and most of China and Tibet have cold weather which you’ll need to come prepared for. Make sure you pack a warm, thick coat, along with a hat, scarf, gloves and plenty of warm layers. In the North China and in the mountainous areas - for example, around Beijing and in the mountains of Yunnan winter is a deep freeze but the south is less bitter; preparations for the Lunar New Year get underway well in advance of the festival while temperatures are a bit warmer in coastal Shanghai. Meanwhile, Tibet is typically experiencing cold but dry and sunny, with temperatures at night dropping well below freezing. You won’t be able to travel much beyond the cities because of the harsh weather conditions, but prices are much cheaper during the winter season and you’ll have the sites pretty much to yourself.
When is the best time to visit China - January

Visit China in February

February is wintertime across the country, and most parts of China remains shockingly icy and dry at this time. In the capital, Beijing, temperatures are still below freezing, although this time of year is the driest period for the city. There’s more rain in coastal Shanghai, and things are slowly warming up in Hong Kong and Macau. In Tibet, the depths of winter are very cold but still sunny, and are not a bad time to visit Lhasa and central Tibet. Lhasa sees few tourists but lots of visiting nomads. If travel either China or Tibet during this month, ensure your hotel has heating. Also, the Lunar New Year could well be underway, so it is necessary to sort out your tickets well in advance.
When is the best time to visit China - February

Visit China in March

Things are slowly starting to warm up in March as the country leaves the bitterly cold winter behind, and towards the end of the month the fruit trees start to blossom. Northern and eastern regions, including the capital Beijing, comes to life after their freezing months, although it remains glacial at high altitudes, while it can start to feel rather mild in coastal Shanghai at this time. In Tibet, the weather is extremely cold and often snowy during this period, making much of the country inaccessible beyond the main cities. In addition, political tensions mean that permits are generally not issued to foreigners during a six week period during this time, for Tibetan New Year and historic celebrations such as the Yak Butter and Great Prayer festivals are no longer held.
When is the best time to visit China - March

Visit China in April

April is springtime in China, with mild temperatures across the country. At this time of year there’s cooler weather in northern regions, including the capital Beijing, and hotter temperatures further south in Guilin and Kunming. In eastern regions including Shanghai, the weather can be quite changeable at this time of year, while Hong Kong is beautifully warm and sometimes humid. Rain is common especially in central and southern areas, but it’s usually drizzle or light showers. In Tibet, spring brings pleasant temperatures, few crowds, and discounted hotel and vehicle rates, making this a good month to visit. High-elevation destinations like Nam-tso Lake will still be frozen. Travelling outside of Lhasa will provide you with spectacular wintery landscapes, with snowy mountains and frozen lakes.
When is the best time to visit China - December

Visit China in May

Most of the country’s starting to warm up this month, but not yet into the sticky heat of the summer making mountain regions, such as Chengdu, Lijiang, Jiuzhaigou National Park and Zhangjiajie the great places to visit. Buddha's Birthday falls on the 8th day of the fourth lunar month, usually in May. In Tibet, the warmer weather of late April and early May ushers in the start of the trekking season. Views are clear across the Himalaya, especially over Everest. The first few days of May are a national holiday, which makes travelling busier with more visitors arriving to take advantage of the inclement climate, and prices also start to rise, so we would recommend planning around these dates.
When is the best time to visit China - May

Visit China in June

June’s the start of summer across China, and temperatures are nearly at their warmest. This is the wet period of the year for most of the country, though, and there can be quite a lot of rain this month, particularly along the south coast. Once-frozen areas, such as Jilin’s Heaven Lake between China and North Korea, are accessible – and nature springs instantly to life. Typically the Longji rice terraces will be irrigated, with the water creating mirror-like surfaces. In Tibet, the high season starts in earnest in June. Lots of Indian pilgrims head to Kailash at this time and trekking is good. Even summer days can be chilly at higher elevations (above 4000m).
When is the best time to visit China - July

Visit China in July

July is summer across the country, so most places can be exceedingly hot and humid this month. It’s also the wettest period of the year for most of China’s regions, so many places such as Guangdong, Shanghai and Fujian coastlines and the grasslands of Inner Mongolia and Qinghai turn green. In western China, temperatures can jump to 40°C but the climate here is dry. It is cooler in the mountainous areas like Yunnan province, where conditions are ideal for hiking and the landscape is blooming. In Tibet, monsoon-influenced rain and glacial melting can bring flooding and temporary road blockages to eastern and western Tibet. If you’re trekking in the mountains during this month, you may not get clear, panoramic views. However, it is in July when the alpine flowers bloom and the mountains are at their most verdant.
When is the best time to visit China - June

Visit China in August

Although the weather can be very different depending on which part of China you visit, it’s summer in August and this is one of the hottest months of the year across the country. It’s also the wet season for most regions, and some places see quite a lot of rain at this time. The temperature gauge of Yangzi's ‘three ovens’ – Chongqing, Wuhan and Nanjing – gets set to blow. Rainstorms hit Beijing, which is usually 40°C plus; so are Shanghai and Suzhou. So head uphill to Lushan, Moganshan, Huang Shan or Guoliangcun to escape the scorching heat. In Tibet, the warm weather, combined with some major festivals and horse racing on the northern plateau, makes this one of the most popular times to visit.
When is the best time to visit China - August

Visit China in September

September is the start of autumn in China, with temperatures beginning to cool off in northern regions, while the south is still warm and humid, making it a great month to visit anywhere in China. Beijing is typically warm and fairly dry, while Shanghai is hotter with more rain forecast. Hong Kong is especially wet at this time of year, so it makes sense taking a waterproof jacket. September is also an optimal month for journeying along the Silk Route as temperatures in western China fall dramatically, making travel more comfortable and still possible before snowfall in Kygyrzstan's high passes. In Tibet, the rain is usually over by September and temperatures are still warm. Colourful autumn foliage begins to appear across the landscape.
When is the best time to visit China - September

Visit China in October

In October, much of the country’s sunny and dry, making this one of the most popular times of the year to visit China. However, the first week of October is a national holiday, so travelling during this time can be hellish if you’re on the road, therefore, it is best avoided. Northern and eastern regions including the capital Beijing are cool and mainly dry this month, while central regions are usually warm and slightly wetter in October. In Tibet, clear Himalayan skies and good driving conditions in eastern and western Tibet make this a good off-peak time to visit before the winter cold arrives, as the trekking season comes to a close. Daytime temperatures average between 15 and 20°C, although the high altitude makes it feel warmer.
When is the best time to visit China - October

Visit China in November

Early November is the best time to see autumn foliage colours; particularly in the northern and central areas of the country. When the month progresses, most of China is getting pretty cold as tourist numbers drop and holidaymakers begin to flock south for sun and the last pockets of warmth as winter approaches. The weather can get freezing cold in some places, such as the capital city Beijing, while you’ll have plenty of warm weather if you go to Hong Kong at this time of year. In Tibet, temperatures are still pleasant during the day in Lhasa and Shigatse but cold in the higher elevations of the north and west. There aren’t usually many people visiting during this time, so prices tend to drop accordingly.
When is the best time to visit China - November (1)

Visit China in December

On average, the China weather in December is cold across the north and milder in the central zone, which includes Beijing and Xian. Here, days are typically cold but crisp and dry, and you may experience snow. Western China is exceptionally cold and not advisable to visit. In the southern city of Macau and around Hong Kong the temperatures are much warmer with a good deal of sunshine in December. In Tibet, by December, temperatures are starting to get seriously cold everywhere and some high passes start to close, but there’s still surprisingly little snow in the Land of Snows.
When is the best time to visit China - April

China Climate Guide

Destination
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
-3ºC
0mm
-0ºC
0mm
2ºC
2mm
7ºC
3mm
11ºC
15mm
14ºC
60mm
14ºC
129mm
13ºC
146mm
12ºC
58mm
6ºC
7mm
1ºC
2mm
-2ºC
0mm
-3ºC
69mm
-2ºC
52mm
1ºC
73mm
5ºC
41mm
7ºC
38mm
11ºC
64mm
11ºC
190mm
10ºC
194mm
8ºC
104mm
4ºC
41mm
0ºC
9mm
-2ºC
22mm
6ºC
0mm
9ºC
1mm
12ºC
2mm
15ºC
7mm
19ºC
25mm
22ºC
76mm
21ºC
125mm
20ºC
132mm
19ºC
58mm
16ºC
9mm
11ºC
2mm
7ºC
1mm
-3ºC
0mm
-1ºC
0mm
2ºC
2mm
7ºC
3mm
11ºC
15mm
14ºC
60mm
14ºC
129mm
13ºC
146mm
12ºC
58mm
6ºC
7mm
1ºC
2mm
-2ºC
0mm
12ºC
55mm
13ºC
84mm
17ºC
140mm
23ºC
135mm
28ºC
347mm
30ºC
332mm
33ºC
218mm
33ºC
179mm
32ºC
83mm
26ºC
88mm
20ºC
66mm
15ºC
48mm
9ºC
35mm
10ºC
47mm
15ºC
90mm
21ºC
148mm
26ºC
201mm
29ºC
237mm
33ºC
179mm
33ºC
148mm
28ºC
95mm
22ºC
110mm
17ºC
63mm
11ºC
34mm
4ºC
6mm
8ºC
9mm
14ºC
22mm
21ºC
43mm
27ºC
57mm
32ºC
53mm
33ºC
92mm
31ºC
89mm
25ºC
93mm
20ºC
57mm
12ºC
21mm
6ºC
7mm
-4ºC
1mm
-1ºC
2mm
3ºC
6mm
9ºC
17mm
12ºC
45mm
15ºC
65mm
17ºC
87mm
17ºC
85mm
12ºC
54mm
8ºC
20mm
1ºC
3mm
-2ºC
1mm
Month

Jan
-3ºC
0mm

Feb
-0ºC
0mm

Mar
2ºC
2mm

Apr
7ºC
3mm

May
11ºC
15mm

Jun
14ºC
60mm

Jul
14ºC
129mm

Aug
13ºC
146mm

Sep
12ºC
58mm

Oct
6ºC
7mm

Nov
1ºC
2mm

Dec
-2ºC
0mm
Month

Jan
-3ºC
69mm

Feb
-2ºC
52mm

Mar
1ºC
73mm

Apr
5ºC
41mm

May
7ºC
38mm

Jun
11ºC
64mm

Jul
11ºC
190mm

Aug
10ºC
194mm

Sep
8ºC
104mm

Oct
4ºC
41mm

Nov
0ºC
9mm

Dec
-2ºC
22mm
Month

Jan
6ºC
0mm

Feb
9ºC
1mm

Mar
12ºC
2mm

Apr
15ºC
7mm

May
19ºC
25mm

Jun
22ºC
76mm

Jul
21ºC
125mm

Aug
20ºC
132mm

Sep
19ºC
58mm

Oct
16ºC
9mm

Nov
11ºC
2mm

Dec
7ºC
1mm
Month

Jan
-3ºC
0mm

Feb
-1ºC
0mm

Mar
2ºC
2mm

Apr
7ºC
3mm

May
11ºC
15mm

Jun
14ºC
60mm

Jul
14ºC
129mm

Aug
13ºC
146mm

Sep
12ºC
58mm

Oct
6ºC
7mm

Nov
1ºC
2mm

Dec
-2ºC
0mm
Month

Jan
12ºC
55mm

Feb
13ºC
84mm

Mar
17ºC
140mm

Apr
23ºC
135mm

May
28ºC
347mm

Jun
30ºC
332mm

Jul
33ºC
218mm

Aug
33ºC
179mm

Sep
32ºC
83mm

Oct
26ºC
88mm

Nov
20ºC
66mm

Dec
15ºC
48mm
Month

Jan
9ºC
35mm

Feb
10ºC
47mm

Mar
15ºC
90mm

Apr
21ºC
148mm

May
26ºC
201mm

Jun
29ºC
237mm

Jul
33ºC
179mm

Aug
33ºC
148mm

Sep
28ºC
95mm

Oct
22ºC
110mm

Nov
17ºC
63mm

Dec
11ºC
34mm
Month

Jan
4ºC
6mm

Feb
8ºC
9mm

Mar
14ºC
22mm

Apr
21ºC
43mm

May
27ºC
57mm

Jun
32ºC
53mm

Jul
33ºC
92mm

Aug
31ºC
89mm

Sep
25ºC
93mm

Oct
20ºC
57mm

Nov
12ºC
21mm

Dec
6ºC
7mm
Month

Jan
-4ºC
1mm

Feb
-1ºC
2mm

Mar
3ºC
6mm

Apr
9ºC
17mm

May
12ºC
45mm

Jun
15ºC
65mm

Jul
17ºC
87mm

Aug
17ºC
85mm

Sep
12ºC
54mm

Oct
8ºC
20mm

Nov
1ºC
3mm

Dec
-2ºC
1mm

Suggested Itineraries

Silk Road Adventure

Urumqi - Kashgar - Turpan - Zhangye Danxia - Xian - Beijing
Grand Tour Of Tibet

Beijing - Lhasa - Tsetang - Gyantse - Tingri - Mount Everest - Shigatse - Namtso Lake
view all itineraries

Travel Guides for Exploring China

Incredible things to do in Xi’An (China)

Xi ‘An City is the metropolis of Shaanxi Province and also is one of the oldest cities in China.

Jul 23, 2019
The gem of Yunnan Province – Lijiang (China)

Le Giang (Lijiang) ancient town, with harmonious beauty of rivers, mountains and local people, has made many tourists enchanted by its sceneries at first sight.

Jul 23, 2019
Discover the traditional customs to celebrate Lunar New Year in Asia with Asia Senses!

Lunar New Year is the most important event of the year to many Asian countries such as China, Mongolia, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam.

Jan 26, 2019
view all travel guides

Holiday Types

At Asia Senses Travel we’re adventurers at heart. Our journeys are all about discovering new places and cultures while creating unforgettable memories through physical activity and breathtaking scenery.