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The best time to visit China is during spring or autumn. The weather tends to be warm and dry during these periods, in contrast to the bitterly cold winters and hot, humid summers experienced in much of the country. China’s sheer size, however, means there are no true limitations for travel, and with one or two exceptions it is possible to visit all year round.

In general, the ideal time to visit western China is between April and October, when the flowers are blossoming and the local bazaars throng with life. For those heading across the high passes or into the mountains, the best time to visit is from June to August, when alpine flowers carpet the steppe and the conditions for hiking and trekking are at their best.

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China is a country of many landscapes and climates, which means finding the ‘perfect’ month for travel difficult. My favorite month in China is November, not only because it’s just about the driest month of the year, and the summer heat has turned to autumn crispness, but also because the key sights are far quieter than in October and September.

Chris, North & Central Asia & Oman Specialist

China Climate Guide

Destination Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Beijing 34°F 0" 39°F 0" 52°F 0" 68°F 1" 81°F 1" 86°F 3" 88°F 8" 86°F 7" 79°F 2" 66°F 1" 50°F 0" 37°F 0"
Chengdu 48°F 0" 52°F 0" 61°F 1" 70°F 2" 77°F 3" 81°F 4" 84°F 9" 84°F 9" 77°F 5" 68°F 2" 59°F 1" 50°F 0"
Guilin 55°F 2" 55°F 3" 63°F 6" 73°F 5" 82°F 14" 88°F 13" 91°F 9" 91°F 7" 90°F 3" 81°F 3" 70°F 3" 61°F 2"
Hainan Island 70°F 1" 72°F 1" 77°F 2" 84°F 4" 90°F 7" 91°F 8" 91°F 9" 90°F 8" 86°F 10" 82°F 7" 77°F 3" 72°F 2"
Hong Kong 66°F 1" 64°F 2" 70°F 3" 77°F 6" 82°F 12" 86°F 14" 88°F 14" 88°F 15" 86°F 11" 82°F 5" 75°F 1" 68°F 1"
Kashgar 32°F 0" 41°F 0" 57°F 0" 72°F 0" 81°F 0" 88°F 0" 91°F 0" 88°F 0" 81°F 0" 68°F 0" 52°F 0" 36°F 0"
Macau 66°F 1" 66°F 2" 70°F 3" 77°F 6" 84°F 12" 88°F 13" 90°F 10" 90°F 11" 88°F 7" 82°F 4" 77°F 2" 68°F 1"
Shanghai 46°F 2" 48°F 2" 55°F 3" 64°F 3" 73°F 4" 81°F 7" 90°F 6" 90°F 5" 81°F 5" 72°F 2" 63°F 2" 52°F 2"
Suzhou 45°F 2" 46°F 2" 55°F 2" 64°F 3" 73°F 4" 81°F 6" 88°F 5" 88°F 5" 79°F 4" 73°F 1" 59°F 2" 50°F 2"
Xian 41°F 0" 46°F 0" 59°F 1" 70°F 2" 81°F 2" 90°F 2" 91°F 4" 88°F 3" 77°F 4" 68°F 2" 54°F 1" 43°F 0"
Zhongdian 45°F 0" 46°F 0" 52°F 1" 57°F 1" 63°F 2" 64°F 5" 64°F 8" 64°F 7" 63°F 4" 59°F 2" 52°F 1" 48°F 0"

Month-by-month guide to traveling in China

Uighur men, Kashgar Sunday market

Visiting China in September

September is still warm, but not as hot, humid or wet as the summer, making it a great month to visit anywhere in China. It's 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.

Events & Festivals

  • Mid-Autumn Festival (September or early October): During this festival, people eat a delicacy called moon cake, light paper lanterns and in some regions, have dragon boat races.

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Trip ideas and travel guides to exploring China

Trip ideas for exploring China