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china trip planning when to go

► WHEN TO VISIT CHINA ... & WHEN NOT TO

China is such a vast country containing so many different climatic zones that there is generally no bad time to visit the country although this does depend on where your trip will be focused. Firstly, the basics:
 
Best time to go ...
You will find the best all round weather conditions in China in April and May as well as the September to October period stretching into early November. A comfortable climate and the best chance of clear skies.
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... and when to avoid!
We’d be tempted to say the very height of summer or the depths of winter but China has a lot to offer during these periods. The only real time to avoid is the first week of October which is a National Holiday across China and all popular sights become hugely busy with local tourists - and when we say busy we are talking 1.3 billion population busy!
     
  ► CHINA TIP   If possible try and travel outside of your country’s school holidays as international flight prices will often be lower.  
       

► CHINA IN THE SPRING

A good time to visit much of China. April into early May are probably the best months with the best of spring in the popular northern destinations of Beijing and Xian and still pre-summer heat, rain and humidity in the lush South of China.
 
Best places to visit in spring:
Beijing, Xian, Chengdu, Guilin, Shanghai, Lijiang, Yangtze river, Pingyao, datong, Silk Route.
 
Keep in mind:
Easter holidays, Tibet usually open to tourists from the end of the first week of April.

 

china trip planning when to go spring

     

► CHINA IN THE SUMMER

By June it is hot almost everywhere except Tibet and other higher altitude destinations. It can rain a lot over much of Central and Southern China. However, this is when many people visit and it doesn’t seem to spoil people’s enjoyment of China.
 
Best places to visit in summer:
Tibet, Xinjiang in the far west, Harbin, Inner Mongolia and the high country of Yunnan and Sichuan.
 
Keep in mind:
Hot and humid across much of China and the more so the further south you go. Still a popular time though.

  china trip planning when to go summer
     

► CHINA IN THE AUTUMN

Generally regarded to be the best time for almost all of China with dry sunny weather and comfortable temperatures common from North to South. The second half of October is perhaps the choicest time.
 
Best places to visit in autumn:
Pretty much everywhere although the Karakorum Highway and area around Everest can get cold by late October.
 
Keep in mind:
Small, boutique hotels catering to foreigners fill up fast. Avoid the first week of October which is a very busy national holiday.

  china trip planning when to go autumn
     

► CHINA IN THE WINTER

It is very cold in the North of China, the Western provinces and Tibet. In the south of China it tends to be mild with little rain and so is not a bad time to visit those areas. If you do also include the North in your winter trip the Harbin Ice Festival that runs through January into February is a must see!
 
Best places to visit in winter:
Hong Kong, Hainan, Guangzhou and Harbin for the Ice Festival.
 
Keep in mind:
Chinese New year in January to February - a fascinating time but also very busy for travel, especially trains.

By Phil Stanley

  china trip planning when to go winter
     
  ► CLIMATE CHARTS FOR SELECTED CITIES ACROSS CHINA
     
china trip planning when to go climate charts