Best time to visit China

China is a vast country with a great variety of climate and conditions. The best time to visit China is during Spring and Autumn, between April - May or September - October as these periods offer pleasant weather throughout the country. December to January is a good time to visit the south where the weather can be hotter – Hainan Island, Guangdong, Hong-Kong, Macau. February-April is the best time to explore Yunnan. The best months for trekking, particularly in Tibet, northern Yunnan, Sichuan, and Qinghai are July and August, when the countryside is in bloom. November is the month when the snow-capped peaks of Sichuan reflect clear in pristine mountain lakes, and the trees of the forests burn from green to yellow then red against flawless ice-blue skies.

Best time to go

Beijing, the Northeast

Beijing’s weather is defined by four seasons.
From April to the end of May, springtime is warm, windy and dry. From June to mid-September, summer time is hot and most rain falls during this period. July and August are the hottest months with heavy rainstorms. The best time to enjoy Beijing is in the autumn months from mid-September to October where sunny days are pleasant, temperatures are cool and the flowers are blooming. From November to mid-March, winter is cold and dry with chilly days. The average temperature in December, January, and February below 0 C.

Weather (monthly averages)

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
 Average minimum temperature
-10℃ -8℃ -1℃ 7℃ 13℃ 18℃ 21℃ 20℃ 14℃ 6℃ 2℃ -8℃
 Average maximum temperature
1℃ 4℃ 11℃ 21℃ 27℃ 31℃ 31℃ 30℃ 26℃ 20℃ 9℃ 3℃
 Average hours of sunshine
7 7 8 8 9 9 7 7 8 8 6 6
 Average rainfall in mm
4 5 8 17 35 78 243 141 58 16 11 3

Harbin, Heilongjiang, The North

Harbin has the highest altitude and experiences the lowest temperature in China.
March to May - Springtime experiences little rainfall but has occasional sandstorms and wind.
June to August- Most rain falls in the Summer months with average temperatures of 23 C.
September to October – Autumn days are cool with chilly nights.
November to February – Harbin experiences the coldest weather in China over winter with the highlight being the Ice and Snow Festival. There are many ski resorts here including Yabuli International Ski Resort for winter sports.

Weather (monthly averages)

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
 Average minimum temperature
-24℃ -20℃ -10℃ 0℃ 8℃ 15℃ 18℃ 16℃ 9℃ 0℃ 10℃ -20℃
 Average maximum temperature
-13℃ -7℃ 2℃ 14℃ 21℃ 26℃ 28℃ 26℃ 21℃ 12℃ 0℃ -9℃
 Average hours of sunshine
 Average rainfall in mm
8 5 10 18 40 84 143 121 58 26 10 6

Chengdu, Sichuan ( Southwest )

Chengdu has a subtropical monsoon climate with an annual average temperature of 16 C . The hottest time is July and August, with the highest temperature reaching 37 C. The coldest month is January, with its lowest temperature dropping to -6 C).
Spring – last from the end of February until early May. This is the best time to see the peach blossom at Longquan Mountain, the pear blossom at Xinjin County and the peony at Danjing Mountain.
Summer – from mid-May to the end of August is hot and rainy. Humidity is high.
Autumn - from September to October is the best time to see the red maple and yellow chrysanthemum flowers.
Winter - from November to mid-February is cold with average temperatures of 5 C

Weather (monthly averages)

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
 Average minimum temperature
3℃ 5℃ 8℃ 13℃ 17℃ 21℃ 22℃ 22℃ 19℃ 15℃ 10℃ 5℃
 Average maximum temperature
3℃ 5℃ 8℃ 13℃ 17℃ 21℃ 22℃ 22℃ 19℃ 15℃ 10℃ 5℃
 Average hours of sunshine
5 7 8 8 9 10 9 9 7 5 5 6
 Average rainfall in mm
8 12 20 44 79 107 225 201 100 35 16 5

Shanghai, Hangzhou, Suzhou (the East)

There are 4 distinct seasons in Shanghai. Spring from March to May is warm and pleasant and is the best time to visit. Most rain falls in the summer months from June to August and the weather is also at it hottest from July to August with average temperatures of 35 C. From late August to mid-September, typhoons can bring heavy rain to the coastal regions
Sep to November heralds the cool autumn season. December to February has overcast days and a cold winter.

Weather (monthly averages)

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
 Average minimum temperature
1℃ 1℃ 4℃ 10℃ 15℃ 19℃ 23℃ 23℃ 19℃ 14℃ 7℃ 2℃
 Average maximum temperature
8℃ 8℃ 13℃ 19℃ 25℃ 28℃ 32℃ 32℃ 28℃ 23℃ 17℃ 12℃
 Average hours of sunshine
4 4 4 5 5 5 7 7 5 6 5 5
 Average rainfall in mm
48 58 84 94 94 180 147 142 136 71 51 36

Xian ( Central Northwest )

Xian has a continental monsoon climate. Summers days are hot and rainy, dry winters, and wet spring and autumn.
Spring from March to May has average temperatures of 14 C to 19 C. May is a good time to see the cherry blossoms at Qinglong Temple.
Summer is hot, rainy and humid. During the autumnal months of September and October, the weather is overcast with many rainy days. Winter from November to February is dry and cold with a little snow. The coldest month is January with an average temperature of 0 C.
The annual Lantern Festival is held within the Xian City Wall in middle January or February.

Weather (monthly averages)

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
 Average minimum temperature
-4℃ -1℃ 4℃ 10℃ 14℃ 19℃ 22℃ 21℃ 16℃ 10℃ 3℃ -3℃
 Average maximum temperature
5℃ 8℃ 14℃ 21℃ 26℃ 31℃ 32℃ 31℃ 25℃ 20℃ 12℃ 6℃
 Average hours of sunshine
 Average rainfall in mm
7 10 29 42 60 54 99 71 92 60 24 6

Yunnan (Kunming, Lijiang, Dali, Zhongdian)

Yunnan is a year-round destination and has distinct dry and wet seasons. The dry season runs from November to April with plenty of sunshine and clear blue skies. The rainy season runs from May to October with most rain falling between June and August. January is the coldest month with an average temperature at 8 °C, while July is the hottest month with an average temperature of 18 °C.

March to May, during the spring time, the daytime weather is cool and dry but nights are very cold.
Summer from June to September is wet with most rainfall falling during this period. The hottest month is July
Autumn from October to November has pleasant, dry and cool. The rains begin to ease off.
Winter from December to February is mild and sunny, but cold.

In Yunnan, Spring and early summer are the best times to see the flora and fauna. Autumn and winter are the best times to see snow-capped mountains.

In summary, the best times to visit:

Lijiang - late March to May and mid-October to November.

Dali - March to June

Shangri-La - Oct to Nov offers the most spectacular colours.

Kunming- has a spring-like climate throughout the year. 

Weather (monthly averages)

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
 Average minimum temperature
2℃ 3℃ 5℃ 9℃ 14℃ 17℃ 17℃ 16℃ 14℃ 12℃ 7℃ 3℃
 Average maximum temperature
15℃ 17℃ 20℃ 24℃ 25℃ 24℃ 24℃ 24℃ 23℃ 20℃ 18℃ 15℃
 Average hours of sunshine
8 7 7 6 6 3 3 4 4 6 7 8
 Average rainfall in mm
13 13 15 28 92 172 205 205 122 89 41 13

Tibet

The climate in Lhasa is divided into two seasons – dry season and wet season.
The dry season from late October to May is windy but with little to no rain. There is abundant sunshine throughout this period and some snow may fall in the high mountains. The wet season last from June to early October and warm and moist days.
The best time to visit Tibet and Mt. Everest Base Camp is from April to mid-June and Sept to Oct

Weather (monthly averages)

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
 Average minimum temperature
-10℃ -7℃ -2℃ 1℃ 5℃ 9℃ 9℃ 9℃ 7℃ 1℃ -5℃ -9℃
 Average maximum temperature
7℃ 9℃ 12℃ 16℃ 19℃ 24℃ 23℃ 22℃ 21℃ 17℃ 13℃ 9℃
 Average hours of sunshine
6 6 8 6 5 2 2 3 5 10 10 9
 Average rainfall in mm
0 13 8 5 25 64 122 89 66 13 3 0

General travel tips

BUSINESS HOURS
Department stores and shops are open 7 days a week from 10 pm to 7:30 pm. Museums attractions are generally open 7 days a week.

CLOTHING
No particular rules regarding clothing etiquette in China, except in Muslim holy places. Light clothing is most suitable in the summer months, and very warm clothes in the winter.

CREDIT CARDS
China is a cash society. Whilst credit cards are widely used in the big cities, rural areas often do not accept credit cards.

FOOD
Most people lo0ve a Chinese meal, ranging from Beijing's famous Roast duck, Mongolian or Sichuan Hotpot, to dim sum in Guangzhou. Be sure to try the fiery spirit, Maotai.

HEALTH
No vaccinations are required except for yellow fever if you are coming from an area where the disease is present.

LANGUAGE
The most widely spoken language is Mandarin with a multitude of local dialects, eg Cantonese, Fukienese and Minnanhua. 

INTERNET
Major hotels in the big cities offer wireless connections, but this service may not be readily available in the rural areas.

ELECTRICITY
The voltage is 220 volts. It is advisable to bring an adapter with international plugs, flat-called "American" type plugs and "British" (3 pronged).

RELIGION
China is a country of strong religious syncretism. Buddhism, Confucian doctrines, Chinese-originated Taoism, Islam, Judaism and Christianity.

SAFETY
China is a very safe country but like in all the big cities in the world, and especially in Beijing or Shanghai streets, ou has to be a little bit more careful. Beware of your belongings in night trains.

SHOPPING
Shop for jade, porcelain, cloisonné, lacquer, silks and cashmere. The export of antiques is subject to conditions: objects dating from before 1911 cannot leave China.

TIME
GMT + 8

TIPPING
No tipping is expected n restaurants or bars. In international hotels, one US dollar or 5 yuan for porters, waiters and cleaning staff is recommended. them. Guides and driver do anticipate a tip. Only tip if you wish to.

TRANSPORTATION
The road network has significantly improved over recent years, except in the south and Tibetan World where many roads are under renovation or construction.
There are currently many types of train and the most noticeable are the arrival of the ultra modern TGV. Night trains are slow and the journeys long but it is a great
way to discover the Chinese way of life.

VISAS
A visa is required for China. There is also a 72-hour visa-free facility for specific cities.

WATER
Tap water throughout China isn’t safe to drink. Always drink water that has been boiled first or bottled mineral water.