When to go to China
China is such a large country that it is very difficult to summarise the weather patterns and decide when is the perfect time for a family holiday. Most visitors will visit both the north (Beijing) and the south (Yangshuo and Hong Kong) during a single visit, and therefore will experience both the northern and southern climates.
In general the best time to visit is Spring (March through to May) and Autumn (September through to early November). There may be some rain but it will be predominantly dry and it will not be too hot.
The summer (June – August) is also a good time to visit but it can get very hot and it will probably rain at some point during your trip.
From November through to early March it is very cold, particularly in the north, but also as far south as Guilin and Yangshuo. It is mainly dry during this time of year, but there is sporadic rain.
The weather is summarised by month in our table for the north (Beijing) and the south (Yangshuo), as most of our travellers will visit both on a typical itinerary. This overview should only be seen as a guide and do talk with us for first-hand advice on when to go to China.
Yangshuo – This is the coldest month and you can expect drizzle and frost but little snow. Temperatures stay around 0-10C˚ and it can be windy.
Yangshuo – This is the transitional period from winter to spring. It is still a bit cold and changeable, with big temperature fluctuations, and will be cloudy, windy and drizzly.
The latter half of March is a great time to visit as spring arrives.
Beijing – March is the transitional period from winter to spring and can be changeable. There is a big difference between day and night time temperatures. It is usually dry and windy and there is a chance of sandstorms. Public heating is normally turned off in mid-March.
Yangshuo – Spring will be coming in March. Most days are still rainy and cloudy and it may drizzle for much of the early part of the month. On the occasional sunny day temperatures can reach 20C˚ at the highest and it will still be cold at night. The Li River water level starts to rise at this time so cruises can re-start soon.
Overall Easter is a great time to visit.
Beijing – Milder weather will normally arrive in April so it feels warmer and more pleasant. Temperatures will rise throughout the month and, while still quite cold, can reach highs of 20C˚ at the warmest (though it can still be cold at night). There is still a chance of sandstorms and windy weather with some light rain. Peak season is around the corner.
Yangshuo – There is usually some rain through April but it will gradually be getting warmer. As spring develops, the trees start to look lush and green, flowers come out and the river and mountain areas look misty and beautiful.
Yangshuo – Summer arrives around this time. Temperatures remain a comfortable 18-25C˚ and this is a great time for active families to visit, as the outdoors is very appealing. It can be a bit humid however the rain provides some freshness. This is one of the best times to visit.
Yangshuo – This is the rainy season with frequent short downpours but there is also plenty of sunshine. Temperatures can reach 30c on sunny afternoons and it can feel humid. Mornings and evenings are still cool and pleasant. This makes good conditions for outdoors activities such as rafting, swimming and visiting waterfalls.
Overall the summer holidays are a great time to travel.
Beijing – This is one of the busiest months for travel, so please do book early to secure hotels and train/flight tickets. It can be very hot and humid in July so we will need to ensure that your itinerary is not too jam-packed. There may be rain at times.
Yangshuo – Temperatures can reach 38C˚ or more on a sunny afternoon, however there are plenty of caves, trees, hills and water to cool you off so you can still explore. There will be some rain, though less than in previous months and just short bursts. This is a busy time so book early.
Overall the summer holidays are a great time to travel.
Beijing – This is another very busy month for domestic and international tourism in China, so book early. August feels more comfortable than July though is still hot and humid with occasional thunderstorms. In the first half of the month temperatures can be over 35C˚. The second half of the month is normally cooler (especially in the morning and evening).
Yangshuo – This is an excellent time to visit as it is still hot but less humid. There may be some rain but this should not put you off. The air will be fresher and the water and mountains look beautiful – keep your eyes open for rainbows!
Yangshuo – This is a wonderful time to visit. Cool and pleasant, autumn has normally arrived by September and it feels cooler and sunny but still warm. By late September, average temperatures are around 18-24C˚.
Yangshuo – This is the gold autumn period and is a very pleasant time to go. The average temperatures will be around 18-24C˚ with occasional drizzle and some wind. The maples will be turning red and some of the other trees will be yellow or golden, making for magnificent scenery.
The first week of October is a national holiday in China and ALL sights and transport are very busy. It might be best to avoid travel during this week.
Yangshuo – It will be dry, windy and cold and will feel a lot colder at night. Some days will still be sunny, though average temperatures may only be 10C˚. This is low season.
Yangshuo – This is winter season, with averages of around 8C˚. Although warmer than Beijing, it still feels chilly because of the dampness and strong winds so this is not a great time to visit.
Call us and we will be happy to provide you with a free-of-charge no obligation itinerary and quotation designed for you.
China in pictures
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