China is a vast country with wide-ranging climatic conditions, so a decision about the best time to visit should be based on the regions you plan to visit and the kind of weather you enjoy.
Normally, the most comfortable season of the year is early autumn (September to October). During that period, temperatures are reasonable throughout China (about 50-72F) with a limited amount of rain. September for example is the only month in the year when the ancient and valuable paintings of the Beijing Palace Museum are displayed due to proper climate conditions (low humidity and proper temperature).
Spring (March, April and May) can also be delightful with the average temperatures roughly the same as in autumn (about 50-72F). The best way to deal with weather unpredictability is to wear layered clothing that will make you comfortable in both chilly and warm weather.
Summer (June to the end of August) can be extremely hot with temperatures well above 72F, especially in the famous ‘four furnaces’ of China: Wuhan, Tianjin, Chongqing and Nanchang.
Summer is also a rainy season, so visitors should not forget umbrellas, light raincoats and rubber/plastic shoes.
Winter (December, January and February) can be incredibly cold especially in the North. Off season visit can also offer its rewards. For example, the Harbin Winter Ice Lantern Festival is quite charming.
Before deciding when to pay a visit, it is worth checking carefully China weather conditions of each city on the itinerary. Needless to say that the most attractive seasons to visit are also the most crowded. Regardless of the time of the year, a visitor will always be rewarded with charming scenery throughout the country.
High Season vs Low Season
High seasons in China:
- Labor Day (May 1, 3 days duration)
- National Day (October 1, 7 days duration)
- University Holidays: Summer holiday (June-September) and Winter holiday (January-February)
Many people plan a visit during high seasons. However it is not always the best choice. During high seasons tickets for trains, planes, as well as accommodations at hotels are hard to obtain, as great numbers of people travel during these times. It is highly recommended to join an organized tour if you must travel during high seasons, as doing so will certainly relieve you from the difficulties of obtaining tickets.
Compared with high seasons, low seasons couldn’t be a better choice for visits. They offer you the following merits:
- Saving money. In low seasons, the related costs will be much lower than during the peak seasons. Entrance fees, travel ticket prices, and the goods sold in the places of interest will all cost less.
- Saving time. Low seasons offer you a more tranquil environment rather than a noisy, crowded place. It may take several hours to take a photo during peak time, while in low seasons you can enjoy yourself in the beautiful scenery without any interference.