April is marked by rain showers and cherry blossoms, signaling spring in here. April straddles the tourist shoulder season and peak tourist season, which picks up in May. It’s an ideal time to explore China without the crowds and cold.
China Travel Insights
Once the new year’s celebrations wind down, it is shoulder season in China. Unless you want to partake in the world’s largest migration, it’s best to time your trip before or after Spring Festival, the Chinese New Year, a two-week festival that sometimes occurs in February (timing is based on the lunar calendar). Most businesses close during the holiday as those who can afford it head home for the holidays. Traveling post-holiday can be a bargain. Those brave enough to face the fierce cold that blankets much of China in February are rewarded with a spectacular winter wonderland.
Many parts of China are thawing out from below-freezing temperatures as spring beckons. Shoulder season continues, making this an ideal time to visit China's most sought-after destinations before the high tourist season begins and travel costs go up.
April showers bring May flowers, making China a kaleidoscope of colors in May. Temperatures and crowds increase, particularly the first week in May, a week-long workers’ holiday. May is a wonderful time to visit virtually every part of the country, from Xinjiang to the Great Wall to Hong Kong before the sweltering summer weather arrives.
July is hot—literally and figuratively—but its cities come alive with festivals, food, and fun. The extra daylight ensures jam-packed days to explore by land or water. Beat the heat by immersing yourself in Chinese culture, from cooking classes and crafts to folk festivals to nightly variety shows.
June is all about enjoying the great outdoors now that winter has gone and the sticky summer humidity has not quite started. The warmer the weather, the more tourists who arrive in China. There are several festivals in June, including the Dragon Boat Festival, in which revelers take to the water to race in colorful dragon boats, making this an ideal time to experience Chinese culture firsthand.
The height of summer can be an exciting time to visit China despite the heat and humidity. Cities are bustling and lively with throngs of travelers and locals soaking up the summer sunshine. Visitors are treated to several folk festivals this month, making it a uniquely special time to visit China.
As it approaches fall, the air is crisp and cool, and China is awash in crimson and gold. September is a splendid time to visit, as fall combines the best of travel: comfortable temperatures, fewer travelers, and more bang for the buck.
Simply one of the best times of the year, October checks off all the boxes: wonderful weather, smaller crowds, stunning foliage, and exceptional value. A magical time in China, fall is festive and fun no matter your destination.
November is a time of transition: the hordes of tourists have gone home, the sweltering heat and humidity that blankets much of China during the summer is a mere memory, and fall foliage has disappeared. It’s a golden opportunity to visit China thanks to the lack of crowds, decent weather that fluctuates from fall to winter, and moderate travel costs.
As the calendar year comes to a close, winter begins in China. As temperatures drop, so do the crowds and prices, making this the perfect season to take an extended trip to discover China’s treasures and ring in the western new year with a bang (or gong!).
Timing is everything. Unless you want to partake in the world’s largest migration, it’s best to time your trip before or after Spring Festival, the Chinese New Year, a two-week festival that falls in January or February (timing is based on the lunar calendar). Most businesses close during the holiday as those who can afford it head home for the holidays. Traveling post-holiday can be a bargain. Those brave enough to face the fierce cold that blankets much of China in January are rewarded with a spectacular winter wonderland.
As the third-largest country in the world, the climate of China is as diverse as the country itself. Depending on when and where you go, you can find yourself experiencing weather that ranges from 100°F in summer months to below freezing in winter. The best time of year to travel to China depends on many factors, from the regions you’d like to visit, sights you plan to see—and how willing you are to sacrifice better weather for less-crowded venues.
Follow an updated version of the Dragon's Trail as you cycle across rural China from the Guizhou province to Guangxi. Start in the mountains among the minority Dong and Miao populations and continue past dramatic scenery and traditional villages until you reach the Guilin and Yangshuo areas, experiencing traditional architecture, agriculture, and landscapes along the way.
China is a dream destination for many. This two-week adventure is the ultimate introduction to the world's oldest continuous civilization that is modernizing at a staggering pace. Starting in Beijing, you'll experience the best of this exhilarating capital before making your way to Shanghai with a range of scenic and cultural detours, plus a winter festival known for towering snow and ice sculptures.
This exciting 12-day itinerary includes some of China's best cultural and natural wonders. Kick off the trip in cosmopolitan Shanghai where you'll explore its modern waterfront, peaceful gardens, and artsy neighborhoods. Next is Zhangjiajie for a dose of dramatic mountain vistas before you continue to Xi'an to see the Terra Cotta Warriors. Finish with a bullet train to Beijing to experience the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, and—on your last full day—the Great Wall of China.
This fascinating 12-day itinerary is the ultimate introduction to modern and ancient Chinese civilization. Kicking off in Beijing, you'll experience the best sites of the country's exhilarating capital before making your way to Hong Kong by way of a plane, bullet train, and luxury cruise with key stops along the way. Led by English-speaking private guides, this a great balance of history, breathtaking landscapes, and insight into Chinese culture.
Make the most of your time in Chengdu in Southwest China on this 4-day itinerary. See the Giant Leshan Buddha and Mt. Emei Buddhist sites, then wander through the historic city to see local life and catch a performance at the Sichuan Opera. End your trip with a visit to the Panda Research Base to see the famous animals up-close.
This 8-day tour to Beijing, Xian, and Shanghai shows off China's highlights at a relaxed and comfortable pace. Start in Beijing to see Tiananmen Square and the Great Wall of China, then continue to Xi'an to see the Muslim Quarter and the Terracotta Warriors. End your trip in metropolitan Shanghai to see the modern Bund waterfront, ancient Yu Gardens, and historic French Concession.
This packed itinerary checks off China's top cultural and natural highlights. Visit Beijing to see the Forbidden City and hike along the Great Wall, then take the bullet train to Xi'an to see the Terracotta Warriors. Visit Guilin to see the world's tallest Buddha and enjoy Yangshuo's serene countryside. Tour Chengdu's panda research station before finishing your trip in metropolitan Shanghai.
This packed itinerary checks of China's top cultural and natural highlights. Visit Beijing to see the Forbidden City, historical Tiananmen Square, and the nearby Great Wall of China. Take the bullet train to Xi'an to see the Qin Terracotta Warriors, then head to Guilin for nature and local culture. End your trip in the metropolitan Shanghai and explore its busy Nanjing Road and The Bund waterfront, as well as peaceful Yuyuan gardens and artsy Tianzifang neighborhood.
Experience the ancient capitals of China, regarded as the cradles of Chinese civilization. You'll also explore the longest river in Asia on a luxurious river cruise which takes you to one of the world's largest dams. This tour is a great balance of history, breathtaking views, and insight into Chinese culture.
Go on an adventure at the top of the world and let ancient Tibetan myths and mysteries enchant you. This 6-day tour includes a thorough cultural and historical exploration of Tibet's capital, Lhasa, and surrounding areas. You'll also get a taste of nature with a trip south to the pristine freshwaters of Yamdrok Lake.