Being such a vast country, with diverse topography and profound altitudinal variances, weather can vary enormously in China, though with almost all of the country’s landmass being north of the Tropic of Cancer, the underlying influence of northern hemisphere seasonal weather forms the familiar pattern of summer warmth and winter chill, but this is also further modified by the effect of both the Indian and Pacific ocean Monsoons, bringing high summer rainfall to many areas.  

The high season for tourism in China is during the summer months from May through to August, when the weather is generally good and ranges from very warm to hot, with the exception of high altitude areas. However summer travellers should expect to encounter frequent rainfall, which can come in very heavy downpours.

Spring (February – April) and autumn (September and October) are more generally pleasant for many visitors, with less rainfall, and cooler temperatures, particularly at night.

Winters are very cold, though often very beautiful, with only the far south of the country retaining much warmth, while northern and high altitude areas are bitterly cold and freezing.


With four distinct seasons, Beijing is at its warmest and wettest during the summer months from June to August, with high daytime temperatures ranging from 25 - 40⁰C.  

Springtime, during April and May is a good time for blossom but is characterised by sharp differences between warm days and cold nights, and is a time when sandstorms may also occur.  

The autumn months of October to November is similar to spring, but generally thought the best time to visit with its normally clearer skies.  

Winter, from November to March can be bitterly cold but is the driest period.


Shanghai’s position on the East China Sea brings with it a lot of rainfall throughout the year, most prevalent in the hot summer. The period from late March to May and the month of October are the optimum time to visit. Not the sunniest of cities, the sky is often overcast, especially in the cold winters.


With moderate rainfall spread throughout most of the year, the optimal times to visit Xian are during the periods from April, May and and October. While rainfall is seldom overwhelming, summer can be very muggy. In september flooding can sometimes be an issue.


Guilin’s location in the south of the country ensures milder winter temperatures. Rainfall is plentiful throughout the year but at its peak between April and July, when the landscape is at its lushest green.


Owing to its altitude, the mountain is generally cool, with even summer temperatures rarely passing 20⁰C. The period from September to October is generally the optimal time whilst the spring months of April to June are the best time to capture the beguiling misty swirls so famous in the paintings of the area.


Hangzhou’s rainfall peaks come in two spells, during June and early July and between August and September. Summers can be hot and humid, with the optimal visiting times between March and May and again during September through to November.


Tibet is very dry with significant rainfall occurring only between June and September, and peaking in July. The altitude ensures that the weather is generally cool, though it can be relatively warm and pleasant in the daytime. April, May, September and October are the best months to view Mount Everest, as outside of these periods the mountain is often impenetrably cloud enshrouded.

For general visitors, the best time to visit is between May and October. September and October are the best trekking months. Winters are predictably freezing, with many roads closed due to high snowfall, though it is still usually possible to visit Lhasa.

During February and March, Tibet is closed to foreigners and permits for travel are not issued.


Lijiang has relatively mild winters with warm pleasant days possible, though cold at night. Spring is also pleasant, but again, night times can be distinctly cool.  Summer and autumn are the warmest times to visit, with the wettest of these months being between June and September.


The spectacular scenery of Wullingyuan can be visited year round, with the peak season for tourists being from July to September. Rainfall is fairly common all year, with the wettest months falling between February and June.