Weather and the Best Time to Visit China

China’s huge size results in an extremely diverse climate which varies from tropical in the south from Hainan Island across to Yunnan province to subarctic winters in the extreme north of the country in the provinces of Heilongjiang and Inner Mongolia; while the Tibetan Plateau has an alpine climate.
How many seasons does China have?
Most regions in China have four seasons; these seasons differ greatly. Some regions in the south have a longer summer while in the north the winter can last for almost six months of the year.
Although they do exist, spring and autumn (fall) can be just a few weeks in many regions.
Spring is from April until June in areas around Beijing; further south the spring season is much shorter and may begin as early as March with summer beginning by May. In the north spring-like weather may begin later than April. The temperature in spring is generally around 50-72F or 10-22C.
Summer in the north is no more than two or three months each year due to the long winter, while in the area around Beijing it is a little longer and generally warmer, and humidity is often quite high. Further south and around the Yangtze River and summer can extend as much as half the year and be oppressively hot, with temperatures regularly reaching 104F or 40C or higher. The extreme south has long hot and humid summers.
Autumn or fall is usually the most favourable time of year with temperatures similar to spring with the bonus of drier weather. This season generally lasts from September until November around Beijing. In the extreme north wintry weather will begin by mid October while further south autumn may not begin until the middle of October.
The winter in China has great variations, the Northeast and Inner Mongolia are extremely cold for several months. The northern plains close to Beijing and down the east coast as far as Zhejiang province is also cold with temperatures regularly below freezing with some snowfall. 

The central areas along the Yangtze River and into Sichuan province are generally cold, snowfall is rare and average temperatures are just above 0C or 32F. In the provinces of Guangdong, parts of Guangxi and southern Yunnan the winter temperature is almost spring like with occasional cold days. The city of Guangzhou in Guangdong province had a little snow in 2016, the first snow in that city for 87 years.
Hainan Island off the coast of Guangdong province is possibly the exception to all this in that it does not really have a winter season. The beaches of this island are packed with tourists even during January or February.
The best things to do in China in...
During the season of spring in China and some of the activities you could be joining in with include dining or eating outdoors, from a Chinese style barbeque to a picnic in a park or on a mountain. Take part in a city walking tour and discover some of the hidden attractions or take a hike alongside a lake or attraction such as the Great Wall.
During the summer you could visit the beach, Xiamen in Fujian province has some great beaches as does Qingdao a little further to the north and famous for its beer. Visit one of the Panda Research Centres in Chengdu, Sichuan province or Lhasa in Tibet with its milder summer temperatures.
Enjoy the colours of autumn or fall out in the countryside and away from the crowds. Jiuzhaigou Nature Reserve in the north of Sichuan province is delightful at this time of year as is the Yellow Mountain in Anhui. Further afield in the north west of China is Kanas Nature Reserve in Xinjiang province.

During the Chinese winter instead of hiding away indoors away from the cold go to Harbin and visit the Ice and Snow Festival or head south to Hainan Island where you can relax on the beach in spring like weather.

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