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China is a vast country with a wide-ranging climate so a decision about the best time to visit should be based on the regions you plan to tour as well as the kind of weather you enjoy. Therefore, before deciding when to take a tour or sail with Viking River Cruises, it is worth checking the weather conditions of each city on the itinerary. Needless to say, the most attractive seasons to visit are also generally the most crowded; however, regardless of the time of the year, visitors to China will always be rewarded with fascinating cities and beautiful scenery.
The Four Seasons
Normally, the most comfortable season of the year is early autumn (September to early October). During that time, temperatures are comfortable throughout China (about 50-72 degrees Fahrenheit) with a small amount of rain. In addition, September is the only month in the year when the ancient and valuable paintings of the Beijing Palace Museum are displayed due to the necessary climate conditions of low humidity and proper temperature. However, spring can also be very pleasant with the average temperatures roughly the same as in autumn. In both seasons, the best way to plan for the weather is to wear layered clothing that will make you comfortable in both cool and warm temperatures.
Summer (from June to the end of August) in China can be extremely hot with temperatures well above 72 degrees Fahrenheit, particularly in the famous “four furnaces” of China (Wuhan, Tianjin, Chongqing and Nanchang). Summer is also a rainy season, so travelers should not forget to pack umbrellas and light raincoats if they visit at this time of year. In contrast, winter in China can be incredibly cold, especially in the north. However, off season travel has its benefits. One example of this is the Harbin Winter Ice Lantern Festival which is a delightful experience.
High Season vs. Low Season
Based on climate, the best time to visit China is May, early June, September, October and early November and these are the traditional high seasons in China’s travel industry. In contrast, the low season is considered to be December, January and February. While weather during the low season may not be as good as during high seasons, low season travelers generally enjoy lower prices and also more personal attention due to fewer people at the tourist sites.
Therefore, while many people plan their trips during high seasons, it may not always be the best choice. During high seasons, tickets for trains and planes as well as accommodations at hotels are not only more costly but also more difficult to obtain as more people travel during these times. In low season, the costs in general will be much lower than during the peak seasons as entrance fees, ticket prices and even the goods sold in the places of interest will cost less. Furthermore, low season offers you a more relaxed environment free of crowds.
All in all, deciding when is the best time for you to visit China depends on which places you plan to visit, what type of weather you enjoy and how much a bargain you want.