Yuanyang - Best Place to Visit China in Winter

5 Best Places to Visit in China in Winter

Hesitate to plan your winter vacation? Worry about the cold weather everywhere and feel nothing to do when in outdoor?

Winter is officially from December to February in China. For some travelers, the winter is short, dark and boring. But, this is not the real thing in China. China is vast enough making you step into a white snow paradise with a temperature as low as -24°C in the North China, or taking you have fun in the tropical zone with a temperate as mild as 27°C in the South China. If you do not want both extreme weather, come to the coastal cities in southeast China. So, why not try some fun activities with your family this winter?

  • Enjoy winter festivals - Harbin Ice and Snow Festival, traditional Chinese Spring Festival.
  • Appreciate beautiful scenery - China snow town scenery, snow sculptures, rice terraces, Hakka earth buildings, tropical seaside scenery.
  • Skiing - you can try different kinds of activities in Yabuli Ski Resort or Xiling Snow Mountain.
  • Eat suitable food - try hotpot in winter to keep your body warm and other delicious Chinese food.

During this low season with fewer crowds and lower prices, you can still visit the classic, most popular destinations in China, like Beijing, Xian, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Guilin, Hong Kong…If you are looking for some featured things to do in winter, please check the following top 5 recommended places to visit in China. Go now!

Harbin - Ice and Snow World & Ski Paradise

Harbin - Ice and Snow World & Ski Paradise
Harbin Ice Snow World

Harbin, located in the northeast of China in Heilongjiang Province, is reputed as “Little Paris in the Orient” and “Moscow in the Orient”. Having the most bitterly cold winters among major Chinese cities with average temperatures as low as -13°C in the daytime and -24°C in the evening, Harbin is heralded as the “Ice City” and notable for the amazing ice sculpture festival in the winter.

The official opening date of Harbin Ice and Snow Festival will be on January 5th of every year, on which a grand opening ceremony will be held. But, many related venues and activities are usually start in the late of December (December 21th or later), and will not close until the end of February. To know the detailed timetable of the Ice and Snow Festival of 2020, please check our “Having Fun on the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival”.

Type: Snow, Historic & Cultural Site
Recommended Trip Length: 2~5 days
Winter Activities:

  • Visit Ice and Snow World with excitement to attend 19th Harbin Ice and Snow World, enter into snow world with different themes to admire gorgeous ice snow sculptures, watch ice & snow performance, or take part in some activities on the ice.
  • Come to Sun Island and enjoy the featured Russian architectures capped with snow, attend 30th Harbin International Snow Sculpture Art Exposition in China to see lots of snow sculptures.
  • Have great fun in the largest ski resort in China - Yabuli Ski Resort and enjoy different kinds of thrilling activities - skiing, snow tubing, snowmobiling…
  • Add one or two days to extend to China Snow Town which is about 270 kilometers away from Harbin where you can fully immerse yourselves in the fairytale world and Dream Home.
Tips for Traveling:
1. The weather is extremely cold in Harbin and around. Take enough cold-proof clothing, warm shoes, wind cap, and gloves with you. And sunglasses, sun blocking scream, antifreeze, high-calorie snacks are also needed.
2. If you like photography, bring the cold-proofing and warm your camera.
Recommended Trips:
>> 3 Days Harbin Ice and Snow Festival Tour
>> 5 Days Charming Harbin & China Snow Town Winter Tour

Yuanyang - Best Time to Shoot Hani Rice Terrace in Winter

Yuanyang Rice Terrace
Yuanyang Rice Terrace

Yuanyang, located about 308 kilometers away from the capital city of Yunnan - Kunming, is very worth your time and effo rt to see it during winter. Yuanyang is famous for its spectacular rice terrace which is the core of Honghe Hani Rice Terrace listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Yuanyang Rice Terrace not only belongs to the Top of Top rice terrace in China, but also ranks as one of the Top 3 Rice Terrace in the world.

It is composed of three scenic spots - Bada Scenic Spot (best for sunset), Duoyishu Scenic Spot (best for sunrise) and Laohuzui Scenic Spot (best for sunset). No matter you want to capture the changing rice terrace, or have a nice encounter to know more customs about Hani people and their wisdom, you won’t be get disappointed!

Type: Rice Terrace, Folk Culture
Recommended Trip Length: 3 days or longer
3-Day Activity Suggestions:
Day 1: Arrive in Yuanyang in the morning or at noon and first pay a visit to Jinkou Folk Village, and then view the rice paddies on the road to Laohuzui (Tiger Month) Rice Terrace, shoot the amazing Sunset of Laohuzui Rice Terraces. Get back to your hotel in Xinjie Old Town or Duoyishu Rice Terraces.
Day 2: Get up early in the morning and reach the viewing platform of Duoyishu Rice Terraces and watch the sunrise over the villages and have a walk around Duoyishu Rice Terraces like Huangcaoling Spot. Head to Shengcun to attend the Hani ethnic market to explore authentic local life of Hani people. Later, get to Bada Rice Terraces to catch the sea of clouds and sunset view. After the amazing day, get back to your hotel in Xinjin Old Town.
Day 3: In this morning, have a walk to get into Longshuba Rice Terraces and some local villages nearby. After the tour, get back to Kunming from Yuanyang.
Tips for Traveling:
1. Transportation from Kunming to Yunyang is long which takes about 6~7 hours. While, Stone Forest and Jianshui Old Town is on the way between Kunming and Yuanyang, it is recommended to cover these sights when heading to Yuanyang.
2. The weather changes very fast in Yuanyang. You’d better ask for detailed weather condition before planning to Yuanyang and prepare for at least 2 days to tour around to make sure you won’t have any regrets when leave.
3. Yuanyang county is very large and the rice terrace is scattered in different villages. For independent travelers, you can’t walk to see all the scenic spot and you’d better hire a car to see them in a day.
Recommended Trips:
>> 5 Days Kunming, Jianshui & Yuanyang Rice Terrace Tour
>> 8 Days Dongchuan, Yuanyang & Jianshui Photography Tour

Xiamen - Island for Egrets & Explore Hakka Culture

Xiamen Gulangyu

Xiamen, a very beautiful seaport city or “Island for Egrets”, is located at the southeast of China in Fujian Province whose urban core grew up from the port of Xiamen on the southern Xiamen Island. Xiamen is neither too hot nor too cold in four seasons. It has a mild climate with an average temperature at 14°C in winter time, making it comfortable to visit in winter.

Xiamen is like an elegant lady with the cleanest costume and very polite attitude, showing her best aspect to every traveler. In this clean and beautiful city, you can leisurely walk and visit the urban city and famous university, take a boat trip to Gulangyu Island to feel the romantic atmosphere, cycle around the Huandao Road, play golf facing the vast sea; if you have more time, transfer to Nanjing Tulou or Yongding Tulou which was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for in-depth Hakka culture exploration.

Type: Island, Hakka Earth Building, Folk Culture
Recommended Trip Length: 2~3 days
Featured Activities:

  • Enjoy a relaxing boat trip to Gulangyu Island, visit Shuzhuang Garden, Piano Museum and if your energy permits, get up to Sunlight Rock, the highlights peak of the island, for a panoramic view over the island and sea.
  • Head to Fujian Tulou, about 150 kilometers away, to explore “a living world heritage”, “cluster of Hakka culture”, the exceptional examples of a building tradition and function exemplifying a particular type of communal living and defensive organization. You won’t miss the “King of Hakka Earth Building”, "four dishes and one soup"…
Recommended Trips:
>> 3 Days Xiamen City Leisure Tour (Xiamen / Nanjing Tulou / Xiamen)
>> 5 Days Xiamen, Nanjing Tulou & Mount Wuyi Tour

Sanya - the Oriental Hawaii with Sunshine, Beach, Island & Free Atmosphere

Yalong Bay in Sanya
Yalong Bay in Sanya

Sanya, located at the southernmost of Hainan Province, is reputed as “the Oriental Hawaii” which is famous for its tropical seaside scenery. The area has a tropical wet and dry climate, featuring very warm weather all year round. The winter average temperature is at 27°C and coolest month is January at 21.6°C which is an ideal destination to get escape from the cold.

Sanya is a modern, hyper-developed resort city with a steady influx of Russian vacationers that this city also called “Moscow on the South China Sea”. If you a travelers who has never been to the sea or who want to avoid the cold from your country, or who are planning for honeymoon vacation, come to Sanya is definitely a right choice - the endless sea, romantic islands, gentle sunshine, sand beach are waiting for you and you are guaranteed to explore everywhere with your beloved one freely.

Type: Island, Nature, Buddhist Culture
Recommended Length to Visit: 2~3 days
Featured Activities:

  • If you want to enjoy the beach, come to Yalong Bay. Beautiful and clean beach, great sand, warm sea, refreshing water, nice hotel, amazing restaurants, diving, swimming, rock climbing, beachcombing, just lie in the sun…This is your life and style here.

  • To open the window the know China’s traditional Buddhism culture, you can go to Hainan West Expressway to Nanshan Temple to see 108-meter Buddhist Guanyin Statue which is 15 meters taller than the Statue of Liberty. “Good fortune is much as the East Sea, Longevity is high as Nanshan”, that’s the meaning of this temple.

Recommended Trips
>> 4 Days Sanya Beach Resort Tour
>> 4 Days Sanya Local Culture Tour

Xiling Snow Mountain - Paradise for Skiing

Xiling Snow Mountain
Xiling Snow Mountain

A famous poem by Du Fu has described “Snow accumulated through thousands years on the west snow mountain could be viewed within a glance from my window. Ships from the Eastern-Wu State of miles away are anchoring at the dock outside the house”. This is the place called Xiling Snow Mountain, located 115 kilometers west of Chengdu City.

Xiling Snow Mountain begins to snow in middle December and the temperatures falls down to 0°C or below. The whole world turns into white – the trees, houses, stone, ground…all covered with snow, like a fairytale world. Xiling Snow Mountain is regarded as the largest ski resort in China, providing more than 20 different kinds of activities in ski field. You can try skiing, zorb, snow cubing, snowmobiling, bounce-flying…travelers can completely enjoy the excitement of ski sports.

After doing the fun activities on Xiling Snow Mountain, it is recommended to enjoy a hotpot when getting back to Chengdu. That’s the perfect way to spend a cold day in these places.

Type: Ski Resort, Mountain, Nature
Recommended Length to Visit: 1 or 2 days
Tips for Traveling:
1. Since the temperature in Xiling Snow Mountain is very low in winter, it is recommended to take enough clothes and a pair of gloves of flexibility to keep warm.
2. Keep your camera from cold and put it rapidly into the bag after photography.
3. Take umbrellas, rain capes being the best, all the way for the various change of weather. And wear comfortable shoes that are antiskid.
4. Take water with yourself because there is no drinking water at the top mountain area.
Recommended Trips:
>> 2 Days Xiling Snow Mountain Ski Tour
>> 5 Days Chengdu & Xiling Snow Mountain Winter Tour

Travel with China Discovery

Besides the top 5 destinations listed above, there are still more places to visit in winter. You can extend to Lijiang, Dali, Kunming and Xishuangbanna in Yunnan Province, Miao and Dong ethnic villages in Guizhou Province, Yellow Mountain in Huangshan City, Rime Island in Jilin City, etc.

No matter where you want to head to and what kinds of activities you are interested, we are here trying our best to tailor make your China winter tour, helping you fulfill your China dream.

Recommended Tours

Top 3 tours chosen by most customers to explore in the best way. Check the detailed itinerary, or tailor your own trip now with us.

Bada Rice Terrace
5 Days Kunming, Jianshui & Yuanyang Rice Terraces Tour

Kunming / Stone Forest / Yuanyang / Jianshui / Kunming

Forbidden City Covered with Snow in Winter
6 Days Beijing & Harbin Stunning Winter Tour by Flight

Beijing / Harbin

Mount Wuyi
5 Days Xiamen, Nanjing Tulou & Mount Wuyi Discovery Tour

Xiamen / Nanjing Tulou / Xiamen / Wuyishan

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