Winter is the off tourism season in some places of China (such as Guilin, Xiamen, Shanghai, Hangzhou...), which not only means there will be fewer people when visiting famous attractions, but also accommodation, transportation and scenic spot tickets might be cheaper than those in peak tourism season. It’s the best time to travel for those who have several days of winter vacation, and would like to enjoy the fresh and beautiful landscapes of China but prefer quiet and on a budget.
However, it doesn’t mean there are no warm places in China during winter time. China is a vast country, and the weather in winter varies greatly from north to south, east to west. The southern part of China is in the sub-tropical to tropical regions, which have not really experienced winter. These places are almost warm all year round. There might be several cool days in winter, but never cold.
Today, we have selected the Top 5 Warm Destinations in Winter in China where the sun shines perfectly and the weather is warm and pleasant, and the most important thing is... No haze!!
Quick Jump to:
Kunming Stone Forest
Lijiang Old Town
Located in the southwest of China, Yunnan has a subtropical plateau monsoon and vertical climate with a small annual temperature difference but a large daily temperature difference. The dry season and wet season are distinct. Covering a vast land, there are 3 types of climate in Yunnan, frigid climate in the northeast part, temperate climate in the middle and east part and tropical climate in the south and southwest valley.
The coldest (January) average monthly temperature is above 6~8℃, and the annual temperature difference is generally only 10~12℃. On the same day, it would be cooler in the early morning and late evening, and warm at noon, especially in winter. The daily temperature difference can reach 12~20℃.
Apart from the top 3 most popular destinations - Kunming, Dali and Lijiang are suitable to visit all year around. Yuanyang, Xishuangbanna and Tengchong are three top recommended places to go in winter with moderate climate and best scenery. Visiting Yuanyang Rice Terraces in Winter is quite a feast of light and shadow. It’s a place that cannot be missed by photographers! Join the Water-sprinking Festival in the kingdom of tropical rain forest. Still have time? Fully relax and enjoy the famous hot springs in Tengchong.
With a history of more than 1,200 years, Yuanyang Rice Terraces is a masterpiece created by the Hani people from generation to generation. It is praised as "The most beautiful Earth Sculpture in China". Yuanyang Rice Terraces consists of 4 parts: Bada Rice Terrace, Laohuzui Rice Terrace, Duoyishu Rice Terrace and Jingkou Scenic Area. There are two must do things at Yuanyang Rice Terraces, one is to appreciate the grand sunrise and sunset scenery, the other is to admire the special ethnic custom at Hani minority villages.
Yuanyang is located on the Tropic of Cancer. The weather is great, the noon sun is fierce. Don’t forget to wear sunscreen. The temperature in Yuanyang in winter ranges from 12℃ to 24℃. For those who come to Yuanyang in January and February to get up early to shoot the sunrise, you are suggested to add a thick coat to keep warm. The best shooting time for the terrace is from November to April. The scenery is most beautiful in January and February. If lucky, you may encounter the extraordinary cloud sea around the Chinese Spring Festival.
Attractions in Xishuangbanna are relatively scattered, which have Buddhist temples, Dai Ethnic folk customs and tropical rainforest scenery as the main characteristics. Meanwhile, it is also the land of peacock and the kingdom of wild animals, where you can not only see flocks of beautiful peacocks, but also wild elephants in the wild elephant valley.
“Hot" is a major feature of the Xishuangbanna climate. There are only 2 seasons in Xishuangbanna, the dry season and the rainy season. Winter (from December to February) is the dry season in Xishuangbanna, the weather is comparatively cooler than the rainy season. The temperature in winter is 12~29℃. Shorts and T-shirts are enough for daytime, add a thin coat during the night. Due to the hot weather during the day, sunglasses, sunscreen, mosquito repellent, sun hat, anti-sunstroke medicines are essential.
Tengchong, acclaimed as a "Natural Volcanic Geological Museum" in China, is rich in geothermal resources and famous for its numerous hot springs. Even though the city does not cover a large area, it has a long history. There are many profound historical and cultural attractions in and around Tengchong. The Volcano Park Scenic Area, Thermal Sea Scenic Area and Memorial cemetery, etc. are not to be missed.
Tengchong city has a tropical monsoon climate, with an annual average temperature of 14.9℃, a minimum temperature of 10℃, and a maximum temperature of 28℃. Being praised as the “Top Spring City in the Spring Province”, there is no severe cold in winter and no heat in summer in Tengchong. It is suitable for sightseeing all year round.
Top Recommend Yunnan Tour Package:
Xiamen Gulangyu Island
Fujian southeastern coastal areas belongs to the subtropical maritime monsoon climate. The annual average temperature is about 21℃. There is no severe cold in winter and no intense heat in summer. The temperature in winter ranges from 11℃ to 19℃ and the average precipitation is the lowest in four seasons, average monthly rainfall is about 166mm.
Xiamen is the most popular destination in Fujian province. Wandering around the “Sea Garden” Gulangyu Island and getting away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Then rent a car to go deep in the mountains of Fujian to explore the mythical and typical dwelling house - Hakka Tulou.
Xiamen is a charming and graceful "Garden on the Sea". The customs of overseas Chinese, Fujian and Taiwan customs, the delicious coastal cuisines and the foreign architectures are integrated into Xiamen. The spring-like climate is just icing on the cake. It is one of the most environmentally friendly cities in China. Attractions in Xiamen can be divided into two parts: Xiamen Island and Gulangyu Island. Known as "Garden on the Sea", "Exhibition of International Architecture", "Hometown of Music" and "Island of Piano", Gulangyu is an island with strong bourgeoisie sentiments and a very romantic place for encounters. The South Putuo Tourist Area is not only the most prosperous area and downtown of Xiamen, but also a tourist area with cultural resources as the main characteristics. In this area, you can go to the famous South Putuo Temple to feel the religious atmosphere, and then walk to the nearby Xiamen University and immerse yourself in the unique tranquility and romance...
Xiamen is warm all year round, without a severe cold in winter. According to the weather attributes, there are only hot seasons and cool seasons in Xiamen. There is no doubt that winter in Xiamen from December to February is Xiamen’s cool season. Winter temperatures in Xiamen are kept at 10~20℃, and coats and trousers are essential in the cool season. The main feature of the cool season is the large temperature difference in one day. It might be warm and comfortable at noon, tourists can only wear a single layer, but cold in the early morning and night, which requires visitors to add a coat.
Fujian Tulou, featured in "a Living World Heritage", "a Place of Harmony and Happiness", "Cluster of Hakka Culture", is the most extraordinary type of Chinese rural dwellings. In 2008, there were 46 Fujian Tulou sites inscribed as World Heritage Sites. These famous Hakka Residential Earthen Houses include Tianluokeng Tulou Cluster, Hekeng Tulou Cluster, Gaobei Tulou cluster, Hongkeng Tulou Cluster, Yangxian Lou, Huiyuan Lou, Zhengfu Lou and Hegui Lou etc. They are mainly scattered in Nanjing and Yongding County. Besides the magnificent architecture, you can also experience the authentic Hakka culture, explore Fujian tea culture and try traditional Hakka cuisines.
The annual average temperature in Nanjing county and Yongding County is around 21℃. The temperature in winter ranges from 10℃ to 20℃. Wear simple winter clothing like sweaters and pants with an overcoat is enough.
Top Recommend Fujian Tour Package:
Hong Kong City
The Greater Bay Area has a subtropical monsoon climate and is located in the south of the subtropical monsoon climate zone. Therefore, on the one hand, it has the characteristics of subtropical monsoon climate: high temperature and heavy rain in summer, warm and less rain in winter, high rainfall and high temperature occur at the same time. At the same time, due to the comparatively low latitude -- located near the Tropic of Cancer, some climate characteristics of the two cities are close to the tropical climate, with relatively small annual temperature difference and high winter temperature, which are less affected by the cold wave or cold air from the north. The average annual temperature is 21 ~ 23℃. The coldest average temperature in January is 13 ~ 15 ℃, and the hottest average temperature in July is over 28℃.
There are 2 special administrative regions located at the east and west bank of the Pearl River estuary, which are Hong Kong and Macau separately. You may experience the distinctive culture which blends Chinese, British and indigenous influences in Hong Kong and visit “the Las Vagas of Asia” and test your luck in Macau. Pay a visit to Shenzhen to witness the high speed development of the city. As China's first special economic zone, Shenzhen is praised as “the Silicon Valley in China”. No mater if you are a history buff or looking for a family-friendly holiday destination, once come to the Great Bay Area, don’t miss the land full of Lingnan culture and has a 2000-year-old history - Guangzhou.
Hong Kong is located in the south of China, east bank of the Pearl River Estuary, with Macau in the west, and next to Shenzhen in the north. It is a highly prosperous free port and international metropolis and the third largest financial center in the world. Hong Kong is a place where Chinese and Western cultures mingle, combining the wisdom of the Chinese people with the strengths of the Western social system. It has the reputation of "The Oriental Pearl", "A Food Paradise" and "A Shopping Paradise". Attractions like Victoria Peak, Hong Kong Skyline, Lantau Island, etc. are all you can’t miss during your Hong Kong trip.
During December there are pleasant breezes, plenty of sunshine and comfortable temperatures. Many people regard winter as the best month of the year. The Average temperature in winter is 16~19℃, sweater with pants is enough for daytime. To keep warm, you can add a light coat at night. With so many big Chinese and foreign festivals such as Christmas, New Year’s Day, Chinese New Year and Lantern Festival, etc. in winter, it is not only the best season to experience the atmosphere of festivals in Hong Kong, but also the perfect time for shopping. The winter discount period in Hong Kong generally starts from the end of November and lasts from the Christmas period to the following January, during which almost every department store would have special sales and discount promotions.
Located on the west bank of the Pearl River Delta, Macau faces Hong Kong and Shenzhen city across the sea in the east. It is an international free port and a world tourism and leisure center. It is one of the top four gambling cities in the world. In 2005, the Historic Center of Macau was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and with over 20 locations that witness the unique co-existence of Chinese and Portuguese cultures in Macau. Pay a visit to Macau, you can wander around the Historical Center of Macau and appreciate some Portuguese style architecture, try special delicious food at Rua do Cunha, experience tower adventure at Macau Tower, or visit a casino to watch the scene of gambling if you like.
Macau is a city highly influenced by the monsoon, it thus has a long hot summer with abundant rainfalls. Therefore, the best time for Macau is from October to next April when you can enjoy Macau time with comfortable weather. Macau rarely snows in winter and the mean temperature is about 15~17°C. It is recommended to wear sweaters and long trousers in winter, and take a coat with you to wear during the cooler hours of darkness.
Shenzhen is located in the south of Guangdong province on the east bank of the Pearl River Estuary. It is connected with Hong Kong across the Shenzhen River to the south. It is one of the 4 central cities in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area. Shenzhen, is home to a wide range of world famous electronics brands, including Huawei, Tencent, etc. Therefore it is also known as the “Silicon Valley in China”. Besides, Windows of the World, Splendid China Folk Culture Village, the national famous theme parks, China top coastal lines, shimmering skylines, artistic street blocks and parks, etc. also tell the interesting life of this mega city!
Shenzhen’s climate is highly influenced by the monsoon. It is overall mild and humid all year round. The average temperature in winter is 15~16℃. As the Chinese Spring Festival may come in this period, you could have the opportunity to explore Chinese traditional culture by celebrating the festival with them. You could watch the Long Gang Dragon Parade on the streets, look at the colorful lanterns in Splendid China Folk Village.
Located in the south of China, the lower reaches of the pearl river and near the south China sea, Guangzhou is the south gate of China to the world, the central city of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and the hub city of the Belt and Road. With a history of over 2200 years, Guangzhou is a city mixed with ancient and modern, Chinese and Western. Guangzhou boasts its unique Lingnan culture which was reflected in many aspects, such as architecture, gardens, opera, Cantonese cuisine, painting and Cantonese language. The remarkable sites include Canton Tower, Chen Clan Ancestral Hall, Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, Yuexiu Park, Temple of Six Banyan Tress and more. Moreover, you can take the Pearl River Night Cruise to enjoy the splendid night view, restore your energy by trying some Cantonese Gourmets...
Winter is usually warm and dry in Guangzhou with little precipitation. The average temperature in winter is 14~15℃. Explore the parks and streets of Guangzhou must be a good idea when visiting Guangzhou in winter for most of the parks and streets are decorated with colorful flowers, like peach flowers, plum flowers, azalea and cherry flowers, etc. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, Xinjiao Zhong Road and Longguangxiangxue Park are recommended sites to enjoy flower blossoms.
More information, please visit Top 16 Attractions in Guangzhou | Top 15 Things to Do in Guangzhou | Top Things to Do at Night in Guangzhou | Guangzhou Weather & Best Time to Visit | Guangzhou Tours >>
Top Recommend the Greater Bay Area Tour Package:
In the tropical monsoon climate, the temperature in Hainan does not change much throughout the year. Winter is the dry season on Hainan Island. It’s warm and comfortable, not like other northern cities in China. The average temperature during the winter is 19 °C. A long-sleeve shirt and a light coat or a sweater is also enough for this season.
There are two major cities on Hainan Island, Haikou and Sanya. Haikou is located in the northernmost part of Hainan Island and Sanya is located on the opposite side - the southernmost part. Sanya and Haikou are two best places to escape from the whipping winter winds in mainland China. You can go swimming, fully relax yourself and enjoy the sun bath on the beach and try a variety of fun and leisure water entertainment activities, such as diving, jet skiing.
Sanya is famous as a beautiful coastal city that offers amazing white and soft sand beaches, endless seascapes, tropical plants, quiet and romantic islands. At the same time, Sanya also features Li & Miao Ethinic culture. The best thing to do in Sanya is relax. Yes, that's right! When you take a vacation in places like Sanya, you are eager to enjoy a comfortable room, cozy bed, spa, swimming, massage, sunbath, and sea sports games.
Sanya is a low-latitude tropical maritime monsoon climate, with an average annual temperature of 25.7°C and the highest monthly temperature is in June, which is about 28.7°C. The lowest temperature month is January, with an average of 21.4°C. October to March is the best time to travel to Sanya. Sanya, as the top famous winter vacation destination in China, is famous for its sandy beaches, lush rainforests and cheap seafood.
Haikou is the capital of Hainan Province, although it might not be as famous as Sanya, it is a much quieter city full of romantic feelings of tropical islands. Along the long beach of Haikou is the endless Qiongzhou Strait with white sails dotted on the sea. You can find a thriving tea shop at Qilou Old Street to sit down and exprience the rich ancient Nanyang customs. Visitors can also stroll through the antique blocks of Feng Xiaogang Film Commune and imagine themselves making a cameo in a film.
Haikou city is located in the northern edge of low latitude tropical monsoon climate. There is no cold in winter, no heat in summer, evergreen, warm and comfortable all year round. The Average temperature in winter is 14~20℃. You may visit the interesting historical sites like the Five Officials Temple, Xiuying Fort Barbette and Hairui Tomb in Winter.
More information, please visit Top Things to Do in Haikou >>
Top Recommend Hainan Tour Package:
Reed Flute Cave in Guilin
Guilin is one of the most important cities in Guangxi Province and one of the hottest destinations in China tours. Guilin City is located in the northeast part of Guizhou, even with a comparatively low latitude (about 24°18''), the average temperature in winter is still only about 8~11°C. Even though it’s a little bit cold in Guilin winter compared with destinations which are mentioned before, it’s still warmer than most cities in China. There are also some pros for visiting during this season, such as less crowded, low ticket prices for some famous scenic areas and discount hotel prices, etc.
The scenery of Reed Flute Cave and Silver Cave in Guilin will not be affected by the climate therefore they are spectacular and stunning all year around. Then you take a Li River cruise to Yangshuo, discover the beauty and wonder of Li River on the cruise and enjoy the quiet and pleasant time. After arriving at Yangshuo, you can Engage in an authentic cooking class in Yangshuo cooking school and you’ll learn how to make traditional Chinese cuisine on your own hands. Continue your tour to Longji Terraces in winter. If lucky, you may have a chance to see the snowy terraces. A thin layer of white snow covered the terraced fields, just like an icy fairytale world. In order to keep warm, you are suggested to take thick winter jackets and woolen sweaters. Wear antiskid shoes or soft-soled trail shoes if you want to travel to Longji Rice Terraces.
More information, please visit Top 10 Guilin Attractions | Things to Do in Guilin | Guilin Photography Tips | Guilin Weather & Best Time to Visit | Guilin Travel Guide | Yangshuo Travel Guide Longsheng Travel Guide | Guilin Tours >>
To plan a China winter tour is based on what kind of weather, scenery, types of destinations, etc. you like!
For more people first been to China in winter, they prefer to travel to the top classic and popular winter destinations to save more in one go during the relatively low season, such as Beijing (2-4 days), Shanghai (2-4 days), Xian (2-3 days), Guilin (3-5 days), Chengdu, (1-3 days), Yangtze River Cruise (4-5 days), Hangzhou (2-4 days), Suzhou (2-3 days), etc.
For visitors want to enjoy a snow winter tour, you can plan to visit Harbin to see the Ice and Snow Festival in 2-3 days. 2-4 more days to the nearby Yabuli Ski Resorts, China Snow Town and Wusong Island in Jilin are also popular to see snow scenery and play with snow! And a lot of visitors prefer travel from Beijing after the discovery of winter snowy Great Wall. Moreover, you can also spend 3-4 days to Huangshan for snowy Yellow Mountain, 1-2 days to snowy Mount Emei, 1-2 days to Xiling Snow Mountain for skiing fun, etc.
For visitors prefer a warm winter vacation, you are recommended to enjoy 5-7 days in Yunnan to discover Kunming, Dali and Lijiang for pleasant sunny days with ethnic minority culture, or 2-4 days in Xiamen to wander around Gulangyu Island with a side trip to Tulou Cluster, or enjoy the 4-7 days enjoying the Cantonese food and theme parks fun in Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hong Kong, or at least 3 days in Sanya to fully relax your arms and legs, etc. Travel with us to start your coming China winter vacation!
To help you enjoy a worry-free winter trip to China, we highly recommend you travel with us China Discovery. Our local experienced drivers will escort you to the attractions with comfortable car directly with speed and safety. And our English-speaking tour guide will accompany you all the way, show you the best travelling route, and share interesting stories, introduce all highlights, so you can focus all your attention on the highlights. Our experienced travel expert will help arrange your accommodation and plan your trip sincerely. The tour can be tailor-made according to your group size, time, physical condition, plan, interest, budget and every special need. Please feel free to contact us if you need any help!
Start planning your tailor-made holiday to China by contacting one of our specialists. Once inquired, you’ll get a response within 0.5~23.5 hours.Customize a Trip