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15 Best Things to Do in China in Winter 2021/2022

China vast in territory with various climate zones from tropical to frigid is a top popular winter destination for international visitors with abundant wonderful places to go! So what to do in China in winter? Apart from the exquisite and quaint historical architectures of that great ancient country, you will also easily find a lot of choices to access to the pure white ice and snow world with temperatures below zero, temperate sun beach with adventures on sea, fascinating resorts with unique winter landscapes and wonderful seasonal festivals and ethnic gatherings, etc. Of course, during the relatively shoulder season for majority of the country, lots of travel destinations also offer great discounts for your budget saving! No matter you are interested in a cold snow trip or a warm holiday, here you will find what you want. Check the top 15 things to do in China in winter at below to plan your unforgettable China winter tour 2021/2022!

1

Be Dazzled at Harbin Ice & Snow Festival in Harbin

Harbin Ice & Snow World

Harbin Ice & Snow World

International Snow Sculpture Art Expo

International Snow Sculpture Art Expo

The world-class Harbin Ice and Snow Festival having been held for over 35 times is the highlight for traveling in China in wintertime and also the must-do for visitors planning to see the ice and snow in north China area. No matter where you come from, even from a country with snowy winter, totally enjoy your every minute in the dazzling world consisted in ice and snow! The iridescent wonderland of Ice and Snow World is you joyous paradise to appreciate thousands of ice sculptures of pagodas, castles, walls, landscapes, animals, and so forth are perfected ignited with fabulous LED lights, which is super dreamy for a memorable night walk!

Besides, the International Snow Sculpture Art Expo held on Sun Island in Harbin is another not-missing spot to highlight your winter go! A wide spread of outstanding masterpieces of snow sculptures standing on the pure snow land with the clean backdrop of azure sky will be one of the most beautiful snow landscape in you life time. Figure out how many shapes the pure white snow can be with your closely admiration of the sculptures of figures, cartoons, buildings, landscapes, etc.

During this grand international festival, Harbin Ice Lantern Art Fair held at Zhaolin Park shall be added to your winter trip to Harbin to soak in the romantic and festive atmosphere in the park decorated with countless lovely ice lanterns with colorful lights!

Temperature in Winter (December, January & February): average -25℃ ~ -9℃

Visiting Time: 1-1.5 day

Best Time to Visit: Late December to the next February

Recommended Tour:

2

Bathe in the Warm Sunshine in Lijiang & Kunming

Stone Forest

Stone Forest in Kunming

Lijiang Old Town

Lijiang Old Town

Lijiang and Kunming in Yunnan in Southwest China ranks very top with the pleasant weather and fine sightseeing around the whole year! Boasting the comfortable temperature and nice sunshine, they are top ideal to spend a warm winter. Bathed in the warm sunshine on the plateau in relax to feel the leisure city life of Kunming with lovely birds flying over the peaceful lakes, wander among the large gray Karst Stone Forest maze with Yi ethnic minority dancing, etc. With a fast bullet train riding, you will start the more leisure holiday laid-back in Lijiang to explore alleys and houses at historical Lijiang Old Town, enjoy interesting song and dance of Naxi ethnic group, roam at the scenic park to overlook the magnificent Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, and so forth!

Temperature in Winter (December, January & February): average 8℃ ~ 10℃ in Kunming; average 14℃ in Lijiang

Visiting Time: 1-2 days in Kunming; 2-3 days in Lijiang

Best Time to Visit:all around the year

Recommended Tour:

3

Hike on Snow-capped Great Wall in Beijing

Mutianyu Great Wall

Mutianyu Great Wall

Jinshanling Great Wall

Jinshanling Great Wall

The Great Wall of hundreds of years old in Beijing is one of the must-visit attractions in the China travel list of international visitors around the year. And hiking on the Great Wall also is one of the most favorite things to do in their winter choices. Quite different from that in spring, summer and autumn, Great Wall in winter looks more solemn and magnificent with the snow cover. Particularly when in the coldest winter month, you will see the Great Wall with brown brick walls winding like a giant dragon reaching far away on the white mountains with silver trees. Take a hike on Mutianyu Great Wall or Jinshanling Great Wall to pass the worn out steps and watchtowers for marveling at the grand winter sightseeing of surrounding creates a quite memorable winter trip memory!

Temperature in Winter (December, January & February): average -5℃ ~ 5℃

Visiting Time: half day

Best Time to Visit: all around the year

Recommended Tour:

4

Marvel at Peaceful Snow Sightseeing with Buddhist Temples at Mount Emei

Mount Emei

Mount Emei in Winter

Mount Emei

Mount Emei in Winter

Mount Emei near Chengdu in Sichuan is a rare UNESCO World Natural and Cultural Heritage Site where dot up to 28 holy Buddhist temples with rich cultural serenity to make it one of the four great Buddhist mountains in China. Moreover, with tranquil mountain in verdant forest coverage, lively monkeys, beautiful blossoms and more natural resources, Emeishan attracts countless groups of visitors home and abroad for its landscape and cultural treasures. While in winter, the famed Mount Emei is also quite popular to pay holy visits to those quieter and more peaceful temple clusters with chimes and soak in the zen cultured landscape of snow capped mountain, trees, trails, steps, etc. Hike up to the most famous Golden Summit of 3,079 meters above sea to be wowed by the resplendent Buddhist statues, mysterious sea of clouds, sunrise, etc.!

Temperature in Winter (December, January & February): -10℃ ~ 3℃ in December, -9℃ ~ 2℃ in January, -11℃ ~ 8℃ in February on Mount Emei; 14℃ at the foot of Mount Emei

Visiting Time: 1-3 days

Best Time to Visit: all around the year

Recommended Tour:

5

Visit along the International Architectures Gallery at the Bund in Shanghai

Shanghai

The Bund in Shanghai

Shanghai

Lujiazui Skyscrapers View from The Bund

Shanghai being the top 3 best metropolitan cities in China is super popular for visitors visiting this vast country at any time of of a year. While The Bund as the iconic landmark of Shanghai is absolutely the must-see for anyone visiting Shanghai City! This historical gallery of architectures is praised as “An Exhibition of International Buildings” since 52 buildings of various international architectural styles stand along the west bank of Huangpu River, including the buildings constructed by foreign countries after the First Opium War in 1842, including United Kingdom, France, the United States, Italy, Russia, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Belgium, Russia, etc. Take a walk along the gallery street to savor those historical buildings, it is easy to travel to the old days there. While, with the opposite modern skyscrapers towering on Lijiazui Area on the east bank, no matter you just walk along or take a cruise, it is the best way to feel the strong contrast of the present and past of prosperous Shanghai! Moreover, night lights and neon dress those buildings more beautiful for more pleasant memories!

Temperature in Winter (December, January & February): average 4℃ ~ 12℃

Visiting Time: 1-2 hours

Best Time to Visit: all year around

Recommended Tour:

6

Catch Charming Yellow Mountain in Snow in Huangshan

Yellow Mountain

Yellow Mountain in Winter

Yellow Mountain

Yellow Mountain in Winter

Yellow Mountain (Huangshan) located in Huangshan City, Anhui Province in East China is a well-known UNESCO World Natural and Cultural Heritage Site. With the breathtaking magical wonders of “Odd-shaped Pines, Spectacular Rocky Peaks, Sea of Clouds, Hot Spring and Winter Snow”, it also gains the compliment as “No mountain is worth seeing after a trip to Huangshan Mountain”. As a splendid mountain resort with different beauty in four distinct seasons, Yellow Mountain is one of the hottest place to admire mountain covered by thick snow and beautiful rimes hanging on the leaves. And with the more chances to see the mysterious and charming sea of clouds, Huangshan is quite fabulous for sightseeing catching and photo shooting. Moreover, enjoying a hot spring after getting down gives a superb nice relaxing after your scenic adventure on the mountain. Enjoy your more serener time on Yellow Mountain since there are much fewer visitors during that relative off season!

Temperature in Winter (December, January & February): average -5℃ ~ 5℃

Visiting Time: 2 days

Best Time to Visit:all around the year; December to the next March for snowy Yellow Mountain

Recommended Tour:

7

Immerse into the Dreamland at China Snow Town

China Snow Town

China Snow Town

China Snow Town

China Snow Town

This No.1 Snow Town in China 280 kilometers southeast from Harbin City matches your imagination of the fairyland town covered by pure white snow, however with more jubilant Chinese characteristics. Also called Shuangfeng Forest Farm, China Snow Town of 17,916 hectares wide is capped by snow uy to to 2 meters, where you can see the dreamy scene of pieces and layers of pure white snow like soft milk cream cover the roofs, stumps, bars, etc., with conspicuous fiery red Chinese lanterns and chilli peppers, golden corns hanging on the eaves and gates. Furthermore, when night comes, lanterns and lights are all on in rose, orange and red, this snow town is so peaceful to make you feel time has been ceased! Apart from admire the lovely sightseeing of the sunrise and sunset with chimney smoke, take you time to play to the most with snowmobiling, sledging, snow playing, hot water pouring into ice, etc.

Temperature in Winter (December, January & February): 35℃ ~ -20℃ from December to January; -20℃ ~ -15℃ from Februry to middle March

Visiting Time: 1-2 days

Best Time to Visit: November to early March

Recommended Tour:

8

Ski at Yabuli Ski Resort

Yabuli Ski Resort

Yabuli Ski Resort

Yabuli Ski Resort

Yabuli Ski Resort

Why not skiing in winter? Yabuli Ski Resort boasts the largest ski trail in whole Asia and is the largest ski resort in China. Thus, do not hesitate to Yabuli if you are planning to ski this winter! You can easily get to this fun skiing paradise 220 kilometers southeast from Harbin and begin your happy hours and even days closely with snow. Hole your ski poles and ski down on the national longest, exciting and steepest ski trail to dash forward in real freedom on the white snow with flourish snow capped forests. Moreover, this professional large ski resort offers advanced equipment and facilities for you to enjoy sliding on the 2868.68 meters long alpine slope, snow tubing from the peak with excitement, snowmobiling to show your power, and challenge more activities on snow with utmost joy and laughter during this winter vacation!

Temperature in Winter (December, January & February): average -10℃

Visiting Time: 2-3 days

Best Time to Visit: November to the next March

Recommended Tour:

9

Warm up with a Hot Pot before a Leisure Yangtze River Cruise

Three Gorges

Three Gorges in Winter

Chongqing Hot Pot

Chongqing Hot Pot

The Three Gorges on the golden section of Yangtze River is one of the top 5 most popular destinations on the list of a China travel. And winter is the extremely beautiful season for traveling to the Three Gorges to admire the gorgeous fiery red leaves covering full rolling gorge mountains, particularly at Wu Gorge! Leisurely sit on the deck chair and travel together with the luxury Yangtze River cruise with advanced central air-conditioner along the picturesque gallery of verdant gorges, red leaves, blue sky, jade and peaceful water, etc. Isn’t it the correct way to open your relaxing winter trip? What’s more, before your embarkation in Chongqing, have a taste of the famous mouth-watering hot pot in any one of local hot pot restaurants to try the spicy flavor and warm your body up in such a special way of your lifetime!

Temperature in Winter (December, January & February): around 4℃ in Chongqing

Visiting Time: 4-5 days

Best Time to Visit: December to the next February for the best discount

Recommended Tour:

10

Admire the World Impressive Terracotta Warriors in Xian

Terracotta Warriors

Terracotta Warriors

Terracotta Warriors

Terracotta Warriors

Terracotta Warriors in Xian with the history of over 2,200 years, is the symbol of this capital of 13 ancient China dynasties. Reputed as one of the greatest archaeological finds in the twentieth century and the eighth wonder of the world, it is not to be missed in Xian just as Forbidden City or Great Wall in Beijing. Thus, numerous domestic and international travelers make their visit to this miracle of the world every year to have a close look at the thousands of terracotta army and horses in vivid but different looks and buries over 22 centuries ago and the impressive scale of the mausoleum of Emperor Qinshihuang (First Qin Emperor). Also, listed into the World Cultural Heritage Site record by UNESCO and the top 25 museum in the world by Trip Advisor, the Terracotta Warriors, is really worth your personal discovery!

Temperature in Winter (December, January & February): average 0℃ ~ 3℃

Visiting Time: 3-5 hours

Best Time to Visit: all around the year

Recommended Tour:

11

Enjoy Translucent Rime at Wusong Island in Jilin City

Wusong Island

Wusong Island in Jilin City

Wusong Island

Wusong Island in Jilin City

Jilin rime is praised as one of the four natural wonders in China, together with Guilin landscape, Yunnan Stone Forest and Three Gorges on Yangtze River. During late December to the end of next February, white rimes hanging on the branches dress those trees seems to be made from jade and silver on the famous Wusong Island in Jilin City in Jilin Province. The whole land in northeast China looks particularly like a dreamy fairyland. Every time when the sun rises up or is about to falling, the sunglow ignites the white and silver trees into light orange and pink, and with the blue sky as clean backdrop, the scene is quite amazing for marveling at and creating outstanding photos.

Temperature in Winter (December, January & February): -13℃ ~ -17℃

Visiting Time: 2-4 hours

Best Time to Visit: late December to the end of next February; around 7:00-11:30 in a day

Recommended Tour:

12

Walk at Tulou Cluster & Sunny Gulangyu Island in Xiamen

Fujian Tulou

Tulou Cluster

Gulangyu Island

Gulangyu Island

Xiamen is one of the most popular winter destinations in China for its romantic leisure charm with sea landscape. Boasting two UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Sites, this coastal city is quiet ideal to create some memorable wonderful winter trip memories! You must pay a visit to see Fujian Tulou buildings in round, semi round, rectangle and other shapes sitting among emerald mountains in Yongding or Nanjing. Step into the large gathering for tens and even hundreds of households to have a glimpse at the harmonious gregarious life of local Hakka people. In winter time, there snows sometimes around Tulou clusters in Fujian, so why not plan a visit to see the more peaceful countryside view with red Chinese lanterns.

While back to Xiamen, warm and comfortable sunshine makes a leisure stroll on Gulangyu Island the best way for a nice winter with sun. This island with thousands of well-preserved architectures of various Chinese and Western styles has been listed as the World Heritage Site and reputed as World Architecture Expo. Walk along the crossing roads and lanes to meet those literal and romantic shops, stores, museums, gardens, etc. Here you will also catch the fantastic location to look at Xiamen City!

Temperature in Winter (December, January & February): average 13℃ ~ 20℃

Visiting Time: 1-2 days

Best Time to Visit: January to March and September to December, especially March to May and September to October

Recommended Tour:

13

Take Fabulous Photos of Yuanyang Rice Terraces in Yuanyang County

Yuanyang Rice Terraces

Yuanyang Rice Terraces

Yuanyang Rice Terraces

Yuanyang Rice Terraces

Yuanyang in Yunnan is one of the most beautiful nature destinations in the entire globe. As the core area of the Cultural Landscape of Honghe Hani Rice Terraces listed as UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site, Yuanyang Rice Terraces is really the darling for tremendous photographers and shutterbugs to create their top excellent photos of the incredible rice terraced field since 1,300 years ago! In fact, winter is the best time to catch the best beauty of the entire 17,000 hectares of paddy fields, when every piece of field is filled with water and changes the colors in golden, orange, pink, rose, red, purple, blue, etc. with the reflection of the clouds, glory and sky, just like the rose window! Having a pleasant trekking among the layers of rice terraces is particular favored by visitors to Yuanyang!

Temperature in Winter (December, January & February): average 1.6℃

Visiting Time: 2 days

Best Time to Visit: November to the next April, especially December to February

Recommended Tour:

14

Soak in Poetic West Lake in Hangzhou

West Lake

West Lake in Winter

West Lake

West Lake in Winter

West Lake listed into UNESCO World Heritage Site is the most shining card of the heavenly Hangzhou is East China. While in winter, this famous sightseeing resort changes more poetic with the pure white snow cover on the lake, bridges, corridors, pavilions, branches, etc. and on the farther mountain backdrop. Take a special and relaxing walk around the lake to feel the strong literal charm of every corner. With the chirping of birds, everything around sounds like so quiet like the unique melody of winter. While, every step moved from the Su causeway, Bai Causeway, Broken, Bridge, makes every sight a different classic Chinese ink landscape painting in black and white. Do not miss the famous Lingering Snow over the Broken Bridge in Winter, one of the best ten scenes of West Lake during your stroll!

Temperature in Winter (December, January & February): average 4℃ ~ 12℃

Visiting Time: 3-6 hours

Best Time to Visit: all around the year

Recommended Tour:

15

Sprawl at Soft Beach in Warm Sun in Sanya

Sanya

Sanya, Idyllic Warm Resort in Winter

Sanya

Sanya, Idyllic Warm Resort in Winter

Escape from the cold? Fly to Sanya at the southernmost of Hainan Province in South China to feel the strong summer style of this “Hawaii in the Orient”. Warm sunshine, azure sky, pleasant wind, white and soft beach, verdant coconut palms, etc. are no doubt the standard symbols of a warm beach tour. Just get sprawled on the sand beach to bathe in the sun for a natural SPA. After your full relaxation, take on the diving suits to explore the colorful tropical fishes and corals under the clean and blue sea. Breathe the fresh air, enjoy various fresh seafood, walk in the tropical rain forest, hear local stories of ethnic minorities, etc. That is truly a laid-back winter trip for solo and families!

Temperature in Winter (December, January & February): annual average 25.4℃

Visiting Time: 2-5 days based on your interests

Best Time to Visit: all around the year, especially December to the next March

Recommended Tour:

How to Plan a China Winter Tour

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.

▶ 10 Days Classic China Tour from Beijing

▶ 13 Days Classic China Tour with Yangtze Cruise

▶ 9 Days East China & Mt. Huang Tour by High Speed Train

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.

▶ 6 Days Beijing & Harbin Stunning Winter Tour

▶ 4 Days Classic Leshan Giant Buddha & Mount Emei Tour from Chengdu

▶ 2 Days Xiling Snow Mountain Ski Tour from Chengdu

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!

▶ 6 Days Yunnan Essence Tour (Kunming, Dali & Lijiang)

▶ 3 Days Xiamen City Leisure Tour

▶ 6 Days Hong Kong Guangzhou Macau Cultural Highlights Tour

Travel China in Winter with China Discovery

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 enquired, you’ll get a response within 0.5~23.5 hours.

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