China in September: Weather, Top Places to Visit & Highlights
As the beginning of autumn, it is undoubted that September is one of the best months to visit China with the comfortable weather and changing autumn colors. Generally speaking, China in September is cool with little rain and it just has past the summer vacation and is before the golden week, which is a perfect opportunity to travel, no matter you want to go to the cities, mountains, forests, or villages. As China is vast with different climate zones, here we provide the general weather information of September in main parts of China and the top places to visit in China in September to help you be more prepared before a China trip.
China Weather in September
September is a transit month from summer to autumn, therefore, it presents some summer features in early September such as a high temperature and gradually it becomes cool. The average temperature of the whole country is about 16°C~26°C. There is not much rain and you may start feel a little windy in some parts. In the southern coastal part such as Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Hainan... The temperature is a little higher, around 30°C. But in the pleteau areas and mountains the temperature differs a lot and it can drop to 6°C, especially at night. Here, we have some major provincial cities and popular scenic cities listed according to their locations with detailed weather info offered for your reference.
|Weather & Climate|
|Northern China||Beijing, Xian(Shaanxi), Shandong, Luoyang(Henan), Pingyao(Shanxi) and other places||Avg Temperature: 9°C~30°C
Cool, Clear, Comfortable: Cities in this area most belong to subhumid continental monsoon climate zone. In early September, it is still hot, then the temperature decreases gradually. There are not many rainy days, if any, it is possibly drizzling instead of heavy rain. The ultraviolet ray is still strong, so it is recommended to wear some sunscreen cream. Shandong is in northern coast, so the weather would be more comfortable than other inland cities.
|Eastern China||Shanghai, Huangshan(Anhui), Hangzhou(Zhejiang), Suzhou(Jiangsu), Nanjing and other places||Avg Temperature: 10°C~28°C
Cool, Windy, a Little Rain: This area belongs to subtropical monsoon climate. They are mostly located in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River. So in general, the weather is wetter more moderate than that in the northern China. But in early September, it may be still hot in some cities and the temperature can be above 30°C. As for the Yellow Mountain in Huangshan, it is about 6-8°C colder in the mountain than the city because of the altitude.
|Southern China||Guilin(Guangxi), Zhangjiajie(Hunan) and other places||Avg Temperature: 12°C~28°C
Cool, Comfortable, Some Rainy Days: Guilin and Zhangjiajie in September still remain some features of summer but not that hot because of the high greening rate. There are about 10 rainy days so there are chances that the mountains in Zhangjiajie are covered in mist, but you can still enjoy your trip.
|Southwestern China||Chengdu (Sichuan), Yunnan, Guizhou, Chongqing and other places||Avg Temperature: 13°C~28°C
Some Rainy Days, Slightly Hot (some regions are cold): Most areas in Sichuan, Yunnan and Guizhou provinces belong to the subtropical monsoon climate zone, while the higher-altitude areas belong to the alpine plateau climate zone. Cities in eastern Sichuan (like Chengdu), Guizhou and Central Yunnan (Kunming and Dali) are still a little hot, while the places in western or northern Sichuan (Jiuzhaigou, Daocheng Yading...) and part Yunnan (Shangri-La) would be a little cold because of the high altitude.
|Northwestern China||Gansu, Xinjiang, Ningxia and other places||Avg Temperature: 5°C~30°C
Sunny, Gradually Cold, a Little Dry: This region has a wild climate ranging from subtropical humid monsoon climate to alpine cold climate and dry climate. Most days are sunny and you do not need to worry about the rainfall. Though the temperature can be as high as 30°C, at night it can be only 5°C or colder. So a coat is needed and moisturizer, sunglasses are recommended to protect yourself from the strong sunlight and dry air.
|Southern Coastal China||Hong Kong, Guangzhou (Guangdong), Shenzhen, Macau, Hainan, Xiamen and other places||Avg Temperature: 21°C~36°C
Rainy, Still Hot: Most of the region belongs to the subtropical monsoon climate zone and partially belongs to the tropical monsoon climate zone. In September, this part shows few signs of autumn. It is still hot and it is like you are still in summer. Rainy days are common in this period and there are chances to encounter rainstorm. Be prepared before arranging your trip.
|Northeastern China||Harbin (Heilongjiang), Jilin, Shenyang (Liaoning) and other places||Avg Temperature: 5°C~26°C
Gradually Chilly, Windy, Dry: Most of northeastern China belongs to the temperate monsoon climate zone. The temperature in early September is around 25°C and it is very likely to rain, then it gets cold quickly and soon you will need winter coats. Rainfall decreases and then it is usually windy or sunny. Autumn in northeastern China is very short.
|Qinghai-Tibet Plateau||Qinghai, Tibet||Avg Temperature: 7°C~25°C
Variable, Drizzling, Cold at Night: Most areas of Qinghai and Tibet are located on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, belonging to the plateau mountain climate zone. The most distinctive feature is that the temperature differs a lot between day and night. In September, it rains a little but would not affect your trip, only bring some coolness.
|Inner-Mongolia||Inner Mongolia||Avg Temperature: 8°C~20°C
Cool, Large Temperature Difference: Inner Mongolia covers a large region from west to east, which results in its different weathers. Generally, the temperature of the eastern part is about 8°C lower that of the western part. There is also a sharp temperature difference between day and night.
What to Wear in China in September
What to wear in September mainly depends on where you go. In early September, most cities are in a high temperature and you can just wear a long-sleeved shirt, but if you are going to highland, a coat is needed. In middle and late September, in most cases, a blouse with a jacket or light coat will be enough in cities like Beijing, Xian, Shanghai, Chengdu, Guilin... But if you want to travel to high-altitude places such as Lhasa, western Sichuan (for example: Daocheng Yading), Shangri-La in Yunnan, etc. or stay a night on the Mountains like Yellow Mountain, Huashan Mountain, Mount Emei... a thick coat is needed. In addition, pay close attention to the weather forcast and prepare a light raincoat just in case. If you are still not sure what to wear or pack, feel free to contact our professional travel consultants for more suggestions.
8 Best Places to Visit in September in China
It is no exaggeration to say that it is suitable to travel to any place in China in September. It still remains the vitality of summer, the color of autumn and there are chances to see snow mountains in plateaus. Popular destinations such as Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Guilin will welcome you with fine weather. There are also some scenes that you can only see in this time such as dream-like Kanas in Xinjiang and Longji Rice Terraces in Guilin. Here we have selected top 8 places to go in China in September to offer you more inspirations for a China autumn trip!
- Ancient Capital with Royal Palaces and Magnificent Great Wall
• Temperature: 15℃-26℃
Beijing is usually known as the capital of China with profound history, it is true but Beijing is more than that. Beijing has always been a hot destination for both home and abroad visitors throughout the year and September is one of the best months to visit Beijing. At that time, the rainy season has gone, the summer heat is fading away, the summer vacation ends and the Golden Week is yet to come. What’s a better time to well arrange your Beijing trip on a fine day with comfortable weather and relatively fewer tourists?
In September, it is highly recommended to hike the magnificent Great Wall such as Mutianyu and Jinshanling section. It may be still covered by green forest or show signs of early spring with yellow leaves. But what’s for sure is that when standing high on the Great Wall, both your view and mind are broadened. In this comfortable month, it is also suitable to idle about in the Forbidden City, Summer Palace or take a rickshaw tour in the criss-crossing Hutongs.
Top-Recommended Beijing Tours in September:
4 Days Classic Beijing Tour Package (Leisure Paced)
4 Days Classic Beijing Tour with Jinshanling Great Wall Hiking
- Cruise on Li River and Encounter Golden Rice Terraces
• Temperature: 22℃-30℃
At the southern end of the "Xiangxi Corridor" lies Guilin, which has enjoyed the reputation of "the best landscape in the world" since ancient times. Guilin is famous for its natural landscape, colorful customs and leisurely and comfortable life. The mountains here are in various forms, the water here is as bright and clean as a mirror, and the unique folk customs and cultures of more than ten ethnic minorities, such as Zhuang, Yao, Miao and Dong, make this beautiful land a place every one yearns for. In September, Guilin has less rainfall, pleasant climate and moderate water volume, which is suitable for a cruise on Li River or a biking exploration along Yulong River.
However, the best highlight of traveling Guilin in September is the Longji Rice Terraces. It is just the time when the rice fields come to harvest and it is one of the most appealing times to see the golden fields swaying in the autumn wind. In the rice waves, the beauty of nature and the joy of harvest are blended, giving people a feast to eye, a sense of satisfaction and the calmness of mind.
Top-Recommended Guilin Tours in September:
4 Days Guilin Highlights Tour (Li River, Yangshuo & Longji Terraces)
5 Days Best Guilin In-depth Vacation (Li River, Yangshuo & Longji Terraces)
- Step into the Magical Avatar World
• Temperature: 18℃-26℃
After the hot and rainy summer, here comes the best season to visit Zhangjiajie - autumn. Three thousand stone peaks rise from the ground, and eight hundred streams meander among the peaks. People travelling to Zhangjiajie are all overwhelmed by Wulingyuan's peculiar sandstone peak forest landform and magnificent karst landscape.
As we all know, the mountain scenery is much affected by the weather. Zhangjiajie is like being cast by a layer of mist on rainy days, while the clear September will provide you with a larger chance to appreciate the green mountain view which is amazing enough to blow your mind. No wonder it is the inspiration of Avatar. It is truly a natural wonder. When you are in Zhangjiajie, do not forget to take an exciting adventure on the 430m Glass Bridge hanging about 400m above the valley bottom, have a leisure stroll along the Ten-mile Gallery, or pay a visit to Huangshi Village with an elevation of 1080 meters.
Top-Recommended Zhangjiajie Tours in September:
3 Days Classic Zhangjiajie Natural Wonders Tour
4 Days Zhangjiajie Exciting Adventure with Glass Bridge
No.4: Kanas (Xinjiang)
- Meet Incomparable Autumn Scenery in the Garden of Gods
• Temperature: 7℃-25℃
Kanas Scenic Area is located in the middle part of Altay Mountain in Xinjiang, at the border of China, Kazakhstan, Russia and Mongolia, with an area of 10,030 square kilometers. Though a little hard to reach, it is endowed with incomparable scenery with lakes, forests, villages, valleys, grasslands… Kanas in September ushers in the most beautiful season of the year and Kanas Lake is the most renowned.
Kanas in Mongolian means "beautiful and mysterious lake". Embraced by snow mountains, grasslands and birch forest, Kanas Lake is known as "fairyland on earth and garden of Gods". When the autumn wind blows and the fallen leaves flutter, the beautiful Kanas, like a gentle feather, falls among the mountains of Altay, shining with charming brilliance. The lake stretches in the valley, leading you to the meandering Wolong Bay, Shenxian Bay, Moon Bay. At Guanyu Tai (Fish-watching Terrace), 2/3 of the Kanas Lake will come to your sight and you can see the Youyi Peak in distance. Keep walking, you will encounter a dream-like village - Hemu Village, surrounded by trees, snow mountains and rivers. It is one of the famous Tuwa villages, where Tuwa people live together and maintain the most primary traditions. In here, you are like stepping into an otherworldly land integrating the original village with nature.
No.5: Changbai Mountain
- Different Forest Zones with a Lake in the Sky
• Temperature: 6℃-22℃
Changbai Mountain is located at the junction of Jilin Province and North Korea.There are four landscape zones from the foot to the top of Changbai Mountain, which contains more than 1400 kinds of plants. In September, the leaves of different tree species change color one after another from red, golden to purple and dark green, creating a fairy-tale like colorful and pure autumn with the snow capped mountains in the distance.
Tianchi Lake on Changbai Mountain is the largest volcanic lake in China and the deepest alpine lake in the world. Unlike most lakes which are in low-lying lands, Tianchi is like a lake in the sky, whose beauty catches your sight in surprise. You need to go through the vast forest and climb the exposed volcanic rocks to the peak until the Tianchi Lake suddenly appears in front of you. In the cool September, there are more sunny days, which means it is more likely to see the Tianchi Lake. People always say that the Tianchi Lake, embraced by the sixteen peaks of Changbai Mountain, in autumn is the most beautiful with the water becoming cooler and bluer. Looking down from the mountain top, the Tianchi Lake is clearly outlined. Under the sunshine, the water reflects deep or light colors and when the mist comes, it adds more charm to the picture. The Changbai Waterfall, Lvyuan Pool, underground forest and other major scenic spots are even more unforgettable in autumn.
No.6: Silk Road
- Unveil the Mysterious Mask of Northwestern China
• Temperature: 5℃-30℃
The Silk Road originated from the Western Han Dynasty (202-8 BC) when Emperor Wu sent Zhang Qian to the western regions to open up a land passage from Chang'an (today's Xi'an), the capital, to Central Asia and West Asia via Gansu and Xinjiang, and to connect Mediterranean countries. Now Silk Road in China to a great extend refers to the northwestern area including Gansu, Qinghai, Xinjiang, etc.
This is a mysterious land with profound cultural and historical background integrated in the desert, ruins, ancient passes and caves. September is right the time for a northwestern China exploration as it is neither too hot nor too cold and has fewer rainy days. Mogao Cave - the brightest star on the ancient Silk Road with brilliant treasure of Buddhist arts is what you can not miss. On the Mingsha (Sand Echoing) Mountain around Crescent Lake, you will see what an oasis is in the vast desert and can enjoy many sand activities or try a camel ride. Keep heading southeast, you will meet solemn Jiayuguan and colorful Zhangye Danxia Landform. Or you can travel northwest to Turpan, Urumqi, and Kashgar in Xinjiang.
Top-Recommended Silk Road Tours in September:
6 Days Hexi Corridor Discovery Tour(Zhangye/Jiayuguan/Dunhuang)
7 Days Ancient Silk Road Treasure Tour from Tianshui
No.7: Mount Emei
- Holy Land of Samantabhadra Bodhisattva and Wonderland for Mountain Scene
• Temperature: 6℃-16℃
Mount Emei (Emeishan) in Sichuan is a hot destination for both Buddhist followers and nature lovers. With an altitude of 3099m, people can feel four seasons on the way climbing from the mountain foot to the top. It is still a little hot in Sichuan in September but it is not the case in Mount Emei. The cool shadow of dense forest and gentle breeze flowing in the mountains is such a refreshment.
Mount Emei is not just a mountain. On your way up to the Golden Summit, you will encounter the crystal Qingyin Lake, many Buddhist temples such as Wannian Temple, Baoguo Temple, Xixiangchi Temple which are still with waves of believers and endowed with legendary stories, not to mention the naughty monkeys that jump from one branch to another and try to get some food from you. When you finally get to the Golden Summit, the 48 m tall Samantabhadra (Puxian Buddha) solemnly sits there waiting for you with dazzling brightness, especially on sunny days. Then all your efforts are worth it, standing 3079 m above the sea level, seeing the magnificent Buddha and amazing sea of clouds.
Top-Recommended Mount Emei Tours in September:
2 Days Mount Emei Leisure Hiking Tour from Chengdu
4 Days Classic Leshan Giant Buddha & Mount Emei Tour from Chengdu
- Holy Temples, Snow Mountains & Colorful Forests
• Temperature: 8℃-25℃
Tibet has always been a holy land for adventurers, Buddhists and common travellers. In September, it is not very hot but still strong in ultraviolet rays and has a sharp temperature difference between day and night because of the high altitude. Autumn scenery is what you can not miss here with mirror-like lakes, mysterious temples, and snow mountains.
If you are in Lhasa, Potala Palace - the plateau place closest to the sky and Tibet's largest and most complete ancient palace building, Jokhang Temple where countless devout pilgrims show their respect to Buddha everyday, Sera Monastery which is famous for the Buddhism debating… are all worth a go. For holy lakes, Namtso Lake close to Lhasa is the most visited one. Of course there are Yamdrok Lake in Shannan and Lake Manasarovar in Ngari, etc. If you are looking for more natural sights, do not miss the treasured Nyingchi. Nyingchi is know for the romantic peach blossoms in spring, but in autumn, it has become a scene you never see with the green mountains and dense forests beginning to show a gradual change of colors of red, yellow, blue, green and purple. The silver Nnamjagbarwa Mountain, golden autumn, and fiery sunset… How can anyone resist such a beautiful scene?
How to Plan a China Autumn Tour
Choose A Destination According to Your Interest: It is comfortable to travel to most destinations in China in autumn, so you just need to choose a destination according to your interest. If you want to explore more about China’s history and culture, Beijing, Xian, Shanxi, Shandong and Gansu are all recommended. If you want to view or photograph the best autumn colors, we suggest you go to Jiuzhai Valley, Kanas, Western Sichuan, Wuyuan, Dongchuan Red Earth and some other forests or mountains or grasslands with colorful autumn views. If you want to stretch your legs and enjoy natural landscape at the same time, Yellow Mountain, Zhangjiajie, Mount Emei and some other mountains are perfect. If you want a relaxing journey with some autumn landscape, we advise you take a Yangtze River Cruise and visit some beautiful cities like Hangzhou, Nanjing, Xiamen, Chengdu, etc.
Try to Avoid Traveling in China’s Golden Week: China’s Golden Week usually starts from the first day to the seventh or eighth day in October. It is the longest national holiday in China and most tourist destinations will be crowded with domestic travelers. If you have to travel in these days, we suggest you visit some remoter areas in Yunnan, Western Sichuan, Guizhou, Tibet, etc. and avoid Beijing, Xian, Shanghai, Guilin, Jiuzhai Valley, etc.
Pack and Dress According to the Climate in Destinations: Generally, the weather of autumn is mild and comfortable, warmer in September and cooler in November. Because of the vast land, there is a large temperature difference between two cities in northern China and southern China. If you go to Kanas in September, you need to prepare sweaters and down coat. If you go to Haikou in November, T-shirt is enough.
Top Recommended China Autumn Tours:
☞ 6 Days Classic Beijing Xian High-speed Train Tour
☞ 5 Days Yellow Mountain Autumn Landscape Tour with Shaiqiu Experience
☞ 6 Days Western Sichuan Autumn Sightseeing Tour
☞ 9 Days Kanas Lake Fairyland Tour
Travel China in September with China Discovery
Want to enjoy a worry-free china tour in September? Just travel with China Discovery! China Discovery is a leading travel agency offering private China tour packages with great flexibility, comfort and personalized services for decades. We have got 1,460+ good reviews on TripAdvisor.com, and 4,050+ China travel reviews from the customers. Before your travel, our experienced travel expert will communicate with you one-to-one and organize everything (accommodation, transfer, itinerary…) well. In your trip, our local travel guide will accompany you all the way and introduce the highlights of every place to you. Private transfer service allows you to enjoy a comfortable and safe trip. All the experience can be tailor-made according to your group size, travel time, physical condition, personal interest, travel budget and other needs. Please feel free to contact us if you need any help!
Keep Reading about China Autumn Travel
- Best China Autumn Tours
- Popular China Tours in September
- Popular China Tours in October
- Popular China Tours in November
- Top Places to Visit in Autumn
- China Weather in Autumn & Dressing Tips
- China Golden Week Travel Tips
- Our Real Customers' Travel Stories of September
- Our Real Customers' Travel Stories of October
- Our Real Customers' Travel Stories of November
- Inspiring China Travel Photos in Autumn
Learn More about China Seasonal Travel
- Best China Spring Tours
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- Best China Winter Tours
- China Weather Guide
- Best Time to Visit China
- Top China Seasonal Destinations
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- China Weather in Summer (June-August)
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