Yunnan Weather & Seasons | Yunnan Best Time to Visit


Yunnan is located on the southwestern part of China. Featuring in diverse climate types of north-tropical, south-subtropical central-subtropical, etc, the weather in Yunnan province varies in different regions and cities. Also the Yunnan temperature changes dramatically between days and nights in one region. Just as the vulgar saying goes, “one mountain experiences four seasons at the same time and different weather within 10 miles.”

Best Time to Visit Yunnan, China

The top 3 hottest destination in Yunnan, which is Kunming, Dali and Lijiang are suitable for sightseeing all year around. If you want to visit Shangri-La and Deqin, you’d better go during April to October and avoid the rainy months, July and August. Winter is the best season to visit the southern part of Yunnan, especially Yuanyang and Xishuangbanna. The astonishing scenery of Lugu Lake is at its best in summer. With more travel info, please check the Yunnan weather forecast before your Yunnan tour.

Weather Forecast & Best Time to Visit for Major Cities in Yunnan:

Average Yunnan Temperature by Month

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Yunnan Seasons to Go

Yunnan Spring - March to May

Normally, Spring is from March to May, which is one of the best time to visit Yunnan. The temperature is from 8˚C - 20˚C and changes largely from day to night, so you should take sweater, light coat to keep warm.

Spring Things to Do

Kunming as the spring city can be top destination to go and visit the Stone Forest and join the local folk by visiting the Green Lake and experience the leisure life.

During Spring, the white buckwheat flowers and potato flowers covering the whole Dongchuan Red Land change this area into red, white and green, which is amazing under the blue sky. Also, Dali Ancient City shows fantastic look in Spring with refreshing vigorous sightseeing, azure sky, soft clouds, multiple flowers, warm orange sunshine…, so you will surely feel life is really wonderful. Visit Lijiang in spring, you may still have a chance to appreciate the magnificent snow-covered Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. Spring is also the best seasons to hike to the Tiger Leaping Gorge.

Yunnan Ethnic Festivals in Spring

Sanduo Festival (Lugu Lake) held on every lunar February 8th is one of the most vital festivals of Naxi minority.

Third Month Fair (Dali Old Town) during every lunar March 15th – March 21st is one of the best times to appreciate Bai people’s artistic talent.

Water-Splashing Festival (Xishuangbanna) held during mid-April every year, on the around 3 days, all the young and elder, male and female bath and dress up to join the Buddhist ceremony in the temple.

Recommended Best Yunnan Tour in Spring:

>> 6 Days Yunnan Essence Tour (Kunming / Dali / Lijiang)

>> 10 Days Beautiful Yunnan Tour with Dongchuan Red Land (Kunming / Dali / Lijiang / Shangri-La / Dongchuan Red Land)

Kunming Stone Forest Kunming Stone Forest
Dali Anicent City Cangshan Mountain & Erhai Lake in Dali

Yunnan Summer - June to August

From June to late September is the Summer time when the temperature reaches highest over 30 ˚C among the year, but not stiflingly hot with so much rain in this season. Tourists should better take sunscreen, umbrella and dresses or long-sleeve shirt.

Summer Things to Do

There are kinds of places for you to avoid the summer heat, such as visit the Lashi Lake and Lugu Lake if you visit Lijiang. Visit Lugu Lake in spring, you can enjoy the pleasant and cool weather with gentle breezes blowing, mist floating in the midair after rainy, azalea in pink and white blossom in the mountain…Or join the local ethnic festivals hold in Kunming or other cities in Yunnan, such as Raosanling in Dali, Horse Racing Festival in Shangri-La, Kuzhazha Festival in Yuanyang and . If you go to Lijiang Old Town during this season, you will feel her especially romantic flavor, because rain makes the old city more appealing with much Chinese antique feel, and more, the night view of many lights under the sparkling stars is of more charm.

Yunnan Ethnic Festivals in Summer

Raosanling (Dali) held on every late Lunar April is one of the important festivals of Bai minority. During the 3-4 days, Bai people would dress up in their unique costumes to walk along the three temples, singing and dancing, worshipping for the King of the past Dali Kingdom, good harvest, peace of the world.

Horse Racing Festival (Shangri-La) is held from lunar May 5th. On the three days, Shangri-La is changed more charming with vigorous spring blossoms. People prepare hearty picnics, horsemen give their best performance in the competitions and shows for your new appreciate.

Torch Festival (Chuxiong, Kunming, Shaxi Ancient Town) which is the grandest traditional festival of Yi people and celebrated from lunar June 24th or 25th, for about 3 days. They hold ceremonious sacrifice activities, worshipping for the heaven, fire, ancestors, praying for a prosperous life and good harvest of the coming year.

Ku Zha Zha Festival (Yuanyang Rice Terraces), celebrated in lunar June, Hani people worship the “mushroom houses” and farm tools, and make a local swing, etc. to celebrate a great harvest in advance.

Recommended Best Yunnan Tour in Summer:

>> 6 Days Best of Yunnan Tour (Lijiang / Shangri-La / Kunming)

>> 7 Days Yunnan Paradise Tour to Lijiang, Shangri-La & Lugu Lake (Lijiang / Shangri-La / Lugu Lake)

Lugu Lake in Lijiang Summer Resort - Lugu Lake
Horse Racing Festival in Shangri-La Horse Racing Festival in Shangri-La

Yuanyang Autumn - September to November

Autumn is one of the peak seasons for Yunnan travel, not only for the weather is becoming cool, but also to appreciate the golden nature. The average temperature in daytime is around 20 ˚C so you can wear some casual clothing is suitable.

Autumn Things to Do

Autumn is the best season to visit Shangri-La, after the summer of rainfall, all colors are becoming more brighter. Don’t miss the colorful wonderland in Pudacuo National Park, since it is covered with various kinds of blossoms. It is also a good season to do outdoor activities, you can plan a hiking tour to Yubeng Village and enjoy the magnificent beauty of Meli Snow Mountain. If you are afraid of high altitude sickness but want to have an exciting adventure, Tiger Leaping Gorges would be a perfect choice for you. If you go to Lijiang during autumn, don’t miss the turquoise lakes in Blue Moon Valley. The fairyland for photographers - Dongchuan Red Land is a must-go place in autumn, enjoy the colorful palettes with different plants coming out in shapes of red land, you can’t help but marvel at the uncanny workmanship of nature.

Yunnan Ethnic Festivals in Autumn

The Tenth Month Festival (Yuanyang Rice Terraces) is the most important to Hani people. Held in the lunar October, the festival lasts for about 13 days. Since it is vital as the Chinese Lunar New Year, local ethnic people prepare multiple tasteful cuisines, put on brand new clothes, worship for the heaven, earth and ancestors, give presents to friends and relatives, and enjoy the beaming festival with family members.

Recommended Best Yunnan Tour in Autumn:

>> 8 Days Classic Yunnan Tour (Kunming / Dali / Lijiang / Shangri-La)

>> 11 Days Amazing Yunnan Tour (Kunming / Jianshui / Yuanyang / Dali / Lijiang / Shangri-La)

Meili Snow Mountain Best Time to Meili Snow Mountain
Shangri-La in Autumn Autumn in Yubeng Village

Yunnan Winter - December to February

Winter in Yunnan is not too cold and some regions still have temperature of over 20˚C. To well-prepared, you should bring some warm coat, light jacket and take sunglass as well.

Winter Things to Do

For the low latitude, there is no cold winter in the southern part of Yunnan, two destinations can’t be miss in winter are Yuanyang and Xishuangbanna. If you love photography, Yuanyang Rice Terrace is never missed out after been irrigated during the January and February. With nice weather, you can catch the wonderful scene when the pellucid water surface makes a reverberating reflection in the early morning mixed with thin fog before the sun rising, which is definitely worth visiting. Winter is the best season to visit Xishaungbanna - the tropical kingdom in China. A tour to Xishuangbanna, tourists can escape the chilly winter and enjoy tropical rain forests, diverse plants and wild animals, Theravada Buddhist complex and ethnic customs of Dai minority. Luoping spring comes early every year with very comfortable weather. Visit Luoping in February, you can immerse in thousand square meters Rapeseed Flowers is blooming flourishingly in the whole county.

Moreover, winter is a great season to visit the snowy places, like Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in Lijiang, Meili Snow Mountain in Shangri-La, Cangshan Mountain in Dali, when you will enjoy the really breathtaking scenery of the silver snow world on the peak.

Featured Activities & Festivals in Winter

Gaozhuang Starlight night market (Xishaungbanna) is a shining visiting card of Xishuangbanna. Ignited with diverse colorful lights and neon along the streets and river, this night stroll place is really attractive for you to take a leisure stroll to see various local snacks, fruits, specialties, ethnic costumes, handicrafts, etc.

Rice Terraces Hiking (Yuanyang), hiking among the rice paddies is the best way to throw yourselves into the beautiful scenery. We recommend you the classic route between Pugao Laozhai and Azheke.

Luoping International Canola Flower Culture Festival (Luoping), every year from the late January to the early April, thousand square meters Rapeseed Flowers is blooming flourishingly in the whole county of Luoping. To capture the best scenery, you’d better come at the end of February to the early March.

Recommended Best Yunnan Tour in Winter:

>> 5 Days Kunming Xishuangbanna Contrast Scenery & Culture Tour

>> 4 Days Kunming Luoping Canola Flowers Tour

Yuanyang Rice Terraces Yuanyang Rice Terraces
Xishuangbanna The Tropical Kingdom - Xishuangbanna
Luoping Rapeseed Flowers in Luoping

How to Plan a Yunnan China Tour

The weather in Yunnan province varies in different regions and cities. You may plan your tour according to highlights of each season. Kunming, Dali, and Lijiang are the hottest tour destinations in Yunnan and are suitable for travel all year around, most people would plan a 5-6 days tour to explore these places.

Recommended Yunnan Classic Tour Package:

▶ 6 Days Yunnan Essence Tour (Kunming / Dali / Lijiang)

For tourists who has more days can continue their trip to the Lost Paradise - “Shangri-La”, enjoy the plateau scenery in Pudacuo National Park, admire the No.1 holy snow mountain in China - Meili Snow Mountain, learn more about local Tibetan lifestyle and pay a visit to Garden Sumtsaling Monastery.

Recommended Yunnan Shangri-La Tour Package:

▶ 6 Days Best of Yunnan Tour (Lijiang / Shangri-La / Kunming)

▶ 8 Days Classic Yunnan Tour (Kunming / Dali / Lijiang / Shangri-La)

If you want to cover all the highlights of Yunnan, arrange 10 days or longer will be great for the in-depth exploration. Highlight your trip by visiting photography paradises - Yuanyang and Dongchuan. Or if you want to enjoy tropical scenery, head south to the tropical kingdom Xishuangbanna or dreamlike land Puzhehei.

Recommended In-Depth Yunnan Tour Package:

▶ 11 Days Amazing Yunnan Tour (Kunming / Yuanyang / Jianshui / Kunming / Dali / Lijiang / Shangri-La)

▶ Read More about How to Plan a Yunnan Tour

Lijiang in Yunnan Lijiang in Yunnan
Shangri-La Pudacuo National Park in Shangri-La

Travel Yunnan with China Discovery

China Discovery has been the leading online travel agency for over 10 years and we are specialized in offering different tours in diverse Yunnan, including Kunming toursLijiang toursDali toursShangri-La toursYuanyang Rice Terraces tours, Dongchuan Red Land tours, Xishuangbanna tours...

No matter you want to put one simple destination into your trip or cover several destinations together or even extend your Yunnan tours all over China like Beijing, Xian, Guilin, Shanghai, Chengdu, Zhangjiajie, Hong Kong, Guizhou, Tibet, China Discovery can provide you best tour guides and experienced drivers with comfortable private cars in any of the destinations. Our English-speaking tour guide will accompany you all the way, showing you the best traveling route and telling beautiful stories of the colorful Yunnan. The tour can be tailor-made according to your group size, time, physical condition, plan, interests, budget and other special need. Please feel free to feel free to contact us if you need any help or customize the tour with free quotation!

We have helped many global travelers enjoy their memorable trips to Yunnan for the past few years. Among them Mr. Elie & his wife from Belgium had 15 great days in Yunnan during their 69 days China trip customized with us and shared us their special travel story. Travel with China Discovery to create your wonderful Yunnan trip memories!

Recommended Yunnan Tours

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

Monks Debating at Sera Monastery

10 Days Yunnan Tibet Unique Discovery Tour

Kunming / Lijiang / Shangri-La / Lhasa

Guilin Li River Scenery on 20 RMB Chinese Note, Taken by Claire from UK in October 2021

9 Days Guilin Karst Landscape & Diverse Yunnan Tour

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Carrie from Malaysia visited Lijiang Old Town in 2019

10 Days Beijing & Yunnan Treasure Tour (5 Destinations)

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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.

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