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China holidays

-9°C - 35°C

This vast country witnesses all kinds of weather. Winters can be harsh in the mountainous areas whereas summers (July and August) can be extremely warm. This is also when you’ll experience increased rainfall.

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10- 13 hours

Ranked among the best in the world and considered the best in China, Hong Kong International Airport (HRK) is one of the country’s major airports. Alternatively, you can also fly to Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK), China’s busiest.

Weather and climate in China

As it’s such a vast country, the weather in China is not easy to summarise. In the more northern cities of Beijing and Shanghai, the weather is temperate, with hot and dry summers and cold and wet winters. Temperatures can reach the high 30s but tend to hover around 25°C most of the time.

Further south, towards Hong Kong, the weather is more extreme, with high heat and intense rain sweeping in from the southern China Sea. But this has its advantages. The beaches are some of the best in Asia, so you can take full advantage of the coast and its warmth. The beaches have been known to reach a toasty 35°C, but with a cool sea breeze, you’ll be fine as long as you have your sunscreen.

For trips to the Terracotta Warriors, be wary of travelling in the winter months, as the more central regions are often hit with the worst of the cold and rain. However, if you can brave the chill, you’ll be rewarded with a great bargain on hotels, as the off-season doesn’t attract nearly as many travellers.

It’s hard to predict the weather if you’re travelling to the Great Wall sites, as it crosses both deserts and mountains. If you’re looking for the best views, late spring and early autumn will have less rain, and as a result, less fog, so your trip to these incredible wonders won’t be obscured by mist.

Summers in China tend to be very hot and humid. If you’re planning a holiday to China, spring and autumn are often the best times to visit China. From March to early May and late July to early October, you’ll be able to dress almost exactly the same as in the UK. During these times, there’s a similar climate to home, although with a bit less rain.

If you’re a festival fiend, then you’ll have to brave the summer heat for the best on offer. And be careful to avoid monsoons that can affect the southern and southwestern parts of the country, where run-off from the mountains causes flash flooding.

The cold winters can catch travellers out. Taking a warm jacket or coat is essential if you’re going to be travelling between October and February when cold snaps can strike. Especially at night, temperatures can drop to below freezing, but during the day, a nice fleece should keep you warm as you explore monuments and cities.

If in doubt, keep an eye on the weather forecast. Especially in Hong Kong, there are frequent English broadcasts on television, as well as detailed information online to keep you up-to-date with the weather in China. Make sure you’re prepared, have the right clothes and don’t get caught without a coat.
 
 

China is best for...

 
Food enthusiasts: China welcomes those with an adventurous palette, and it’s been said that the local street food is as good as what you find in the restaurants, if not better! Varying from place to place, opt for peking duck in Beijing, dim sum in Hong Kong and steamed crab in Shanghai. And don’t be surprised if you find some surprises along the way.

Sightseers: Home to some of the world’s most iconic sites including the Great Wall of China, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, there’s so much to see in China. Get your cameras at the ready for the life-size Terracotta Army. Or, explore the Forbidden City, a palace complex made up of courtyards and over 900 buildings.

Families: Kids are welcomed with open arms in China, with plenty of child-friendly attractions at your fingertips. Make a beeline for its theme parks including two Disney resorts, Hong Kong Ocean Park and Beijing Happy Valley. There are also plenty of museums, zoos and aquariums that are perfect for a family day out. 

Fast facts for China

Language: Mandarin is the most popular language in China, followed by Cantonese. 
As the most used foreign language, especially in urban areas, you’ll find plenty of tours and menus in English. But it won’t do you any harm brushing up on a few basic phrases before you arrive.

Currency: The official currency of China is the Renminbi.

Local time: China is 8 hours ahead of the UK (GMT+8). 

Fly to: Hong Kong International Airport (HRK) can be found on the island of Chep Lap Kok and will take around 30 minutes to reach the city centre. For a shorter journey, you can always hop on the train, which takes just over 20 minutes.  

Flight time from UK: 10 - 13 hours

Tourist Information: Further tourist information can be found at China’s National Tourist Office website.

Visa / Health: Before you travel, check the latest advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.

 

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