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.