Spring and autumn are often recommended as the best times to visit China, but this vast country is well worth visiting at any time of the year. Summer, from June to August, is another great time to visit and is popular with many tourists. But if you’re planning a summer trip, you need to be prepared for the crowds. Make the most of your summer in China by reading this essential guide.
Summer is a popular time for tourists and locals to enjoy some of China’s very best attractions and activities. As in the UK, school’s out in China, meaning students and families with school-age children flock to China’s most popular cities and towns.
It’s easy to recommend avoiding the big cities during this busier period, but your China trip wouldn’t be complete without seeing the most popular destinations as well as those hidden gems.
Avoiding the busiest times of day is the best bet if you want to enjoy the city’s more popular attractions. Visit attractions either before 11am or after 4pm to see them at their quietest. Without the crowds, you’ll be able to get some great pictures!
Private tours are another simple way to beat the crowds and stay as comfortable as possible. Subways, buses, and other public transportation will be extremely busy. Travelling privately is an option.
Seeing the sights on foot will also help you enjoy your destination in a whole different light. There are many gems that you’ll see when walking that you’d miss travelling by car.
We’re not going to lie to you – summer is hot in China, with temperatures hitting 33°C in some parts of the country. This average daily temperature may not sound too bad but when sightseeing in heavily congested cities, these temperatures can become very uncomfortable. Staying hydrated is the key to coping with the hot and humid conditions. Find further information on water safety in China.
April to July is also classed as rainy season. South and east China are the worst hit areas with rain clouds making their way north as the season wears on. If you intend to explore a variety of destinations during your summer in China, your mode of transport could help you survive rainy season as TripSavvy explains:
“If you are traveling within China, try to choose trains instead of airplanes if possible. Air traffic usually gets severely backed up during times of heavy rains. Even if you’re in Beijing, where it’s dry, and you’re trying to get to Shanghai, where they’re experiencing thunderstorms, you might have trouble because flights can’t take off from Shanghai so your Beijing flight will be delayed. Take the train if you can. It is the only mode of transportation in China that runs mostly on time.”
Travelling China via the Trans-Siberian Express unlocks many exciting destinations too. Trips can be tailor-made to your exact requirements, with flexible routes and timings making for a trip of a lifetime. Being flexible with your travel plans will also help you prepare for whatever the Chinese weather brings.
Summer offers a jam-packed calendar of events and activities, meaning you can enjoy more than just sightseeing. A number of festivals take place during the summer months, the Dragon Boat Festival being the best known traditional celebration and holiday.
In addition to celebrating like a local with the locals, early or later summer is the perfect time to enjoy sunny hikes in China’s beautiful countryside. Tibet, Yunnan, Guilin, and Zhangjiajie are all must-see destinations for lovers of the outdoors, with the mountainous and highland scenery able to be explored on foot in the right conditions.
Just booked your summer in China? Prepare for your trip with this summer packing list.