Deciding which travel season you want to travel China in will have a considerable impact on your trip. It’s not until you’ve traveled China during a Chinese national holiday that you can truly appreciate the fact that there are nearly 1.4 billion people living in the Middle Kingdom.
The 3 peak travel times every year are Chinese New Year (usually between January and February), summer vacation for students from school (between July and August), and the October 1st holiday known as National Week or Golden Week (October 1-7).
If you don’t like crowds but love good weather, traveling after the first week of October is best. Tourists will have already returned home and prices for accommodations, goods, and services will have gone back down to normal. Plus, the summer heat will have already tapered off, so you can expect a nice cool climate to enjoy your trip!
When should I go?
If you’re looking for the best weather to travel in, consider Spring (March – May) and Autumn (September – November). The rains are light and the weather is favorable for being outdoors. There are some holidays to be aware of during this period for the sake of crowds, mainly National Day and Qingming Festival, which is a 3-day holiday that will have people touring their local areas.
Living in China? Ask your employer if you can work through the holiday and take leave either before or after peak travel time. It can’t hurt, and you’ll enjoy the beauty of traveling in peace.
If that’s not possible, consider leaving for your holiday a few days after the national holiday begins, and adding some annual leave days on the end so you can experience traveling without the crowds.
Finding some peace and quiet
If you’re looking to save money, avoid the crowds, and don’t mind the cold, consider a winter holiday! All around the most quiet time of the year in terms of tourists and picture takers all around the country.
If you travel between December 20th and February 5th you’ll have the opportunity to check out the Harbin Ice Festival, which is the winter wonderland you’ve always dreamed about. Seriously. Click here to check out our previous post on some of best winter sightseeing China has to offer!
If you absolutely must travel during the peak season, make the decision at least 3-4 months in advance, book your tickets, arrange your accommodations and get a tour guide! Especially during the busy times, having a tour guide who has picked up all of your attraction tickets and arranged your meals is invaluable. Just the time alone you will save is worth it, as most guides have the ability to skip lines that solo travelers and unguided groups do not.
You can find a variety of private and join-in tours, along with activities and services all over China, good for different seasons too. Click HERE to get started.
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