Best Time to Visit Kunming
Peak Season: April to October
Although the travel expenses, including hotel and flight ticket costs, are a little bit higher during the peak season, the appealing natural landscape more than compensates for this. However, a word of caution, May to October is the rainy season in Kunming, and a downpour may occur at any time. Thus, an umbrella, raincoat and good footwear are very necessary, although the showers usually do not last for long.
Slack Season: November to March
For budget travelers, this season is a good time to go to Kunming, because they are able to enjoy equally beautiful scenery at less expense on transportation, hotel and scenic area tickets. Also, they can enjoy the sightseeing at a leisurely pace with far fewer tourists around. Here, though the weather during the time is not chilly, tourists need to pay attention to the large variance between day and night temperatures.
Times to Avoid Travel
Many Chinese tourists come to Kunming during public holidays. Accordingly, local attractions become all the more crowded, and people have to spend more on plane tickets and for accommodation. In order to have a better experience, overseas tourists are recommended to avoid visiting Kunming during the Chinese New Year from late Jan. to early Feb., Qingming Festival, May Day, Dragon Boat Festival, or the National Day holiday from Oct. 1st to 7th.
See More about Public Holidays in China.
Travel to Kunming in Four Seasons
Spring: March to May
Spring in Kunming is warm and dry, but has large daily temperature difference ranging from 10-15℃(50-59℉).
Average temperature: 10 - 23℃ (50 - 74℉)
Clothes: jacket, hoodie, shirt, jeans
March to May are among the best months to visit Kunming and blooming flowers are the highlights of your Kunming spring tour. The Magnolia Garden at the Western Hills, Cherry Blossom Festival at the Yuantong Hill, and the World Horticulture Expo Center are all ideal places to enjoy the vitality of spring. Nevertheless, if you are not satisfied with simply seeing flowers but want to buy some, Dounan Flower Market should be on your list. At this largest flower sales center in Asia, you may buy various flowers, bonsais or succulents at a bargain price. Another reason why the best months to visit Kunming are March to May is that many festivals of ethnic minorities are held at that time. At the Yunnan Nationalities Village, tourists can have fun at the Water-Splashing Festival in April, Munao Music Festival in May, and so on.
Summer: June to August
Summer in Kunming is not hot and has frequent heavy rains.
Average temperature: 17 - 24℃ (63 - 75℉)
Clothes: T-shirt, dress, blouse, thin jacket
Kunming is recognized as a summer resort in China. Every Jun. to Aug., pink and white lotuses make the Green Lake Park ablaze in color. Meanwhile, tourists can appreciate ancient buildings of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). For those who have a plenty of time, a visit to the Jiuxiang Scenic Area, 65km (40mi) east of downtown, is highly recommended. Here to it is possible to take a boat to pass the gorges on both sides, feel the splash of waterfalls, and explore mysterious Karst underground caves. In case that continuous rain or the odd downpour interrupt s one’s plan for outdoor visits, several indoor attractions can be considered, such as the Yunnan Provincial Museum, Huadu Ocean World, and the Haichao Aquarium.
Autumn: September to November
With crisp breezes and less rainfall, autumn is cool and comfortable, being the Kunming best time to visit natural landscapes.
Average temperature: 11 - 20℃ (52 - 68℉)
Clothes: long sleeve shirt, blouse, jacket, jeans
Autumn comes when the osmanthus fragrans gives out its sweet smell in the Grand View Park. Since the weather is pleasant, why not pay a visit to the Stone Forest to see hundreds of sword-, pagoda- and mushroom-shaped rocks? Underground rivers and Karst caves are also eye-openers. Also, those who love taking photos should not miss the Dongchuan Red Land. Due to the iron and aluminum content of the soil, this land has a beautiful red color. Plus, the yellow rapeseed flowers bloom in autumn, and is a natural giant palette, that looks stunning at sunrise or sunset. Of course, many historical sites are worth seeing, too. Yuantong Temple and Golden Temple are good places to feel Buddhist and Taoist atmosphere respectively.
Winter: December to February
Winter in Kunming is cool and dry. The daily temperature difference varies from 10-13℃(50-56℉).
Average temperature: 3 - 16℃ (37 - 61℉)
Clothes: windbreaker, thin coat, cardigan, thin sweater
Is there any place in Kunming to enjoy a snow scene? Definitely there is. Located 130km (80mi) north of downtown, Jiaozi Snow Mountain is a good place to appreciate snow. Apart from snow, alpine lakes and meadows are also visually appealing. In fact, in the eyes of migratory birds, Dec. to Feb. is the best time to go to Kunming. So before you head for the Dianchi Lake, remember to bring some bread to feed the black-headed gulls from Siberia that gather there. Then, it is recommended to visit the Black Dragon Pool and revel in the fragrance of plum blossoms. In the evening, tourists may go to the Jinma Biji Archway, the landmark of Kunming, and enjoy the nearby night market. Rice Noodles and Steam-Pot Chicken are must-tries.
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