Best Time to Visit Yunnan
Peak Season: Public Holidays, Summer Vacation & Winter
Yunnan is a hot tourist destination in China with plenty of tourists all the time. In addition to warm weather, it also attracts visitors with colorful multi-ethnic traditions and beautiful landscapes. The public holidays of Chinese New Year in late January or February, local Water-Sprinkling Festival in April, May Day in the first days of May, summer vacation from July to August, and National Day in early October, are the busiest times of Yunnan tourism industry. The winter from December to January, is also a peak season as well as the best time to go to Yunnan. In these months, you may cost much as the expenses of transports and hotels would go up. Meanwhile, the attractions are filled with people so that you may jostle in the crowds.
Shoulder Season: May to June & November
During the months listed above, Yunnan might not be full of tourists as usual and one can enjoy the sightseeing at a leisurely pace. What’s more, as visitors decrease, the air tickets, hotels and admission tickets of the attractions would be at a discount, greatly cutting the cost to visit Yunnan.
Times to Avoid Travel
The long public holidays of Chinese New Year, and National Day are the overcrowded periods in Yunnan, which are also the time needed to be avoided. Qingming Festival, May Day, Dragon Boat Festival, Mid-Autumn Festival, and more public holidays in China are NOT the best time to travel to Yunnan, either. During these time periods, the number of tourists soars, so does the travel cost.
See More about Public Holidays in China
Travel to Yunnan in the Four Seasons
Spring: March to May
Spring in Yunnan is warm with few rains. The evaporation is great, so the temperature changes quickly.
Average temperature: 6 – 20℃ (43 – 68℉)
Clothes: jackets, hoodies, long sleeves, jeans
Recommended tour destinations: The spring in Yunnan is the best time to visit blooming flowers and newly sprouted plants. Luoping, Dali and Lijiang are the most beautiful places in Yunnan during this time. You may go to Luoping for the seas of yellow rape flowers, and enjoy the cherry blossoms around Cangshan Mountain and Erhai Lake in Dali. On the days of March Fair of Bai people in Dali Ancient City, the ethnic folk activities like dancing and singing are also appealing. Besides, Water-Sprinkling Festival in April, historical sites like Lijiang Ancient Town, Three Pagodas in Dali and Grand View Park in Kunming, cannot be missed, too.
Summer: June to August
It’s not as hot as other places in China, and it’s often rainy. You may take an umbrella and raincoat with you.
Average temperature: 15 – 26℃ (59 – 79℉)
Clothes: T-shirts, short sleeves, thin pants…
Recommended tour destinations: In summer, you may appreciate lotus flowers in Puzhehei Scenic Area, stroll around Lijiang Ancient Town, visit Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Shuhe Ancient Town and Lugu Lake in Lijiang. Nine Dragons Waterfalls in Luoping, Jiuxiang Scenic Area, Dianchi Lake and Stone Forest in Kunming are also pretty scenic spots to spend a cool summer day. You can also learn about the diverse ethnic groups at Yunnan Nationalities Village in Kunming.
Autumn: September to November – BEST Months to Visit Yunnan
Both the temperature and the rainfall decrease in autumn. It’s cool and clear to go for pleasant trips.
Average temperature: 17 – 25℃ (63 – 77℉)
Clothes: T-shirts, jeans, basketball coat…
Recommended tour destinations: To see the most beautiful autumn leaves and flowers in Yunnan, you can go to Gudong Gingko Village in Tengchong, Stone Forest in Kunming and Potatso National Park in Shangri-La. Hiking along Tiger Leaping Gorge, cycling around Erhai Lake, photographing in Dongchuan Red Land, enjoy the chrysanthemum flowers and experiencing ethnic activities of Mid-Autumn Festival in Lijiang Ancient Town... are the popular things to do in autumn in Yunnan.
Winter: December to February
It’s sunny and dry usually with a lower temperature, even so it’s still warmer than the northern China. Lots of visitors go there to escape from bitter cold and consider it the best time to visit Yunnan China.
Average temperature: 8 – 19℃ (46 – 66℉)
Clothes: sweaters, overcoats, jackets, thick pants…
Recommended tour destinations: There are varied scenic spots and activities to do in winter, the best time to visit Yunnan. The world heritage Yuanyang Rice Terraces is fantastic with the glittering watering fields all over the mountains. Xishuangbanna houses the only tropical rainforest in China, which is also a popular winter destination. You may trek in the jungle and see the elephants closely at Wild Elephant Valley in Jinghong. Dianchi Lake and Lugu Lake turn to be the paradises of migrant birds overwintering. Furthermore, you can also go skiing on Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, enjoy the snow landscapes on Cangshan Mountain, Meili Snow Mountain and Jiaozi Snow Mountain, and try the hot spring near Tengchong Volcano Park & Hot Sea... In Kunming downtown, Black Dragon Pool and Green Lake Park are hot with winter plum blossoms and birds there.