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Discover the Best Time to Visit China Including the Tibet Autonomous Region

May,28 2024 BY Jamyang Tsering 0 COMMENTS

China's 9.6 million square kilometers cover vast territory that stretches from the towering Tibetan plateau in the southwest to the coastal plains in the east and deserts in the northwest.

You'll find almost every climate imaginable there, and it can take some planning to find the best time to visit China including Tibet Autonomous Region. To help you find a plan that matches your travel preferences, we've broken down the best time to visit China and Tibet into different parts.

Understand the Different Weather between the Tibetan Plateau and Other Parts of China

Tibet's annual weather is very predictable. There is a long winter, dry spring and autumn, and a short summer with some rain. Overall, spring and autumn are the best times to visit Tibet for warmer weather with excellent visibility. Other parts of China have weather patterns that differ a lot from Tibet and each other.

Beijing / Xi'an: North China

The northern part of China, which includes Beijing and Xi'an, has four distinct seasons. There is a short, windy spring, a long, hot summer, a cool and pleasant autumn, and a long, chilly winter. Although you can visit all year round, the high temperatures in July and August and the deeper cold of January make those months less popular. Sandstorms are not uncommon in spring, so autumn is considered the ideal time to go. Discover the popular Beijing to Tibet tours.

Shanghai / Hangzhou: East China

East China along the coast also has four seasons but a much milder winter. Summer can be very hot, with consecutive days reaching over 35°c and frequent rain. Autumn is comfortable and cool. Winter is mostly above freezing, but the skies are often overcast. Spring is warm with some light rain. Discover the top-rated Shanghai to Tibet tours.

Kunming / Chengdu: South China

Weather varies greatly in the south of China, but it is generally mild. Kunming is known as the 'spring city' for its average annual temperature of 15°c. Rainfall can be heavy from June until September, but the average temperature is between 8-20°c all year round.

Chengdu is also mild but characterized by fog and humidity. Spring and late autumn are excellent times to visit when rain is light and temperatures average 17-20°c. With the humidity, winter and summer can feel colder or hotter than the temperature would indicate, but it stays above freezing and below the heat of the eastern regions. Also, find out all the popular the China Tibet tours.

For the Best Weather to Visit China and Tibet (TAR): April, May, Sept, Oct, and November

Spring and autumn are the best seasons for visiting mainland Chinese cities and Tibet. First-time visitors to China usually enter through Bejing, Xi'an, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, and Kunming. These cities have great attractions to offer tourists and are gateway cities for reaching Tibet by flight or train.

Spring and autumn weather in China and Tibet has less rain and comfortable conditions for being outdoors. You can explore the Forbidden City and Ancient Walls in Beijing, visit the Panda Research Base in Chengdu, or walk along the historic riverside Bund in Shanghai, enjoying the sites and good weather.

Beijing Forbidden City in SpringBeijing Forbidden City in Spring.

From these destinations, it's convenient to take a flight or train to Lhasa. The train passes through vast landscapes, with amazing views of the scenery. Flights are often easier to book, and if you still want the great train views, you can always take the train from Lhasa to your departure point.

Immerse Yourself in Diverse Festivities in China and Tibet (TAR): Feb, March, May, June, July, August, Sept, Dec,

Ancient customs and traditions live on in China and Tibet Automonous Region through the vibrant festivals that take place throughout the year. Timing your visit to participate in these festivals is a great way to immerse yourself in the local culture.

February: Chinese Lantern Festival / Losar Tibetan New Year

The Lantern Festival is marked everywhere in China with the beautiful sight of thousands of lanterns released into the air. Losar is the most important festival in the Tibetan Calendar. It's celebrated with traditional singing and dancing and delicious food. Check the top 6 Tibetan festival tours.

Celebrate Tibetan New YearCelebration of Tibetan New Year.

March: Cherry Blossom Festival in Tibet

The countryside of Nyingchi lights up with the brilliant colors of cherry blossoms. Enjoy the scenic beauty of the landscapes with traditional food and performances.

May: Saga Dawa Festival in Tibet

Saga Dawa is the month of merits, celebrating the birth, enlightenment, and death of Buddha. The most profound ceremonies take place on Mount Kailash in Ngari Prefecture in western Tibet. Pilgrims come from around the world to accumulate merit by performing a kora trek around the mountain.

June: Chinese Dragon Boat Festival

Celebrated all over China, the Dragon Boat Festival commemorates filial piety and fealty. You can watch dragon boat races and eat traditional zongzi. Some of the best dragon boat races take place in Hong Kong and Guangzhou.

July: Tibetan Horse Racing Festival

Horsemanship is an essential skill on the vast grasslands of Tibet. Displays of local prowess can be seen at horse racing festivals in places like Nagqu. Learn all the popular Tibetan horse racing festival tours.

August: Shoton Festival in Tibet

Shoton is also known as the Yogurt Festival. It marks the end of a 100-day fasting period for Tibetan monks. At Drepung Monastery, you can see the unveiling of a huge thangka painting and enjoy traditional performances and food.

Drepung Monastery Shoton FestivalDrepung Monastery during the Shoton Festival.

September: Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival

Mid-Autumn Festival is a time to eat moon cakes to celebrate the harvest. One of the best places to celebrate is Fenghuang Mountain in Hangzhou, where the full moon shines through a hole in the clifftop.

Celebration Chinese Mid-Autum FestivalCelebration of the Chinese Mid-Autum Festival.

December: Tsongkhapa Butter Lamp Festival

The Butter Lamp Festival commemorates the death of the great guru Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Gelug School of Tibetan Buddhism. In places like Barkhor Street in Lhasa, windowsills are lit up with butter lamps that burn through the night.

Cheapest Times of the Year to Visit China and Tibet (TAR): Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb, March

The winter season from November until March has some advantages, if you don't mind the cold. It is the tourist low season in many parts of China as well as Tibet winter tour. With fewer tourists, attractive deals are available on flights, hotels, and tours, making it an ideal time for budget-conscious travelers. It's also the best time to experience the sites in a less crowded and quieter atmosphere.

The exception is the period around Chinese New Year. The holiday is the high season for people traveling back home, and places can be crowded, and flight and train tickets can be challenging to book.

Busy streets during Chinese New YearBusy streets during Chinese New Year.

Worst Time to Visit China and Tibet (TAR): Chinese New Year, May Day Holiday, National Day in Early Oct.

China has three extended public holidays when domestic tourism surges. The brief peaks in tourism around Chinese New Year, the May Day Holiday, and National Day in early October are times when it's best to avoid traveling to China and Tibet. Attractions everywhere are packed with tourists, and cities are congested with traffic. Hotel prices surge, and flight and train tickets can be hard to book.

If you plan to visit during these times, advance planning is a must. Booking everything at least 30-60 days in advance is the best way to ensure you get the arrangements you want.

Ideal Travel Months Together with Superb Travel Service Make Your China Tibet Tour Memorable

Knowing when to go is the first step. You'll also need to arrange permits and book with a reputable local Tibet travel agency for a seamless China tour with Tibet Automonous Region included.

International travelers will need to obtain a Chinese visa, a Tibet Travel Permit, and additional permits depending on your itinerary in Tibet.

sample of tibet travel permitA sample of Tibet Travel Permit.

At Tibet Vista, we offer superb travel services and a diverse range of China and Tibet tours. We provide a hassle-free travel experience and ensure you get all the required permits and spiritual expereince for Tibet.


Combining your tour of Tibet with a visit to any of the fascinating historical cities in China that are gateways to Lhasa is natural. Choosing the best time to go will ensure you have the experience you're looking for. Despite the wide range of climates around China, seasons line up for great weather, cheap tickets, or cultural festivals. Contact us for more information, or book your tour today.

Jamyang Tsering

About the Author - Jamyang Tsering

With a perpetual smile and a wealth of Tibetan knowledge, Jamyang Tsering is a seasoned Tibetan guide with over 15 years of expertise. Interestingly, many first come across him on YouTube as a humorous YouTube content creator, proudly introducing every facet of authentic Tibetan life to the world.

Now, not only can you watch Jamyang’s latest video update on our Tibet Vista channel, but also read his travel guide here or book our Tibet tours and travel with the YouTube influencer Jamyang to explore the majestic landscape and culture in Tibet.

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