You can explore the remoter, more-rugged-and-scenic, and less-visited areas of China in August, when the weather is favorable, such as Tibet, Xinjiang, and Inner Mongolia. China's warm rivers and beaches are inviting in the south, such as Guilin and Sanya. It is China's hottest time of year and also a peak travel period, but there is lots you can do.
Tibet is mild and comfortable in August except on the high mountains. It is when most Tibetan festivals are held in the valleys. Summer, especially July and August, is the best time to experience Tibetan culture and explore. You can watch the sports and entertainment. The Tibetans gather for two grand spectacles every August — the Shoton Festival as in the picture above and the Horse Racing Festival.
Besides these festivals, you'll be awed while trekking around the fabulous natural scenic places. Compared to other places, the vast plains, lakes, and snow-covered mountains in Tibet are much more magnificent, such as Nam Lake, Yamdrok Lake, and one of the world’s wonders, Mount Everest. August is the rainy season of Tibet, so the tops of mountains may be hidden in the clouds.
Read more on Tibet.
The winters are harsh and arrive early in Gansu and especially in Xinjiang, but high summer has comfortable weather when the deserts are hot and dry and the mountains are warm or cool. In the pleasant weather, you can better enjoy the historical sites, the culture and the food of the various peoples and enjoy the spectacular desert and mountain scenery.
Xinjiang is a special region in China with a different culture. There are vast rugged deserts and high mountain scenery such as 'Heavenly Lake' (Tianhu) in the picture. Gansu Province is known for its Silk Road sights such as the Mogao Buddhist Caves and the Jiayuguan Great Wall. Many ethnic groups make this region a Central Asian melting pot, and you can dine on meals with flavors that are Chinese to Turkish.
Read more on the Silk Road.
Enjoying rafting and kayaking and other water activities in Guilin is best in the hot and sunny days of summer. You can use the long days for seeing the sights too. The warm rivers such as the Yulong River in the picture and the Li River at Yangshuo are clean enough to swim in. The famed unusual hills are most beautiful in the strong summer sun.
Along with water activities, tourists enjoy cruises on the Li River, biking and hiking in the countryside and the Longji Terraces, and ambling in the towns such as Yangshuo. You could also visit caves and ethnic villages. You can spend many days there leisurely exploring the Guilin region and find adventure.
For more information and things to do see Guilin Weather in August.
China's big tropical island, Hainan, has beach resorts with world-class hotels. Tourists enjoy staying in the hotels and enjoying sunbathing, swimming, and seeing the countryside in Sanya in August. It is China's main tropical beach area (outside Hong Kong).
Scuba divers and snorkelers enjoy Wuzhizhou Island. Sanya's Nantian Hot Springs and biking on the island are other things tourists enjoy. Hainan has visa-free travel that makes a visit there easier than on the mainland.
Inner Mongolia has vast grasslands where you can enjoy horse riding and trekking when the weather is comfortable. During the short and hot summers, the grass is the tallest. Grasslands stretch as far as the eye can see. It has one of China's most beautiful and unusual natural areas. It was once the domain of the Mongol Empires, and you can see Mongolian yurts in some places still.
During the Nadam Festival that is usually in August, you can mingle with the crowds in Mongol encampments and watch their sports such as horse racing and archery. You can also watch the folk dancers and listen to Mongolian music.
Read more on Inner Mongolia.
Qinghai Lake is China's largest, and it is often deep blue, high in the old Tibetan homeland of Qinghai Province. You can appreciate Tibetan culture and food while you walk and bike in the towns in the area. It is warm in August. Some people stop at the lake on their way to or from Tibet. Bird Island, an animal sanctuary, is a highlight.
You pass the lake on the Xining to Lhasa Tibetan Railway.