China in Autumn
China in fall can look as breathtakingly attractive as any place can be. Traditionally, the season is thought of as beginning on September 1, when children go back to school, though the weather can be still hot in September, and pleasantly warm well into November, in much of the south. Winter and autumn come earlier in the north. See China Weather.
Why Visit China in Fall
Many tourists choose autumn as the time to visit China because the summers can be frightfully hot!
Fall is commonly called "the best season to go to China" because of the combination of dryness and warmth. One tourist called the country's autumns "dreamlike and fantastic". There is also the chance to experience China's deeply significant Mid-Autumn Festival in September or October according to the Chinese calendar.
Autumn Destinations in China
Autumn is a great time to visit most of China, though the winter closes in early in the far north and west, including Tibet. Virtually anywhere that you go in China outside the big cities, you can take a walk to enjoy the brilliant fall colors. The gingko trees that are native to the country really stand out when they change color.
Fragrant Hills Park
Fragrant Hills Park(Xiangshan Gongyuan) is located in the suburbs of Beijing, and every resident of the city thinks of it as his "garden near home." Pine, maple and persimmon trees dot the landscape, as do many traditional Chinese buildings.
The park shows itself at its most colorful and spectacular during the autumn, and in mid-October the park holds an Autumn Leaves Festival. See other best places to see fall colors in Beijing.
Huangshan, or the Yellow Mountains, is in Anhui Province in the east. The sight of the multicolored leaves that surround these most mystic of mountains are absolutely spectacular!
The Longji Rice Terraces
Rice being grown in terraced fields is a familiar sight throughout the Far East. Those in Longsheng in Guilin Prefecture, in south-central China are the most famous. During the autumn the rice ripens, turning the hills a brilliant yellow color, with the terraced structure creating a myriad of golden tiers.
Nine Village Valley
Jiuzhaigou ('Nine Village Valley') is a nature reserve and UNESCO World Heritage Site in Sichuan, The park's main feature are clear and multicolored lakes surrounded by vast mountain forests whose brilliant autumn colors become reflected in the water.
The Great Wall of China
Trees line the Great Wall of China for much of its 4,000-mile length. Some of them come up above the wall, so that when you are walking along the ramparts you can see a long, continuous line of red and yellow. Countless tourists have taken pictures of the Great Wall during this time of year — but nothing really matches taking your own!
In the west, where few people live, is Kanas Lake, in the mountains of Xinjiang, which has deserts, but also alpine mountains. The area around the lake is largely populated by Kazakh and Tuvan peoples, who are related, not to the Chinese, but to the Turks of Turkey. Many of them follow the same nomadic life that they have been leading for thousands of years, herding livestock and playing ancient songs.
What to Bring
You will not need heavy clothing, because Chinese autumns, except in the northwest and mountains, are rarely that cold. In the far south, though the monsoon has ended, an umbrella may still be required one day in four. You should bring a camera with you, and comfortable walking shoes.
Visiting China in Autumn