After traveling to China, our customers like to give us good feedback. Besides good experiences, one obvious problem for them is that it is too crowded!
This is understandable. After all, there are more than 1.3 billion people living in this country. Especially during holidays, nearly all Chinese people leave their homes and go traveling. Therefore, we have given you the dates to avoid when planning your China tour below, for reference.
During this public holiday (7-day period for all Chinese people), popular cities and scenic areas will be packed. You can’t imagine what the feeling is like when 1.3 billion people are traveling at the same time and in the same country. Train tickets to popular cities (Beijing, Shanghai, and Zhangjiajie, for example) are sold out very quickly.
As with all students around the world, students in China also have a summer holiday (2-month period, usually falls in July and Autust) and a winter holiday (1 month period, usually falls in mid January and mid February). Students also have favorable prices to attractions and they tend to spend time traveling to domestic cities.
The most obvious phenomenon is that train tickets are sold out quickly, in several minutes, especially at the beginning and the end of the holidays.
The above 3-day short-period holidays are celebrated by all Chinese people. Because the period is quite short, some people may choose to stay at home and go shopping or go to parks in order to relax. But quite a large part of the Chinese population travel to cities around their home.
The Chinese New Year period is the most crowded travel season in the world, when all of China's transportation modes (trains, flights, and buses) are over capacity. Most of China is on the move. The Chinese New Year rush lasts for 40 days.
Although it is crowded during Chinese New Year, it is the best time of year to experience China's traditional culture. There are celebrations in every city and town. Take Beijing, for example. Beijing's Chinese New Year temple fairs reproduce the traditional customs of Beijing.
Only 5 days during this period are recommended for traveling between domestic cities: the first 5 days of Chinese New Year (January 28–February 1, 2017).
During these days, most Chinese people will stay at home for some family time together and celebrations. This lightens the pressure on the transportation systems and presents you with travel conditions that are easier than usual. Cheap flight tickets are available during these five days!
According to past years’ trends, Tibet is likely to be closed to foreign travelers a month or so following Losar, Tibetan New Year. In 2017, the first day of Losar is February 27th, so it is forecast that Tibet may be unavailable to foreign travelers from late February to March 31st.
|Holiday||Dates in 2017||Attractions||Transportation||Travel Price|
|National Day Holiday||October 1–7||Very crowded||Very crowded||Very high|
|Winter and Summer Holidays||Mid January to mid February, and July to Autust||Crowded||Crowded||High|
|New Year||January 1–3||Crowded||Crowded||normal price|
|Tomb-Sweeping Day||April 2–4, 2017||Crowded||Crowded||normal price|
|Labor Day||May 1||Crowded||Crowded||High|
|The Dragon Boat Festival||May 28–May 30, 2017||Crowded||Crowded||normal price|
|The Mid-Autumn Festival||October 4, 2017||Crowded||Crowded||normal price|
|Chinese New Year||January 27–February 2, 2017||Quiet||Over capacity||Low|
Overcrowding is particularly likely to spoil your experience at the places below, especially at the times mentioned above, but in peak/shoulder season weekends are to be avoided too.
Need help planning your China trip? China Highlights' travel advisors can help you. We will offer you inspiration and personal suggestions. We know the best times to visit and what should be avoided. You can see our popular tours below for inspiration or tailor-make a tour according to your interests and requirements.