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March is seen as the start of spring (for central China). Generally the winter cold is decreasing, and the weather is becoming warm. China has a big climate range — from subzero weather in the northeast to warm weather and blooming flowers in the south. Weather in March in China differs greatly from region to region.
— Harbin, Changchun, Shenyang, Dalian…
It is still freezing in March in northeast China. The average low temperature is below zero, and the average high is not much above. It snows sometimes. The average light or moderate breeze reinforces the feeling of cold.
The northeast is the coldest area of China. The freezing weather in winter has resulted in some of the best ski resorts in China, e.g. Yabuli, the best ski resort in China, is located near Harbin. This area’s golden traveling season is in winter, from December to February, but skiing and snow activities may still be possible in early March.
Want to know more on Northeast's March weather and current weather forecast? Continue to read March Weather in Harbin.
— Beijing, Datong, Tianjin, Luoyang…
North China starts to warm up and snow melts more than it stays. However, it's still very cold. Beijing in March is like Washington DC (except for the Beijing dust storms and dryness) — sometimes quite chilly and often windy.
Temperature differences between day and night are large — more than 10°C (18°F). The average temperature rises to above 10°C (50°F) in the day, but it drops to around 0°C (32°F) at night.
Sandstorms and foggy (smoggy) weather are possible in this month for cities in north China.
Late March is one of the best times for hiking on the Great Wall because daytime temperatures are comfortable, it is dry, and crowds are fewer.
— Shanghai, Hangzhou, Suzhou, Huangshan…
East China becomes wetter as a prelude to the late spring/summer monsoon season. Around half the month sees daily drizzle. The average high and low temperatures are 14°C (57°F) and 6°C (43°F). It is quite windy. Light to moderate breezes are common.
— Guilin, Guangzhou, Hong Kong…
In the South, people begin to take off thick overcoats and put on spring clothes. In late March, rape and peach flowers are blooming and trees and grass put forth new growth. March is the mild, drizzly season in south China. Take Guilin for example, where daily drizzle builds towards the monsoon rains of May/June.
— Dali, Lijiang, Xishuangbanna, Kunming, Chengdu…
March is very comfortable for traveling around the Yunnan region — Kunming, Dali, Lijiang, and Xishuangbanna. Unlike in most of China’s south, it is dry with very little rain. The daily average high is around 20°C (63°F), while it is about 5°C (43°F) at night — mild with a big day-night difference.
Likewise, Chengdu gets little rainfall (20 mm) in March. The daily average high is around 16°C (61°F), while the low is about 8°C (46°F) at night.
|Cities||Average High||Average Low||Rainy days||Precipitation|
|Beijing||12°C (54°F)||0°C (32°F)||3||8mm (.3")|
|Xi’an||14°C (57°F)||4°C (39°F)||7||29mm (1")|
|Shanghai||13°C (55°F)||5°C (41°F)||15||118mm (4.7")|
|Hangzhou||14°C (57°F)||6°C (43°F)||16||138mm (5.5")|
|Chengdu||16°C (61°F)||8°C (46°F)||11||20mm (.8")|
|Guilin||16°C (61°F)||10°C (50°F)||19||137mm (5.5")|
|Kunming||21°C (70°F)||6°C (43°F)||6||20mm (.8")|
March is a very good season to travel to South China (Guangzhou, Guilin, Hong Kong). The weather is mild/warm with flowers blooming and fresh green leaves. The rainy season is yet to come. South China’s rainy season usually arrives in April and continues to July/August. Other recommendations include:
Read more on the best places to travel in March in China.
There are many flower festivals and three notable temple fairs in central and south China in March. See more Major Events and Festivals in March.
March is still in the low travel season — China’s high travel season begins in April and continues to October, with July and August the busiest months. It sees fewer crowds at tourist attractions, and it is warmer than December, January, and February.
It is the last month that hotels in major China tourist cities offer the low-season price. Most hotels will raise prices by 30–40% from April to October. Beijing is an exception — hotels in Beijing begin to raise prices in mid-March.
Carry a range of clothes if you are visiting the north and center/south in the winter/spring crossover.
Planning your China trip? We have selected three most popular China tour itineraries for you to consider:
10-Day Beijing, Xi'an, Guilin/Yangshuo, and Shanghai Tour
— China's classic wonders
Want more suggestions or inspiration on your China trip? Continue to read How to Plan Your First Trip to China