China Weather in May

May marks the beginning of China's peak travel season. The weather now is very pleasant with plentiful sunshine and mild nights. It is the ideal time of the year in most of China, that stretch of warm weather before the heat and humidity of summer set in. May is one of the best times for traveling and sightseeing in China, the other being September and October. The countryside has greened up and flowers are in full bloom. It is not uncommon to see families and friends drive to the country to spend their weekends.

In North China, spring is at its best. Blue sky may be seen in cities which rarely have blue sky during the rest of the year, such as Beijing. May is also one of the best times to visit the Great Wall. In May, when trees and plants turn green, the wall wanders among lush vegetation. The summer crowds have not yet arrived, so you may have time to have the wall to yourself.

Central and South China is still very humid. The height of the rainy season begins in regions south of the Yangtze River. The Chinese called this rainy season "梅雨季节", méiyǔ jìjié (the monsoon). It usually lasts for one or two months and ends in late June. Shanghai and Hong Kong in May and June reach an average high of about 27°C (80°F), with humidity to match.

Average May Weather in Major Chinese Cities

Beijing Shanghai Guilin Guangzhou Hong Kong Xi'an Hangzhou Kunming Chengdu
High (oC) 26 24 27 29 28 26 26 24 26
Low (oC) 14 16 20 23 24 14 17 14 17
Rain (mm) 34 102 358 284 329 60 147 97 79
High (oF) 79 75 81 84 82 79 79 75 79
Low (oF) 57 61 68 73 75 57 63 57 63
Rain (in) 1 4 14 11 13 2 6 4 3

May Clothes

The North: It is comfortably warm during day and cool at night. Short-sleeve T-shirt or shirt is enough for day time. Bring along a jacket for cool evenings.

Central: It is comfortably warm during day and cool at night. Short-sleeve T-shirt or shirt is enough for day time. Bring along a jacket for cool evenings. Carry an umbrella.

The South : It is quite hot with highs in the high 20s °C (80+ °F). Shorts are enough. But it may become cool at times, so you may need to bring a sweater. Rain gear such as an umbrella, but also sun glasses and sun cream, are recommended.

Why visit China in May?

  • The weather is generally comfortable.
  • You may avoid the big summer travel groups.

Disadvantages of Visiting China in May

  • The May (Labor Day) Holiday takes place from May 1st to 3rd. Most Chinese people have three days off. This is one of the busiest travel times, and you may see big crowds in transportation hubs (airports, railway stations and bus terminus) and tourist attractions.
  • Heavy rain sweeps across Central and South China in monsoon fronts.

Weather in May by City

Hi, I'm Gavin Van Hinsbergh
I updated this article on February 10, 2014
See all my travel articles
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Questions and Answers About China Weather in May

Lynda 2014-03-04
Show Answer
Is there any American female travel clothing that would be considered inappropriate for China.

Dear Lynda,

It is OK to wear American female travel clothing in China.

As a travel agency in China, we glad to assist your China tour plan. If you need any tour arrangement, please feel free contact us.


Nancy Deng replied on 2014-03-05
grace venia 2013-03-21
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I am planning to travel on May 14 to 25, 2013 in Hongkong , Macau and China. May i know the weather condition for me to decide on this trip? Thank you!
Dear Grace, Based on the former data, the average temperature will be 25-30℃(59-86℉), it will be hot, but it will be rainy frequently and heavily. You could take some T-shirts, shorts and jeans. An ambrella is needed. You could check the new information on this website before leaving for Macau and Hong Kong. Please click: Lussie Lu replied on 2013-03-21
Coco Arnold 2012-04-21
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Arriving May12 in Beijing then to Urumqi on the Day 3, Turpan, day 5 & 6,Dunhuang day 6 & 7, Jiayuguan Pass, Jiuquan day 8 & 9, Zhangye/Wuwel, day 10 & 11, Zining day 12, Xining, day 13 and Shanghai Day 14 &15.All I need is the expected weather for each of the cities I''ve listed.Thank you so very much!
Hi Coco Arnold, you could visit the our website below to see average temperature: Or you could visit the offical website below to see weather forecast: Wish you a nice journey! Nora Ou replied on 2012-04-22
I tried getting the weather for the cities we are to visit, and it was very difficult, that's why I asked for your assistance and thought your expertise could help me. guest replied on 2012-04-23
sandra 2012-03-25
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hi, im going to visit shanghai,hangzhou from 28 May - 4 June. is it suitable time for us to visit? is the whearther hot?
Hi Sandra, Yes, the weather is fine for tour, not that hot. A T-shirt is enough. Do you need us to arrange a Shanghai tour for you? Regards, Coco Coco Yang replied on 2012-03-25
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