September marks the beginning of autumn weather. The summer heat begins to wane, and the weather in the north becomes cooler. In South China, the hot and humid weather continues, but it is gradually replaced by cooler and drier weather by the end of this month.
September is also one of the busiest months for tourism in China. China’s top attractions are crowded with many Chinese tour groups and families.
— Beijing, Datong, Hohhot, Harbin…
Beijing gets crisp, cool, clear weather optimally. The locals love the cool mornings and evenings. The beginning of the month may still be like summer though. It is a good time to go outdoors.
Harbin in the northeast grows cooler than Beijing.
Clothing: Summer clothing such as shorts, T-shirts, pants, and a thin jacket for cool nights.
— Xinjiang, Qinghai, Dunhuang, Xi’an, Tibet…
The temperatures falls significantly in September. Early fall is fine for touring Xinjiang and Silk Road places in warm and sunny weather with little rainfall. There is a bountiful harvest of top quality grapes, melons, and other fruits. See Silk Road Travel Tips
Xi'an is still warm with cool nights. It is pleasant autumn temperature, and it gets cooler during and after a rain. There is great weather for touring the sites.
Clothing: What to pack depends on the altitude. For Lhasa, bring your coat and sunglasses and dress in layers.
— Shanghai, Hangzhou, Suzhou, Huangshan…
Like Beijing, Shanghai gets pleasant autumn weather. The fragrance of cassia cinnamon tree flowers contributes to the soothing feel of fall. There are warm days and cool or warm nights generally with comparatively little rainfall.
The drier weather is good for touring and hiking in the Yellow Mountains and Hong Village where it is cooler.
Clothing: Thin rain resistant jacket, rain gear, light clothing, shorts.
— Changsha, Wuhan, Zhangjiajie
This area of China around the Yangtze River also cools much in September. The days in both Wuhan and Changsha can be warm or cool.
The mountains in Wulingyuan, Zhangjiajie feel cooler. Less rainfall makes much better weather, so September and October are the best months to visit weatherwise. The mountains are decorated with many colors and shades of the different plants so it is more beautiful.
Clothing: Summer clothing, pants, and a light jacket.
— Guilin, Nanning, Hainan, Guangzhou, Hong Kong…
Guilin cools, and it rains much less than summer. This makes for better touring and sightseeing weather, and the river is still warm for swimming. There is a lot of sunshine, and you'll need an umbrella for a sun shade out on the river.
Unlike much of the rest of China, Hong Kong remains very rainy, and it is humid and warm at night. Typhoons bring much of the rainfall, and these arrive most frequently in September.
Clothing: Shorts, light clothes, rain gear.
Like usual, the valleys of Yunnan Province and Sichuan Province have pleasant weather. The mountains grow cooler. It is cool or warm depending on altitude. Rainfall drops by about half from August in some places and remains high in others.
Clothing: You'll need a variety of clothes such as a jacket, shorts, T-shirts, shirts, pants, and rain gear. Take a coat if you go up to the mountains.
Press the links to see the cities' climate and local current forecast.
|Cities||Average High||Average Low||Rainy Days||Precipitation|
|Beijing||26°C (79°F)||15°C (59°F)||8||46mm (2")|
|Xi’an||25°C (77°F)||16°C (61°F)||11||92mm (3½")|
|Shanghai||27°C (81°F)||21°C (70°F)||8||76mm (3")|
|Hong Kong||30°C (86°F)||26°C (79°F)||12||300mm (12")|
|Chengdu||26°C (79°F)||19°C (66°F)||16||119mm (4½")|
|Guilin||30°C (86°F)||22°C (72°F)||8||82mm (3")|
|Kunming||23°C (73°F)||15°C (59°F)||19||119mm (4½")|
See our introduction to five best places to visit in warm/cool September.
The big main holiday is the Mid-Autumn Festival that falls in September about two years out of three. Expect big crowds at outdoor locations and a heavy travel rush on those days.
For more suggestions and tips on a China trip, please see How to Plan Your First Trip to China.