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China Weather in September

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.

September Weather Around China

North and Northeast China — warm or cool, crisp

— Beijing, Datong, Hohhot, Harbin…

Great WallOn Beijing's Great Wall

Beijing gets crisp, cool, clear weather optimally, and the locals love the cool mornings and evenings. The daytime in the early days of the month might still be summer-like though. It is a good time to go outdoors. Average temperatures range from a comfortable 26°C (79°F) in the day to 15°C (59°F) at night. Total rainfall drops about 2/3 to 46 mm in 8 days of the month. There is little pollution too.

Harbin however grows cool with average highs of 21°C (70°F) and lows of 9°C (48°F)

West China — warm

— 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. The average high is 23°C (73°F) in Urumqi. See Silk Road Travel Tips

Xi'an is hotter with the average high at 25°C (77°F). It is pleasant autumn temperature, and it gets cooler during and after a rain. It rains 11 days of the month for a total of 92 mm. The average low temperature is a pleasant 16°C (61°F) at night. This is great weather for touring the sites.

East China — warm and soothing

— Shanghai, Hangzhou, Suzhou, Huangshan…

Yellow MountainsMid-Autumn night at Hangzhou

Like Beijing, Shanghai gets pleasant autumn weather. The fragrance of cassia cinnamon tree flowers contributes to the soothing feel of fall. The average high in Shanghai is about 27°C (81°F), and the nightly low is 21°C (70°F). Eight days of rain brings 76 mm total.

The drier weather is good for touring and hiking in the Yellow Mountains and Hong Village where it is cooler.

Central — warm, dry

— Changsha, Wuhan, Zhangjiajie

This area of China around the Yangtze River also cools much in September. Average high temperatures in both Wuhan and Changsha are about 20°C (82°F). It rains about 9 days for a total of about 80 mm in both cities in the month.

The mountains in Wulingyuan, Zhangjiajie feel cooler. Less rainfall makes much better weather, so September and October are the best months weatherwise. The mountains are decorated with many colors and shades of the different plants so it is more beautiful.

The South

— Guilin, Nanning, Hainan, Guangzhou, Hong Kong…

floating at GuilinGuilin river floating tour

Guilin cools, and it rains less. This makes for better touring weather, and the river is still warm. There is 82 mm of rainfall, and it rains about eight days of the month. The average daily high and low temperatures are 30 °C (86 °F) and 22°C (72 °F). There is a lot of sunshine, and you'll need an umbrella as 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. The average high and low temperatures are 30 °C (86 °F) and 26 °C (79 °F). Twelve days of rain in the month pour 300 mm of rain.

The Southwest — pleasant weather, less rainy

— Dali, Lijiang, Xishuangbanna, Kunming, Chengdu…

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. Dali and Lijiang have cool weather with about 170 mm of rainfall over 19 days.

Chongqing cools significantly with an average high of only 28 °C (82 °F).

Average September Weather Data for Major Tourist Cities

Press the links to see the cities' climate and local current forecast.

CitiesAverage HighAverage LowRainy DaysPrecipitation
Beijing26°C (79°F)15°C (59°F)846mm (2")
Xi’an25°C (77°F)16°C (61°F)1192mm (3½")
Shanghai27°C (81°F)21°C (70°F)876mm (3")
Hong Kong30°C (86°F)26°C (79°F)12300mm (12")
Chengdu26°C (79°F)19°C (66°F)16119mm (4½")
Guilin30°C (86°F)22°C (72°F)882mm (3")
Kunming23°C (73°F)15°C (59°F)19119mm (4½")

Why Visit China in September?

View of Hong Kong Island from atop Victoria PeakThe Hong Kong Island view from Victoria Peak

  • The pleasant weather and sunshine is great for outdoor activities, sightseeing, travel, street shopping, etc.
  • September is one of the best times to visit Tibet and the Silk Road. Along the Silk Road, it is harvest season.
  • It is not quite so hot in the South.

Disadvantages of Touring in September

  • The better weather brings more tourists outdoors. Top attractions, such as the Great Wall, are packed with tourists. The Mid-Autumn holiday, usually in September, brings even more.
  • Fall is a time for big organization and company group tours.
  • It is peak travel season, so transportation and accommodations are more expensive.

China's Top Destinations for September

  • Xi'an: Visiting and touring the highlights.
  • Beijing: Tour the amazing ancient sites.
  • Guilin: Enjoy the countryside and take the river cruise.
  • Hong Kong, Macau, Shenzhen: Shop, sightsee, hike, go to a beach, etc.
  • Yangtze cruise: Fall has beautiful river scenery and pleasant weather for cruise ship touring.

See our introduction to five best places to visit in warm/cool September.

Recommended Clothing to Pack

  • Northeast: Thin jacket, light clothing, shorts.
  • North & Central: Bring both short and long-sleeved clothes and a light coat for the cool mornings and evenings.
  • East: Thin rain resistant jacket, rain gear, light clothing, shorts.
  • South: Shorts, light clothes, rain gear.
  • Southwest: Light jacket, shorts, T-shirts, shirts, jeans, pants, rain gear. Take a coat if you go up to the mountains.
  • Northwest and Tibet: What you should pack depends on the altitude. For Lhasa, bring your coat and sunglasses and dress in layers.

September Festivals

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.

Popular China Tours for September

For more suggestions and tips on a China trip, please see How to Plan Your First Trip to China.

Weather and Things to Do in China's Cities in September

China Climate Information by Month