The 5 Best Places to Visit in October in China

October is the middle of autumn in China, and it is the best month to appreciate colorful autumn scenery. Cool weather in October can makes your tour in China more comfortable and enjoyable.

Consider avoiding China’s National Day holiday, lasting from October 1 to October 7, as there are more visitors in most tourist destinations, and hotels raise their prices during these days.

We have listed the five best places to visit in colorful October. If you are a shutterbug and looking for the most beautiful photography locations in October, these places are great choices.

places to visit in october in china

1. The Longji Rice Terraces, Guilin — Rows of Golden Yellow

longji rice trerraces

Most people would think that the Longji Rice Terraces are at their most beautiful in early summer, when the entire Longji Rice Terraces are fully irrigated with water. In fact the Longji Rice Terraces in autumn, especially in the first half of October, when the entire rice terraces are decorated with a vast spread of golden rice, are also a great sight to behold.

In October the temperature difference between day and night is big (on average 18 °C (64 °F) 26 °C (79 °F)). The Mid-Autumn Festival falls around early October; and visitors then can experience the local celebrations with the Zhuang and Yao people.

For photography: The sunrise at the Longji Rice Terraces should not be missed. Hotels are available there. Stay at least one night, get up early in the morning (as early as 4 o’clock), hike to a high place, and wait for the moment when the sunshine pierces the horizon. Check out China's Five Most Beautiful Rice Terraces.

Recommended tour: 5-Day Guilin, Yangshuo and Longji Rice Terraces Tour

2.The Yellow Mountains — Like an Ancient Chinese Scroll Painting

The Yellow Mountains

The Yellow Mountains is one of the most famous mountain areas in China, attracting numerous visitors with its imaginatively-named pines, oddly-shaped rocks, seas of cloud and hot springs.

The weather turns cool and dry in October, and it is one of the best months to tour the mountains, whether for hiking or photography.

Watching the sunrises is a popular activity. Make sure to get up early so you can get a good spot. If lucky, you can get many beautiful pictures of the sunrise enlivening the misty mountains. During the day you may walk around and admire the peculiar rock formations and formidable passageways through the granite mountains.

The temperature on the mountains varies greatly between day and night. It reaches 18-25 °C (64-77 °F) in the daytime in October and drops to 0-10°C (32-50 °F) at night.

3. Jiuzhaigou — a Picturesque Fairyland with Colorful Lake

jiuzhaigou valley scenic

Jiuzhaigou is worth four visits during its four different seasons. However, autumn, especially October, is the best time to visit Jiuzhaigou, because of the comfortable weather and the fairy land of colorful trees (green, yellow, and flaming) and pools, graceful waterfalls, and snow-capped mountains.

Autumn in Jiuzhaigou is short (only September and October), and October is already late autumn there. The low rainfall (53 mm) and cool temperatures (on average 8 °C (46 °F) – 20 °C (68 °F) can make your tour to Jiuzhaigou more smooth and enjoyable.

The average altitude of Jiuzhaigou is about 3,000 meters (remember to prepare for possible altitude effects), which causes the temperatures there to vary greatly between day and night. Both a thin coat and a down coat are needed.

Recommended Tours

4. Zhangjiajie — Precipitous Pillars

Zhangjiajie is world-renowned for its amazing rock pillar landscapes. You can spend 4 or 5 days hiking in the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, enjoying panoramic views of the stunning Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon on the world's highest glass bridge, and taking the world’s longest cable car ride to explore Tianmen Mountain.

October is the best time to visit Zhangjiajie as the weather is comfortable, the mountains are cool, and (apart from the National Holiday in the first week) it is quiet.

Most of the national forest in Zhangjiajie is evergreen, but, in October, Wolongling (卧龙岭) in the Tianzi Mountain area and Yaozi Village (鹞子寨) are the two best places to see fall foliage.

5. Shangri-La, Yunnan

songzanlin monastery

China Highlights has recommended Shangri-La as one of the best places to visit in early summer. However, autumn (September and October) is also a great time for a visit to Shangri-La. Shangri-La (check out the Shangri-La travel guide) is a land of idyllic beauty with quiet lakes, verdant forests, vast grasslands with flocks and herds, mysterious monasteries, and snow-capped mountains.

The most-popular attractions in Shangri-La are: Pudacuo National Park, Meili Snow Mountain, Song Zanling Monastery, Lake Bita and Lake Shudu, Lake Napa, and Baishuitai. Feilai Temple is the best place to catch the sunrise and the sunset scenery with Meili Snow Mountain. If you are interested in ethnic culture, you can visit a local Naxi family.

In October most places in Shangri-La are decorated in flaming red and yellow colors. Rare foggy weather in this month brings a much clearer view of snow-capped mountains for photographers. The temperature difference between day and night in October is big, ranging on average from 5 °C (41 °F) to 20 °C (68 °F).

Recommended tour: 8-Day Shangri-La Exploration Tour

Visit These Beautiful Places with Us

Visit the Yellow Mountains in OctoberVisit the Yellow Mountains in October

If you are interested in visiting the above destinations, you can contact us for details, and have us tailor-make a tour of China for you. Our travel specialists can help you with an itinerary and insider recommendations.

Here are two sample itineraries for your reference:

Find more ideas from our China tours.