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Best Places to Travel in Early Summer

Planning a summer trip to China? Browse the best places to travel in early summer (May and June): Guilin, Shanghai, Beijing, Tibet, and Yunnan. We live in China and know it well. No matter when you come, in summer or another season, you will get our expert suggestions for your China tour.

Benefits of Early Summer Travel

longji terraced fieldsGuilin's Longji Terraced Fields in early June.

Early summer is the second best time to travel to China overall, after fall.

  • Early summer is just before the start of the peak summer season, so you don’t have to suffer the long queues when visiting the famous attractions.
  • The early summer rains bring out the freshest colors in China’s beautiful natural scenery. The weather is more comfortable than the mid to late summer heat.
  • The middle-season hotel and entrance ticket prices are great value for money.

Heavy rain might bring temporary inconvenience to your travel, particularly in Guilin. We do our best to ensure weather conditions affect our customers’ tours as little as possible — our private tour style gives us flexibility to dodge the rain.

1. Guilin — Misty Mountain Landscapes

the li river

In early summer, when the temperature is pleasant, you can have an enjoyable trip on the Li River, surrounded by limestone cones, towers, and remarkable hills, decorated with verdure.

Taking a bamboo raft or cruise on the river is an especially atmospheric experience in early summer, when post-rain coils of cloud enhance the scenery of mountain areas like Guilin, which enjoys its monsoon peak.

There’s more special scenery in early summer at Guilin’s Longji Rice Terraces. Early summer is the time for planting rice, so the terraces are fully irrigated, making them like mirrors when the sun is shining. You will see beautiful vistas of tiered fields reflecting the light and being shadowed by the mist.

2. Shanghai — Idyllic Water Towns

zhujiajiao water town

Shanghai is a busy city, but the idyllic water towns nearby will bring you refreshing scenery in early summer.

Early summer is the rainy season in the Yangtze Delta. Verdant trees caress the white walls and black tiles of traditional buildings along the brimming canals, as the rains transform the water towns into Chinese brushwork masterpieces.

We usually suggest that our customers travel Shanghai, Hangzhou, and Suzhou together, as they are all provide beautiful scenery in early summer, and it’s more flexible for you to adjust the trip in case of rainy days. Convenient bullet trains connect these three photogenic cities.

3. Beijing — Pleasant on the Great Wall

the Great Wall of China

Beijing is the most popular destination in China. So it’s worth knowing that early summer will provide you a less crowded Beijing tour than in later summer and autumn. In early summer, the hazy weather gets better and there are often blue skies, dappled sunsets, and rainbows.

The weather is great for Great Wall hiking, and lush greens and blossoming flowers make the fresh Great Wall mountain vistas even more beautiful.

4. Tibet — Untainted Land and Mysterious Culture

the potala palace

July, August, and September make up Tibet's peak tourist season and modest rainy season, when some attractions in Tibet might be overcrowded.

Visiting Tibet in early summer, you should enjoy a pleasanter tour of this breathtaking land, because of less rain and crowding, less strong highland sunlight, and more oxygen.

5. Yunnan — Lush Lakes and Inviting Mountains

erhai lake

Yunnan is known for year-round mild weather. However, the mountains do have long winters and summer vacations bring in the crowds. So early summer is a good time to enjoy particularly comfortable weather, and explore a less-crowded Yunnan.

In early summer, you can see quiet lakes around Kunming, and around Lijiang everything’s at its most verdant: forests, vast grasslands with flocks and herds, mysterious monasteries, valleys with colorful flowers, and snow-capped mountains.

Travel China in Early Summer with Us

the yellow mountainsThe Yellow Mountains also enjoy seas of clouds in early summer.

We at China Highlights aim to help you have a brilliantly memorable experience in China. Our travel advisors are very glad to give you suggestions and guidance for your trip planning.

We can tailor-make your trip to make the most of the seasonal conditions you prefer, as well as your interests and other requirements. Let us create your tour now.

Or you can have a look at our most popular customizable itineraries:

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