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The Top 5 Places to Visit in Autumn in China

Planning a trip to China? Autumn (September–November) is generally the best time to visit China.

Travelling to China in fall offers beautiful experiences, with comfortable weather, fewer crowds than in summer, and gorgeous autumn foliage.

If your heart is set on China with the above travel attractions, then these top 5 places to visit in China in fall would make journey highlights.

top places to visit in fall in china

1. Beijing — the Great Wall

the scenery of the Great Wall in fall

Trees line the Great Wall of China for much of its 4,000-mile length. Some of them come up above the wall, so that when you are walking along the ramparts you can see a long, continuous line of red and yellow.

You might get read that Badaling is the most popular section to visit in autumn, as it is home to Badaling Forest Park with its amazing sea of red-leafed trees.

However, Mutianyu or Jinshanling sections are more recommended if you don’t want your photos to be full of people. See the Most Popular Great Wall Sections near Beijing

Fragrant Hills Park (香山公园) in the suburbs of Beijing is the most popular, and the most accessible, place to enjoy autumn foliage. Pine, maple, and persimmon trees dot the landscape, as do many traditional Chinese buildings.

2. Huangshan — The Yellow Mountains

the yellow mountains

The Yellow Mountains (黄山) put on a fabulous show of colors each autumn. The best fall foliage is in the valleys and villages like Tachuan, as Huangshan's legendary pines are evergreen. Leaves show their rich and vibrant hues, with colors ranging from orange to brilliant red.

The autumn foliage season begins in October and lasts to early November. Except for the red leaves, there are many other highlights which are worth seeing, such as the sunrise, rocks, waterfalls, oddly-shaped pine trees and sea of clouds. The Yellow Mountains are renowned as the most beautiful mountains in China.

The Yellow Mountains are close to other tourist destinations like Shanghai, Hangzhou and Nanjing. A visit to the mountains can be combined with tours of these cities.

3. Guilin — Longji Terraced Fields and Yangshuo Countryside

visit guilin in autumn

The Longji Terraced Fields — golden undulating rice paddies

Longji's Terraced Fields (龙脊梯田) are just like a vast painting spreading between heaven and earth, whose beauty will really take your breath away. As the autumn breeze blows, the tree leaves and rice fields change color, with yellow gingko leaves, red maple leaves and golden rice paddies adding a wealth of romantic ambience to autumn.

Yangshuo Countryside — enjoy some family leisurely time

Visiting Yangshuo's countryside provides a great opportunity to get close to nature and real life in South China's countryside. Cycling leisurely by the rice paddies, fruit orchards, karst hills, and tranquil villages gives you a fascinating insight into China's rural life. You may also visit the local farmers at work or at home.

Read more on Best Places to See Autumn Colors in Guilin.

4. Yunnan — Yuanyang Terraced Fields

visit yunnan yuanyang rice terraces in autumn

The Yuanyang Terraced Fields (元阳梯田), in Southwest China's Yunnan Province, are considered one of the best places for photos in China. The terraced paddy fields wind from the valley bottoms up to the top, like, from a distance, great chains or ribbons as they wind their way around the contours of the mountain slopes in parallel, tiered bands. They are not as steep, but more extensive than Longji's terraces.

During autumn the rice ripens, turning the hills a brilliant yellow color, with the terraced structure creating a myriad of golden tiers. The period from mid September to early October is the optimal time to visit (though the Oct. 1–7 holiday is crowded).

  • Recommended tour: Yunnan Beautiful Views — the Stone Forest, classic architecture, and Yuanyang terraces in 6 days

5. Chengdu — Baby Pandas and Jiuzhaigou Valley

Chengdu Jiuzhaigou

Baby pandas are usually born in August. If you visit Chengdu in autumn, you may have a chance to see the adorable panda cubs. Our 2-Day Giant Panda and Giant Buddha Tour includes Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Center — the best place to see baby pandas. Or, for an in-depth panda experience, you could join in a one-day volunteer program in Dujiangyan Panda Base.

Jiuzhaigou Nature Reserve is a nature reserve and UNESCO World Heritage Site in Sichuan. The park's main feature are clear and multicolored lakes surrounded by vast mountain forests, whose brilliant autumn colors become reflected in the water. Numerous lakes, ponds, and waterfalls display a dream combination of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple.

It suffered major damage in a 7.0-magnitude earthquake in 2017, but is now reopened to tourists. If you want to enjoy Jiuzhaigou's extraordinary beauty, the best chance time to go is fall.

Enjoy Your Autumn Holiday in China with Us

the li riverBring a camera with you and enjoy your trip.

If any of this has inspired you to come to China in autumn, you could follow the links above for more information, or contact us directly for planning a tour. We are here to tailor-make your China tour according to your interests and requirements.

Here is a massively successful sample itinerary for inspiration:

  • Classic Wonders — See the highlights in Beijing, Xi’an, Guilin, and Shanghai in 11 days.

Or see our China Tours for 2019 for more trending tour ideas.

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