HomeChina Guide Top Destinations for Winter Tours in China

Top 10 Destinations for Winter Tours in China

winter

Your winter holidays in China will be colorful and unforgettable. The country spreads over vast territory. From north to south, there is beautiful snow scenery, but also spring-like scenery.

We suggest 10 top destinations suitable for visiting in winter, hoping this can inspire you as you plan for winter holidays.

1. Beijing

Why this? Less crowded than at other times; cost-efficient; Spring Festival experience; snowy scenery

the great wallThe Great Wall in winter

Compared with the other three seasons, fewer people visit Beijing in winter. The city presents different scenery in winter. The Great Wall is a beautiful snowy sensation, with nearby mountains covered in snow. The wall’s white winter clothing makes it look more solemn and majestic.

Chinese New Year occurs in winter. Learn how Chinese people spend the Spring Festival by taking part in temple fairs in the Temple of Heaven, the Lama Temple and Ditan Park.

Check out our 4-Day Emperor's Tour of Beijing, exploring the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, hutongs, the Temple of Heaven, and a traditional Chinese cultural experience.

2. Xi'an

Why this? Fewer crowds than at other times; cost-efficient; Terracotta Army; delicious food

xianMaking terracotta warriors in Xian

In winter, the snowy scenery of Xi’an is also beautiful, somehow enhancing the sense of history, with ancient buildings and streets dressed in snow.

Look into the secrets of the Terracotta Army and go to a local cave dwelling where it is warm and you can watch a craftsman make terracotta warriors in the traditional way.

Try some local food in the Muslim quarter, such as roujiamo (a Chinese hamburger), biangbiang noodles, and pita bread soaked in lamb soup, to warm you up.

3. Yunnan

Why this? Warm weather; old towns; beautiful snowy mountains; beautiful terraced landscape

lijiang ancient townLijiang Old Town

Yunnan is a province in southwest China. It is less affected by the cold than many other places. You can still enjoy warm temperatures when you travel to Yunnan in winter.

Visit the Stone Forest near Kunming and go to Lijiang Old Town for Christmas, to experience a combination of Chinese and western cultures. See our 6-Day Kunming, Dali, and Lijiang Highlights Tour.

Alternatively, go to Manting Park in Jinghong, southern Yunnan, which used to be the royal gardens for the Dai Emperor. See the Da Luo River and One Tree Forest in Xishuangbanna, an ancient banyan tree over 900 years old constituting a ‘forest’. It is a wonder of the tropical rainforest.

If you like photography, you must visit Yuanyang. When all the rice terraces are filled with water and bathed in sunlight, the reflections are magnificent. Observe the ripples in the breeze

It is best to go to Yuanyang in late winter or early spring. Photographers should stay for at least two days to appreciate fully its ever-changing beauty. See our 6-Day Jianshui and Yuanyang Tour to find out about some of Yunnan’s most beautiful views.

4. Guizhou

miao new yearMiao New Year Festival

Why this? Miao cultural experience; Chinese New Year celebrations with Miao people; learning about traditional handicrafts

For a slightly warmer region and to experience minority culture, come to Guizhou. Miao villages are most representative of Guizhou’s minority culture.

Visit Shiqiao Miao Village to learn how to make paper, using traditional methods; visit Matang Gejia Village to learn how to make Gejia batik.

If you travel from October to November, you may experience the Miao New Year Festival. If you travel in January or February, you may experience Chinese New Year with the Miao people. No matter which Miao village you visit, you will be warmly welcomed. They will dress-up, dance and sing, greeting guests with rice wine.

Check out our 6-Day Minority Festival Tour in Guizhou, which includes trying on stunning Miao costumes, and celebrating festivals with local people.

5. Harbin

harbinIce and Snow World

Why this? International Ice and Snow Festival; best ski resort

The Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival has made Harbin a popular destination for winter tours. The festival usually starts on January 5 and lasts a month.

Every winter, the big Ice and Snow World is built on the frozen Songhua River, where there are castles made of ice and snow and all kinds of ice sculptures. There are also winter swimming competitions, snowfield football, ice sculpture competitions, and ice and snow photography exhibitions.

To enjoy more fully the Ice and Snow World, you can visit the majestic St. Sofia Orthodox Church, Yabuli Ski Resort (which claims to be China's best), and Central Street.

See our One-Day Ice and Snow Fairyland Tour, having fun in the icy winter wonderland.

6. Hong Kong

Why this? shopping festivals; Christmas celebrations

christmas in hong-kongChristmas in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a good destination for a winter tour, as it enjoys mild and warm weather and hosts various winter festivals.

At the end of each year, there is a big shopping festival. Almost all the shopping stores have special promotions, including Harbor City, DFS in Tsim Sha Tsui, and the IFC Mall in Central.

There is a fantastic Christmas celebration in Hong Kong. Lavish Christmas decorations are set up in shops and public spaces. Go to Victoria Harbor and watch the free Christmas holiday light show. Christmas-themed amusements and entertainment are featured in Disneyland.

Check our 4-Day Hong Kong Family Tour to Disneyland and Hong Kong Island.

7. The Yellow Mountains

Why this? beautiful snowy landscapes; hot springs; cost-efficient

the yellow mountainsThe Yellow Mountains

The Yellow Mountains feature marvelous snowy landscapes, along with rime and glaze scenery. The imaginatively-named pines, oddly-shaped rocks, seas of cloud, and hot springs are known as the "Four Natural Wonders". Winter is the best time to see and experience the four wonders.

When visiting the Yellow Mountains, you can take a cable car up and down. But some walking is needed. Be careful when walking, especially on snowy days.

It is more economical to visit Huangshan in winter. Entrance tickets and hotel prices are cheaper.

See our 3-Day Ancient Village and Yellow Mountain Tour.

8. Chengdu

Why this? snowy scenery; colorful lakes; hot pot; panda

Mt. Emei Mount Emei

Go to Mount Emei for beautiful snowy scenery with sweeping cliffs, high-reaching peaks, gushing waterfalls, gurgling springs and towering ancient trees. Appreciate the less-crowded-than-usual Jiuzhaigou with colorful lakes, spectacular waterfalls, and mountains.

Hot pot is an indispensable winter feast. Many restaurants in Chengdu – such as Lao Ma Tou, Huang Cheng Lao Ma, Shu Jiu Xiang Hotpot and Xiao Long Kan – serve authentic hot pot.

Pandas are a must-see whenever you go to Chengdu. Make panda cakes, feed the cuddly creatures and clean the Panda Base enclosure. Getting up close to pandas will provide unforgettable moments in your winter holidays.

See our 5-Day Chengdu and Jiuzhaigou Highlights Tour, including a panda visit.

9. Hainan

sanyaSanya

Why this? sunny weather; best beach resort; tropical sightseeing; water sports

Hainan, in the tropics, is recognized as the best winter resort in China. The sun, blue seas, clear skies, soft sands, and warm weather all feature in the Hainan winter.

Enjoy your winter holidays in Yalong Bay Tourism Zone in Sanya. Sunbathe in the bay, the best beach in China. Exercise with water activities, such as surfing, swimming or motorboat riding. Visit the Tianyahaijiao Tourism Zone, regarded as the southernmost tip of China.

Alternatively, go to Volcano Crater Park in Haikou, featuring a quaternary volcanic group consisting of 40 volcanoes. Wander around the Haikou Arcade Streets, explore some shops, take a rest, and relax with a cup of coffee.

jilin rimeJilin Rime

10. Jilin

Why this? marvelous Jilin Rime

The biggest reason for traveling to Jilin in winter is to see the Jilin Rime. Jilin is a city in Jilin Province, in the northeast of China. Jilin Rime is regarded as one of four natural wonders in China, along with the Guilin landscape, the Stone Forest in Yunnan and the Yangtze Three Gorges.

When winter comes, the whole city becomes an ice-covered wonderland of trees covered with rime, a deep frost stunning to the eye. You can best appreciate such natural crystalline beauty along the Songhua River and on Rime Island.

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