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China Weather in March 2024: Destinations, Crowds, and Costs

Written by Chris QuanUpdated Nov. 3, 2023

March is a great time to admire the natural beauty of China.

March generally marks the transition from winter to spring in most parts of China. Southern regions, such as Guangzhou, Guilin, or Hong Kong, tend to have milder temperatures and blooming flowers.

However, northern regions, such as Beijing, may still experience cold temperatures, especially earlier in the month.

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China Weather in March: Overview

  • Average daily temperature range: 3–13°C (37–55°F)
  • Average rainfall: 46 mm (1.8 in)
  • Average rainy days: 4
  • Average sunny days: 27
China in March

Weather in North China (Beijing, Xi'an...)

North China starts to warm up and snow melts more than it stays from Beijing southwards. North of Beijing, it is still definitely freezing winter until April.

March is still very cold. Temperature differences between day and night are large — more than 10°C (18°F). Sandstorms and foggy (smoggy) weather are possible during this month for cities in North China. Prevailing light to moderate breezes reinforce the feeling of cold.

In Beijing in March, the average temperature range is -1–12°C (30–54°F) and there are 2 days of rain/snow totaling 9 mm (0.5 in). It is like Washington, D.C. (except for the dust storms and dryness) — sometimes quite chilly and often windy.

Clothing: Wear a winter coat, thick trousers and socks, and warm shoes. If you venture north of Beijing, dress for a Siberian winter, with thick hats, gloves, scarves, etc.

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Weather in East China (Shanghai, Hangzhou...)

East China becomes wetter as a prelude to the summer monsoon season. Approximately half of the month sees daily drizzle. It is quite windy. Light to moderate breezes are common.

Taking Shanghai as an example — its average temperature range is 5–13°C (41–55°F) and there are typically 14 days of rain amounting to 90 mm (3.5 in) in March.

Clothing: Wear long sleeves, thick trousers, sweaters, and a windproof coat, and take rain gear or an umbrella.

Weather in South China (Guilin, Hong Kong...)

March is the cool/mild, drizzly season in South China. In the south, people begin to take off their thick winter clothes and put on spring clothes.

Taking Guilin as an example: the average temperature range there is 10–17°C (50–63°F) and there are, on average, 19 days of rain adding up to 135 mm (5 in) in March. The daily drizzle builds towards the monsoon rains of May/June.

Clothing: A coat, warm trousers, pullover, and rain gear are adequate.

Weather in West China (Chengdu, Tibet, Yunnan...)

In West China, some areas still maintain relatively cold weather, such as Tibet. Due to the celebration of some important festivals, Tibet is routinely closed to foreign visitors in March.

However, some areas have already begun to move into spring with cool/mild temperatures, such as Chengdu and Yunnan.

Clothing: Wear a thin sweater or jacket in the daytime and a thick coat at night.

The Top 5 Places to Visit in March in China

From stunning natural landscapes to vibrant cities, here are the top five places to visit in China in March.

1. Beijing

March brings flowers blooming in parks across the city. The Summer Palace and the Temple of Heaven are good places to see flowers, and they are also famous cultural heritage sites in China.

The mild and sunny weather is also good for visiting the Great Wall. Sightseeing, hiking, or camping are all suitable.

There are also relatively few visitors to the Forbidden City at this time of year. You could enjoy a quieter environment and visit the buildings and treasures more closely to learn about the capital's history of emperors.

2. Guilin

Guilin in March offers picturesque views that resemble landscape paintings. With its stunning mountains and rivers, Guilin is an ideal destination for a March visit to China.

Take a cruise down the Li River to appreciate the stunning karst mountains and picturesque waterways, and witness the beauty that inspired traditional Chinese paintings, especially in hazy weather.

Go to the nearby countryside in Yangshuo to see the perfect pastoral scenery. Cycle through the fields, visit the local villagers, experience the farm work, and enjoy a cup of coffee on the balcony of the hotel overlooking the distant flower fields.

3. Yunnan

The province of Yunnan, with its mild and pleasant weather in March, is an ideal destination for those seeking diverse landscapes, vibrant activities, and unique ethnic cultures.

Outdoor activities, such as hiking, biking, and mountaineering, are all made more suitable by the good weather.

In March, when flowers are in full bloom, it is also a good idea to learn how to make the local famous flower cakes at a farm. There are also beautiful towns, lakes, and grasslands to explore.

4. Chengdu

It's neither too hot nor too cold in Chengdu in March. The comfortable weather is perfect for sightseeing.

Get up close and personal with adorable giant pandas, experience the vibrant street food scene in Jinli Ancient Street, and relax in one of the traditional teahouses.

5. Wuyuan

Wuyuan in March is best for admiring seas of rapeseed flowers. In March, the rapeseed flowers are in full bloom, creating a vibrant yellow landscape that is a treat for the eyes.

You could also explore the villages there. Walk along the ancient paths, step back in time as you wander through the well-preserved traditional houses and streets, and experience the authentic rural lifestyle.

Or you could see our Top Places to Visit in March in China for inspiration.

Crowds and Costs in March

March is still in the low travel season. It is the last month that hotels in major China tourist cities offer low-season prices. Most hotels will raise their prices by 30–40% from April to October.

March also sees fewer crowds at tourist attractions and most cities enjoy pleasant weather.

If you want to arrange a private tour, simply contact us. You'll receive a 100% refund of any payments made to China Highlights if you cancel up to 3 weeks before departure. (See more details.)

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