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China Weather in March

March is seen as the start of spring (for central China). Generally the winter cold is decreasing, and the weather is becoming warm. China has a big climate range — from subzero weather in the northeast to warm weather and blooming flowers in the south. Weather in March in China differs greatly from region to region.

China March climate map

Northeast China — freezing weather

— Harbin, Changchun, Shenyang, Dalian…

It is still freezing in March in northeast China. The average low temperature is below zero, and the average high is not much above. It snows sometimes. The average light or moderate breeze reinforces the feeling of cold.

The northeast is the coldest area of China. The freezing weather in winter has resulted in some of the best ski resorts in China, e.g. Yabuli, the best ski resort in China, is located near Harbin. This area’s golden traveling season is in winter, from December to February, but skiing and snow activities may still be possible in early March.

Want to know more on Northeast's March weather and current weather forecast? Continue to read March Weather in Harbin.

North China — snow melts

— Beijing, Datong, Tianjin, Luoyang…

walking the Beiing Great WallThe Great Wall to yourselves in March!

North China starts to warm up and snow melts more than it stays. However, it's still very cold. Beijing in March is like Washington DC (except for the Beijing dust storms and dryness) — sometimes quite chilly and often windy.

Temperature differences between day and night are large — more than 10°C (18°F). The average temperature rises to above 10°C (50°F) in the day, but it drops to around 0°C (32°F) at night.

Sandstorms and foggy (smoggy) weather are possible in this month for cities in north China.

Late March is one of the best times for hiking on the Great Wall because daytime temperatures are comfortable, it is dry, and crowds are fewer.

East China — cool, becoming wetter

— Shanghai, Hangzhou, Suzhou, Huangshan…

East China becomes wetter as a prelude to the late spring/summer monsoon season. Around half the month sees daily drizzle. The average high and low temperatures are 14°C (57°F) and 6°C (43°F). It is quite windy. Light to moderate breezes are common.

The South — flowers are blooming

— Guilin, Guangzhou, Hong Kong…

Flowers, Shangrila in GuilinFlowers blooming in Guilin's countryside

In the South, people begin to take off thick overcoats and put on spring clothes. In late March, rape and peach flowers are blooming and trees and grass put forth new growth. March is the mild, drizzly season in south China. Take Guilin for example, where daily drizzle builds towards the monsoon rains of May/June.

The Southwest — comfortable and dry weather

— Dali, Lijiang, Xishuangbanna, Kunming, Chengdu…

March is very comfortable for traveling around the Yunnan region — Kunming, Dali, Lijiang, and Xishuangbanna. Unlike in most of China’s south, it is dry with very little rain. The daily average high is around 20°C (63°F), while it is about 5°C (43°F) at night — mild with a big day-night difference.

Likewise, Chengdu gets little rainfall (20 mm) in March. The daily average high is around 16°C (61°F), while the low is about 8°C (46°F) at night.

China march rainfall map

Average March Weather Data for Major Tourist Cities

Cities Average High Average Low Rainy days Precipitation
Beijing 12°C (54°F) 0°C (32°F) 3 8mm (.3")
Xi’an 14°C (57°F) 4°C (39°F) 7 29mm (1")
Shanghai 13°C (55°F) 5°C (41°F) 15 118mm (4.7")
Hangzhou 14°C (57°F) 6°C (43°F) 16 138mm (5.5")
Chengdu 16°C (61°F) 8°C (46°F) 11 20mm (.8")
Guilin 16°C (61°F) 10°C (50°F) 19 137mm (5.5")
Kunming 21°C (70°F) 6°C (43°F) 6 20mm (.8")

Traveling around China in March

Best March Destinations in China

Scenery in march in GuilinBeautiful spring scenery in March, Guilin

March is a very good season to travel to South China (Guangzhou, Guilin, Hong Kong). The weather is mild/warm with flowers blooming and fresh green leaves. The rainy season is yet to come. South China’s rainy season usually arrives in April and continues to July/August. Other recommendations include:

  • Sanya: warmest city, average high 29℃ (84°℉)
  • Chengdu: mild and dry weather, average high 16 ℃ (60℉), rainfall 20mm (0.8")
  • Kunming: dry and comfortable weather, average high 21°C (70°F), rainfall 17mm (0.7")

Read more on the best places to travel in March in China.

There are many flower festivals and three notable temple fairs in central and south China in March. See more Major Events and Festivals in March.

The Best Low-Season-Travel Month — fewer crowds and mild weather

March is still in the low travel season — China’s high travel season begins in April and continues to October, with July and August the busiest months. It sees fewer crowds at tourist attractions, and it is warmer than December, January, and February.

It is the last month that hotels in major China tourist cities offer the low-season price. Most hotels will raise prices by 30–40% from April to October. Beijing is an exception — hotels in Beijing begin to raise prices in mid-March.

Recommend Clothes for March Travel

China march clothing guide map

Carry a range of clothes if you are visiting the north and center/south in the winter/spring crossover.

  • The Northeast: The average high is about 2℃ (36℉). Warm clothes such as thick overcoat, sweater, hat, gloves and scarf are necessary.
  • North & Central: Overcoats, long underwear, and fleeces are recommended.
  • The East: Long sleeves, pants, a light windproof jacket, and rain gear or umbrella are recommended.
  • The South: A thin sweater or jacket and rain gear are enough.
  • The Northwest and Tibet: Not suitable/recommended for tourism.

Most Popular China Tour Itineraries for March Travel

China Highlights guide and customerTraveling with China Highlights, you'll be taken care of well by our tour guides.

Planning your China trip? We have selected three most popular China tour itineraries for you to consider:

Want more suggestions or inspiration on your China trip? Continue to read How to Plan Your First Trip to China

March Weather and Things to Do in China's Cities

China Climate Information by Month