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China Weather in October 2024: Where to Go, Crowds, and Costs

Written by Chris QuanUpdated Apr. 3, 2024

October is the most popular month for people traveling to China. Sunny and cool weather that's ideal for travel prevails in most of China. Autumnal colors begin to appear across the country and are generally at their best at the end of the month.

Read on to learn more about China's weather in October and take advantage of our helpful travel tips.

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China Weather in October: Overview

  • Average daily temperature range: 10–20°C (50–68°F)
  • Average rainfall: 49 mm (2 in)
  • Average rainy days: 4
  • Average sunny days: 26
China in October

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

Cities in North China are quite chilly in October and the temperature could be below 10°C (50°F) at night. The summer rains are over, so it is usually dry, but the cold air brings light rain.

Take Beijing as an example — the average temperature is 8–19°C (46–66°F). Beijing gets optimal crisp, cool, and clear weather, and locals love to go out to see the scenery and exercise outdoors in October.

Clothing: Generally, a base layer with a light jacket or fleece is a good option for the daytime, with a coat at the ready for the evening.

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

East China's cities enjoy pleasant autumnal weather on most days. It is often still warm and there is much less rainfall than in summer. The exception is if a tropical storm or typhoon arrives.

Take Shanghai as an example — the average temperature is 15–23°C (59–73°F). The yellow ginkgo trees along the roads make the city of Shanghai appear even more beautiful.

Clothing: Wear a light jacket, light clothing, and shorts.

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

Cities in South China still have fairly hot weather in early October. It rains half as much as it does during the summer or less. It could still be warm during the day and it is cool at night.

Guilin is a northerly example — the average temperature is 19–27°C (66–81°F). This makes for better touring, hiking, and biking weather.

Hong Kong eventually gets cooler and has drier fall weather by the end of October. However, sometimes there are typhoons and it rains heavily. It is warm during the day and sometimes still at night.

Clothing: Wear shorts and light clothes, but take rain gear.

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

The temperature falls significantly in China's west in October, and it gets cold at night. By the end of the month, it begins to freeze. The mountains grow cold and begin to be covered in snow. It is cold or warm depending on the altitude. Rainfall is very low, except in the mountains.

In Lhasa (Tibet) the temperature averages 5–19°C (41–66°F) and rainfall is light: 8 mm (0.5 in) in 4 days.

Travel in the west is popular with early autumn colors, for example in Tibet, Jiuzhaigou, the Silk Road, and Inner Mongolia.

Clothing: Wear a jacket/coat and trousers, and take a hat and other UV protection.

Top 7 Places to Visit in China in October

In October, almost everywhere is highly suitable for sightseeing. The cool and pleasant weather makes it perfect for a variety of activities. Most destinations are adorned with charming autumn colors.

If you have other destinations in mind besides the following, we could also arrange an itinerary to suit you: almost everywhere in China is good to travel in October!. All of our tours can be customized. Feel free to contact us.

1. Beijing: Embracing History Amid Fall Foliage

Beijing is a must-visit destination for most first-timers to China no matter when you travel. But visiting in October would give you a more comfortable experience.

October's mild weather makes activities on the Great Wall more delightful. Whether it's hiking or camping, both are optimal choices. Even if you're just sightseeing, the autumn scenery at the Great Wall would not disappoint you.

The scattered leaves of gold, amber, and crimson create a striking contrast against the ancient stone structure.

You could delve into the ancient world without the extremes of summer heat or winter cold in the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven.

You won't want to miss the chance to explore Beijing's traditional hutongs for a taste of local cuisine and authentic cultural immersion.

2. Shanghai: the Modern Marvels of Fall

In October, Shanghai's tree-lined streets and parks are adorned with a mosaic of golden and russet leaves.

The city's iconic Bund offers mesmerizing views of futuristic skyscrapers juxtaposed with the elegance of the Huangpu River.

A cozy walk along the Bund would let you touch and feel their charm and learn about the history behind them when you step into those old buildings.

You could visit the Jade Buddha Temple to feel the simplicity amid the urban glamour. After visiting, you could take a break at a quiet coffee shop to experience a moment of tranquility amid the bustling city. We know a shop that provides jobs for people with autism, for example.

3. Tibet: Spirituality and Majesty in Harmony

October's pleasant temperatures and clear skies create an optimal environment for a spiritual journey in Tibet. The Potala Palace and monasteries glow under the warm sunshine and clear sky.

You could hike in a Tibetan pasture and experience horse riding, milking yaks, and making butter. You could spend a day like a Tibetan nomad. It is a good way to get involved in rural local life.

Barkhor Street is another place to get an impression of the local way of life, but in the Tibetan capital. There, you could visit a local market and encounter devout pilgrims and local vendors selling Tibetan crafts and goods.

October also marks an ideal time for the revered Mount Kailash pilgrimage, facilitated by warm enough weather, low rainfall, and good oxygen levels.

4. Zhangjiajie: Avatar's Enchanted Realm

Zhangjiajie in autumn reveals a spellbinding panorama.

You could explore the iconic pillars and breathtaking landscapes that inspired the movie Avatar in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park.

When you take a cable car ride to the summits and hike along the trails amid the vibrant fall foliage, you may be amazed by the looming beauty when mist shrouds the mountains.

You could ride the world's longest cable car to Tianmen Mountain, marvel at the stunning vistas from the glass skywalk, and capture the stunning autumn scenery through your lens.

5. Guilin: Autumn's Splendor in Karst Landscapes

Guilin's karst landscapes come alive in October with hues of gold and red. The Li River reflects the towering limestone peaks, offering an enchanting scene during a leisurely Li River cruise.

You could immerse yourself in the serenity of Reed Flute Cave's illuminated wonders, which is a surreal underground experience.

For a charming escape, you could venture to Yangshuo's countryside. Cycling or walking along winding paths, and as the sun sets, the landscape is painted with a soft, golden glow, casting a serene enchantment over this idyllic corner of China.

6. The Silk Road: Tracing Ancient Trade Routes

Located in a relatively dry region with desert landscapes, the cool and mild weather in October offers the best sightseeing conditions to travel along the Silk Road.

You could travel from the ancient capital, Xi'an, to colorful Zhangye, then to mysterious Dunhuang, and finally to exotic Xinjiang. Along this journey, you would explore the mausoleum of China's first emperor — the Terracotta Army, vast deserts, and the Mogao Caves, the world's largest and most content-rich site of Buddhist art.

You could also explore the vibrant bazaars, old towns, and stunning scenery of Xinjiang, and immerse yourself in a blend of Chinese and Central Asian influences. You could savor local flavors and absorb the captivating atmosphere.

7. Ejina Euphrates Poplar Forest: An Awesome Autumn Attraction

In the heart of Inner Mongolia, Ejina Populus Euphratica Forest reveals an oasis of color amid the desert in October.

The ancient poplar trees don vibrant hues of yellow and orange, creating a striking contrast against the arid landscape. This stunning view can only be seen in late September to mid-October.

Sunset is the most beautiful time. When the golden sun illuminates the leaves of gold, its rays filter through the gaps, casting dappled shadows upon the ground beneath the trees.

You could witness the resilience of life in this harsh environment and embark on camel treks to fully appreciate the desert's unique beauty.

Costs and Crowds in October

October's allure should be accompanied by considerations of costs and crowds. While tourist numbers and travel costs may see a moderate increase compared to off-peak months, the experience is enriched by the captivating destinations and favorable weather.

For a better travel experience, we highly recommend traveling in mid to late October if your schedule allows, as there are fewer tourists, reasonable prices, and still good weather.

Important Golden Week (October 1st–7th) Tips

It is important to know that the first week of October is China's National Day holiday, also known as "Golden Week". The whole country has a 7-day vacation, which means there are seas of tourists in popular cities. Transportation, hotels, and attractions are usually fully booked.

Because of this, you are recommended to confirm your plans in advance — at least 1 month beforehand — if your departure time is during the National Day holiday. Alternatively, you could just contact our experienced travel advisors to help you arrange your China tour during Golden Week. See more on avoiding Golden Week crowds.

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