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China Weather in September 2024: Weather Tips & Where to Go

September is one of the best months for traveling in China. It is noticeably cooler than the main summer months and there are fewer tourists.

September marks the beginning of autumn weather in China. The summer heat begins to wane and the weather in the north becomes cooler. In South China, the hot and humid weather continues, but it is gradually replaced by cooler and drier weather by the end of this month.

Read on to find out how China's September climate affects tourism and our travel suggestions.

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China Weather in September: Overview

  • Average daily temperature range: 16–26°C (61–79°F), mild–warm
  • Average rainfall: 85 mm (3 in), moderate
  • Average rainy days: 5
  • Average sunny days: 25
China in September

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

North China gets crisp, mild, and clear weather for much of the month. The beginning of the month may still be like summer, though. Its moderate rainy season ends in August, so the pleasant early autumn weather is great for touring.

In Beijing, the average temperature is 16–26°C (61–79°F). North of Beijing, such as in Mongolia, it averages 5°C (41°F) colder, so it's still pleasant to see the grasslands.

Xi'an is still warm with cool nights. Pleasant autumn temperatures are cooler after the light rain.

Clothing: Wear summer clothing, such as shorts, T-shirts, and light trousers, plus a thin jacket or warm layer for cooler days and evenings.

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

East China has pleasant September weather. The fragrance of cassia and cinnamon flowers contributes to the soothing feel of fall.

The warm days and cool or warm nights generally have less rainfall than in summer, and the climate is not as dry as in the north.

Shanghai averages 21–28°C (70–82°F). Eastern cities, such as Shanghai, Suzhou, Hangzhou, Nanjing, and Huangshan, are similar.

Clothing: Wear a thin rain-resistant jacket, light clothing, and shorts.

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

Temperatures in South China are significantly higher than in the north.

Guilin cools in September, averaging 22–31°C (72–88°F). It rains much less than earlier in the summer. This makes for better weather for a Li River cruise. And at the end of September, it's the best time to see the golden Longji Rice Terraces.

Temperatures in cities further south, such as Guangzhou and Hong Kong, are higher still. Hong Kong remains a little rainy due to occasional typhoons.

Clothing: Wear shorts or light trousers and other summer clothing, such as T-shirts, sunglasses, and a hat.

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

In Lhasa and other high-altitude cities in Tibet, the temperature is lower than in cities further east. Lhasa averages 9–21°C (48–70°F).

Chengdu averages 19–25°C (66–77°F). The weather is warm and rainy at the beginning of the month, but it cools down and stops raining quite as much as the days of September go by.

Yunnan is at the end of the rainy season in September and the rain gradually decreases. The temperature is mild and perfect for traveling.

Clothing: You'll need a variety of clothes, such as a jacket, light trousers, T-shirts/shirts, and rain gear. Take a coat if you go up to the mountains, such as the area around Lijiang in West Yunnan. For Lhasa, take your coat and sunglasses and dress in layers.

The Top 7 Places to Visit in China in September

The good weather makes it ideal to go anywhere in September. Here are seven destinations that are perfect for first-time visitors to China.

1. Beijing

In September, the mild and pleasant temperature in Beijing greatly enhances your visiting experience, particularly when exploring major attractions, such as the Forbidden City and the Great Wall, which are large outdoor structures.

Moreover, during autumn, Jing Mountain, standing at one end of the Forbidden City, is an excellent viewpoint to ascend. Its gentle slopes make it easily accessible, and you can also enjoy a panoramic view of the Forbidden City from its summit.

Additionally, city walking becomes even more enjoyable during this season. By strolling through neighborhoods, markets, and parks, you could immerse yourself in the lifestyle and daily routines of the locals in Beijing, gaining a deeper understanding of their lives.

2. Guilin

Guilin in September is bright and sunny. Guilin in autumn is also at its most beautiful time.

At the end of September, it is harvest time at the Longsheng Rice Terraces and the rice is golden.

Embark on a scenic hike along the terraces to behold breathtaking views, accompanied by refreshing breezes and glimpses of hardworking farmers toiling in the fields.

The weather is also optimal for a Li River cruise and relaxing on a bamboo raft on the calm Yulong River.

3. Xi'an

The weather in Xi'an during September is delightful, offering pleasant and mild sunshine.

It provides ideal conditions for strolling along the medieval Xi'an City Wall, allowing you to admire captivating views of the bustling cityscape, including towering skyscrapers, traditional architecture, and alleys.

Through this activity, you could witness the city's development and evolution, particularly when looking from an east to west orientation.

A visit to the Terracotta Army becomes even more rewarding during this time, as the quieter ambiance adds to the overall enjoyment. Following your visit to see the Terracotta Army and to let you learn more about it, we could arrange a special experience to make a mini clay warrior.

Moreover, the favorable weather lends itself to delightful culinary adventures and pleasant visits to various historical sites.

4. Yunnan

In September, Yunnan unveils its breathtaking natural beauty, inviting you to embrace the enchanting landscapes. Immerse yourself in the stunning Stone Forest near Kunming, the serene allure of Erhai Lake and Cang Mountain in Dali, the majestic Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in Lijiang, and the tranquil expanses of Shangri-La's meadows.

Yunnan also offers a great blend of local culture. Embark on a journey to a Naxi village in Lijiang, where you could unravel the mysteries of the only hieroglyphics still in use in the world. Engage in the artistry of the Bai people's tie-dye tradition to make your own ethnic handkerchief, and savor the authenticity of home-cooked local delicacies.

5. Tibet

September in Tibet is perfect for trekking due to its warm and dry weather. The Everest Base Camp route stands out as the most popular choice. For those seeking a challenging adventure, Mount Kailash presents an excellent option, also serving as a pilgrimage site.

Even if trekking isn't your preference, in September, Tibet offers the opportunity to relish its stunning landscapes and unique cultural experiences. A leisurely city walking tour in Lhasa allows you to explore the heart of the city, observing local lifestyles and architecture. Visit monasteries and unwind over tea in a peaceful nunnery.

You could also bask in the grandeur of the plateau, marveling at the turquoise lakes and glacier vistas.

6. Chengdu

When visiting Chengdu, one unmissable experience is watching pandas. In September, pandas are more active compared to the summer months due to the cooler weather.

This provides you with increased opportunities to witness them playing and climbing trees in their outdoor playground. We can also arrange a panda volunteer program for you.

If you're a nature enthusiast, the highly recommended destinations near Chengdu are Daocheng and Jiuzhaigou. They offer stunning autumn scenery.

In Jiuzhaigou, you'll see fiery red maple leaves, golden aspen trees, and verdant forests reflecting in the sapphire-like lakes.

In Daocheng, the red grasslands and yellow poplar forests create an immersive experience akin to being surrounded by a sea of vibrant colors.

7. Huangshan

September is the best time to witness one of the four wonders of Huangshan, the Sea of Clouds.

In September, the ever-changing mists and fog envelop the valleys of Huangshan, creating a magnificent spectacle. The prime locations for observing the Sea of Clouds are West Sea Grand Canyon and Refreshing Terrace.

The optimal moments to witness the scenery are during sunrise and sunset when you could also witness the extraordinary Buddha's Light phenomenon.

In addition to the Sea of Clouds, as the middle of September approaches, the lush green leaves of Huangshan begin to transition into hues of gold and fiery red.

Costs and Crowds in September

While September falls within the peak travel season from April to October, it remains a comparatively quieter month for tourists. Combined with its favorable weather conditions, September undoubtedly emerges as the optimal time for travel.

Tour prices are reasonably competitive during this period, offering a respite from the bustling summer vacation crowds. However, it's important to note that at the end of September, tourist numbers and travel demand tends to rise for the upcoming National Day Golden Week in early October.

Booking 3 to 6 months in advance is advisable as it allows for a broader range of high-quality hotel options and room selections, ensuring a more fulfilling travel experience.

If you want to arrange a private tour, simply contact us. Book a tour early with peace of mind, as we offer a 100% refund for cancelations up to 3 weeks before departure. (See more details.)

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