China has a climate dominated by monsoon winds. It features clear temperature differences in winter and summer.
In winter, northerly winds coming from high latitude areas are cold and dry, and in summer, southerly winds from sea areas at lower longitudes are warm and moist. In addition, climates differ from region to region because of the country's extensive territory and complex topography.
Think of it in terms of the United States, which China resembles in size and shape. Traveling along the Golden Route (Beijing, Xian, Shanghai, Guilin) is like visiting New York, Chicago, Santa Fe, and Jacksonville, Florida all in one trip.
April, May, September and October are the peak tourist months at China’s most popular destinations when the weather is the most comfortable, but price is higher than other period. Prices drop a bit in the shoulder season, which runs from November through March and from June through August. However, the winter monthsare peak season for trips to China’s Hainan Island and to the Northeast Harbin for its world-famous ice-lantern festival. Summer months are great time to explore China’s Far East-Manchuria.
You should try to avoid the two golden weeks, namely May Day (1 May to 7 May) and National Day (1 October to 7 October), when all the people in China seem to move around. Also Spring Festival in January or February should also be avoided since more and more families take a trip rather than staying at home as before. At these times you can expect difficulties with hotel reservations, ticket booking and traffic conditions and prices are frequently much higher.