If you avoid the first week of October — the National Day Holiday week – then October is one of the best to visit China. Plan to see the fall foliage and explore the Great Wall.
The weather is still pleasant but October means Autumn. So expect cold nights and cooler days. By the end of the month, the fall foliage is at its best providing amazing photo opportunities. Now is also ideal to visit the Great Wall as the views provided by the mountains are spectacular.
The north starts to get cooler by the day and cold at night. A t-shirt and a light jacket should be enough by day. At night, add more layers. In central China you can get away with a t-shirt by day but you need a jacket in the morning and evening. Layering is a good option if the weather gets colder. In the South it’s really warm so t-shirts and shorts are the norm. Long sleeve shirts are good for the evening.
Beijing avg high 19C / avg low 8C
Shanghai avg high 23C / avg low 15C
Guangzhou avg high 29C / avg low 21C
Xi’an avg high 20C / avg low 10C
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Flights and Accommodation
If you want to visit China in October, avoid the first week. It’s a national holiday and everyone is traveling so the trains, buses and planes are crowded and expensive. So, plan your visit around mid-October. Book your flight to China in advance and don’t forget about the accommodation, either.
What to do
If you are after the fall foliage, plan your visit after mid-October. Some of the places to consider are: Beijing with its stunning Fragrant Hill , the Yellow Mountains (Tachuan) , Miyaluo, the Jiuzhaigou Valley and Qixia Mountain in Nanjing.
And while you are in Beijing, you can also plan to visit the Forbidden City and don’t forget about the Great Wall, either.
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Another highlight of the month is the Great Wall. Thanks to the above mentioned fall foliage, the views from the wall are magnificent. Still, it’s autumn so it can be cold and windy on top of the wall. Make sure to pack appropriate clothing.
Tibet is also a good option now. It’s not too cold yet (access is quite impossible between November and March).