Best Time to Visit Yunnan

When you plan your travel to a new place, weather and climate condition is one of your consideration for you to appreciate the best seasonal scenery. 

Yunnan Weather and Climate

Generally speaking, the weather in most areas of Yunnan is mild in winter and cool in summer. Featuring in diverse climate types of north-tropical, south-subtropical central-subtropical, etc, the weather in Yunnan province varies in different regions and cities. It is suitable to visit Yunnan all year round.

Features of Yunnan Climate

  • Spring-Like Climate: Owing to its 1,000-meter-altitude with abundant heat and light, the east of Yunnan (around Kunming) has a year-round spring-like climate, with the average temperature annually is 17°C. 
  • Distinct Dry and Rainy Seasons: Yunnan has distinct dry and rainy seasons. November to the following April is the dry season, when there is abundant sunshine and solar radiation is quite strong. The rainy season starts from May to October, with most of the rainfall occurs between June and August. During this season, the temperature may drop quickly along with the rain, and you are recommended to take a thin overcoat and long pants.
  • Large Day/Night Temperature Difference: East Yunnan has a large temperature difference between daytime and nighttime, especially from November to the following February. Therefore, you are recommended to take a coat or some thicker clothing whenever you travel to Yunnan.

The Best Time to Visit Yunnan

As mentioned, Yunnan’s varied terrain results in the diversity of its landscapes and weather. The time to go depends largely on what you want to see and which part you want to go to. Spring and early summer are the best times to see the flora and fauna. Fall and winter are the best times to see snow-capped mountains and peaks. 

The best time to travel in Yunnan is in spring and autumn, especially March to April, and September to November.

Yunnan Travel Weather and Climate by Month

Yunnan Travel in Four Seasons

Yunnan scenery in different seasons will present you with diverse highlights, with charming Dali and Shangri-La in Spring, beautiful Puzhehei lotus flowers in Summer, golden Gingko Village in Autumn and stunning Yuanyang Rice Terrace in winter.

Travel to Yunnan in Spring (March–May)

The temperature in Spring ranges from 7–21°C (45–70°F) in Kunming, and from 5–17°C (41–63°F) in Lijiang and Shangri-LaIt’s still cold in March. May is the beginning of the rainy season and temperatures begin to rise. Daily temperature difference in the spring can reach 12° C to 20° C. Warm clothes are highly recommended. Remember to bring an umbrella.

Things to Do

March is a good time to see the snowy mountains. April is the golden season for Yunnan travel. The temperature is suitable, and it is not the rainy season. The scenery in Kunming, Lijiang and Shangri-la is very beautiful. It’s also the best time to hike Tiger Leaping Gorge. March to April is also the best time to experience Bai’s festivals and ceremonies in Dali. Besides, Yunnan is the kingdom for flora and fauna. In Spring, you can enjoy the sea of flowers.

Recommended Tour Packages:

Travel to Yunnan in Summer(June-September)

The temperature in summer ranges from 16–24°C (61–75°F) in Kunming, and from 13–23°C (55–73°F) in Lijiang and Shangri-La. The temperature difference is not as great as in spring, but you can still experience a 10-degree drop in temperature in a rainy day. Wear long sleeves even on the hottest days. Besides, umbrellas are useful on both sunny and rainy days.

Things to Do

From late spring to early summer, Shangri-la boasts the most beautiful flowers. This is also the best time to enjoy the plateau scenery. Summer is the best time to visit Pudacuo National Park in Shangri-la. July and August are rainy season of Yunnan and peak season of Yunnan travel. Prices at tourist attractions and hotels are rising and tourists are increasing. However, more rain increases the amount of water in the rivers and lakes, and the scenery around Kunming and Lijiang is more impressive.

Recommended Tour Packages:

Travel to Yunnan in Autumn (October–November)

The temperature in autumn ranges from 14–22°C (57–72°F) in Kunming, and from 12–21°C (54–70°F) in Lijiang and Shangri-La. In autumn, rainfall is greatly reduced, the weather is drier with more sunshine. After October, the weather turned cold and the temperature changed significantly in one day. A thick sweater and jacket are recommended. Also wear protective skin care products, sunglasses or hats to protect your skin from the sun.

Things to Do

You can enjoy more sunny days in autumn. This is another golden period of Yunnan travel. In the countryside, you have the chance to see the beautiful scenery of harvest. Autumn is also the best time to enjoy the colorful scenery of Shangri-la and hike Tiger Leaping Gorge. Try to avoid the National Holiday, when there are crowded transportation and accommodation. What’s more, you will spend more time on queueing when you visit attractions.

Recommended Tour Packages:

Travel to Yunnan in Winter (December–February)

The temperature in winter ranges from 4–16°C (39–61°F) in Kunming, and from 1–15°C (34–59°F) in Lijiang and Shangri-La. Winter in Yunnan is not cold and there is much less rain. There may be more sunshine in this season. If you don’t mind taking more clothes, traveling to Yunnan in winter is a good choice. Bring warm clothes, such as knit hats, gloves, thick sweaters, down jackets or winter jackets. Wear sunscreen and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun in high places. 

Things to Do

If you would like to visit Haba Snow MountainMeili Snow MountainJade Dragon Snow Mountain and other snow mountains, winter is a good time to visit. With clear air and fewer clouds, you have a greater opportunity to see their peaks. Yuanyang Hani Rice Terraces is marked by spectacular terraces that cascade down the slopes of the towering Ailao Mountains to the banks of the Honghe River. In winter, with the change of sunray, terrace presents different beautiful scenery. Sea of clouds often appears at these months.

Recommended Tour Packages:

Yunnan Travel By Month

Other Tips

The sunshine in Yunnan is too strong during the day that you’d better take your sunscreen and sunglasses. Also you should drink more water, eat more fruit, and prevent dehydration.

In winter and spring, Kunming has large daily temperature difference, so travelers need to take coats and sweaters.

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