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China: escape summer heat in Gansu and/or Yunnan area?

Travel Forums Asia China: escape summer heat in Gansu and/or Yunnan area?

1. Posted by framboos (Budding Member 3 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

Hi everyone,

I am going to visit China for the first time in July/August, flying in and out of Shanghai, staying there for about a week to visit some family and have 5 weeks left for backpacking.
I'm a bit afraid of the summer heat and am trying to travel more into the mountains in the west to escape the extremely hot and humid areas.
I am definitely going to return to China in the future, so I don't necessarily have to see all highlights this summer, I prefer a nice summer in less hot areas and see other China highlights like Beijing, Xi'an etc. next time. And I love the mountains, so the west side of China appeals to me a lot.

  • I wonder whether anyone has experience traveling in Yunnan or Gansu/Qinghai in July and August? Are the temperatures more moderate over there?
  • Would you recommend traveling in Yunnan or Gansu/Qinghai? I heard Yunnan is very popular in summer with Chinese tourists, so perhaps if it's too crowded I prefer a less crowded area. Is Gansu touristy in summer?
  • Would you recommend traveling to both Yunnan and Gansu area, or choose only one of these areas? I am really a slow traveler and like to linger around in quiet places - I don't have to run around and tick off all the sights.
  • Are there other areas in China that have good weather in July / August?

All tips and experiences of these areas are very welcome, many thanks in advance!

2. Posted by Cyberia (Travel Guru 1841 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

As well as being hot that time of year, China can be very wet too. You would have been better visiting September or later. Cooler and drier.

3. Posted by framboos (Budding Member 3 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

Unfortunately I can only get free from work in July/August. Do you know whether Gansu or Yunnan are rainy in those months?

4. Posted by aboo10 (Respected Member 122 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

We went to Yunnan for 4 weeks in July a couple of years ago. Due to the altitude the temperatures and humidity were far less oppressive than Shanghai at the same time. We were affected by rain only for 4 days of our trip - rainy season or not, can't really complain! :)

Yunnan was fabulous and a great place to visit... we didn't find it crazy busy with tourists, and pretty much booked our accom and travel only a day or two in advance.

We have small children, and so intended to spend at least a week in most spots, which meant we got to know many towns quite well... Although we did decide to leave Lijiang early as the weather had set in. The trip was lovely, and we stayed in hostels most of the way. Let me know if you have further questions, or check the first entries of my blog - I started my blog when we went to Yunnan!!

5. Posted by framboos (Budding Member 3 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

Thank you for sharing your experience of the area! I am going to think it over. Will post again when I've figured out a plan. :)

6. Posted by gracefan (Inactive 13 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

Temperature in Qinghai and Gansu is moderate. I suggest you to visit the west China in summer. Gansu and Qinghai may be your best choice. In South Gansu, you can experience the atmosphere of Tibet because there are several Tibet regions such as Xiahe. Besides you can visit Dunhuang area which is an important destination for Silk Road tour. In Qinghai, you can visit Qinghai Lake and climb mountains.

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