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Guilin’s climate is generally warm and humid with sub-tropical seasons. Summer is humid and hot. Winter is cold/cool and damp. Spring and autumn are short and warm, when the weather is relatively mild and comfortable.
The coldest month is January with an average daily high of 12°C (53°F). The hottest months are July and August with average daily highs of 33 °C (91 °F).
The annual rainfall is a huge 1.9 meters (76 inches), concentrated in the rainy season - early summer. May and June are the wettest months with about 35 cm (14 in) each. September to March is relatively dry with 5–12 cm (2–5 in) per month.
Snow is very rare, except on the high mountains of e.g. Longsheng, where there are a few inches yearly.
Though Guilin’s climate is suitable for traveling all year round, the best time to visit Guilin and Yangshuo weather-wise is from April until October.
April, May, and June are very wet months when the Li River and countryside is beautiful with mist. July and August are sultry hot with daily highs of 30–37°C (86–99°F) and busy with Chinese tourists due to school vacations. September and October offer the most pleasant temperatures and drier days.
Winter months, from December to March, are mild to cold in Guilin and Yangshuo. It is the low season and tour prices are lower.
The best times to see the Longji Rice Terraces are around mid-May, when they are irrigated and the waterlogged paddies sparkle in the sunlight, and September/October when the rice is golden.
The Longji terraces are lush green in the months from June to September. During the winter months they are brown and barren with some green grass, unless there is the rare event of settling snow.
Spring in Guilin is from March to May.
Spring weather: There are frequent and sharp intervals of temperature change. There is heavier and heavier humidity, and it becomes warmer with increasing rain.
On rainy days, the rivers, pinnacles and the city itself are shrouded in mist. This is especially enchanting.
It can still be cold in spring in Guilin. But when the sun comes out, it is the best time to cruise the Li River. The scenery along the river is fabulous with refreshing greenery.
You will see farmers plowing their fields with water buffalos or planting their paddy rice in the countryside in spring.
It is the season of strawberries. If you kids are fond of picking the strawberries, we can arrange the best places for you.
An umbrella or rain gear is needed as it rains a lot in this season. We prepare umbrellas and rain capes for our customers.
Summer is from June to August.
Weather in summer: It is continually hot and humid, but the beauty to be found outdoors is quite adequate compensation. The average daily temperature range in summer is 24–32°C (76–90°F).
Clothing: Sunglasses and sunscreen are recommended. Wear summer clothes such as shorts and T-shirts. Take an umbrella.
Summer is the peak travel season especially in the school holidays from July to August. It is difficult to avoid the crowds during these periods if you don’t have help from a local travel expert, who knows for example when the Yulong River has less tourist traffic. Otherwise, a frustrating experience, like having to wait for 3 hours for a Yulong river bamboo raft, is quite likely to happen.
A flexible travel pace is essential to avoid the burning sunshine and have an enjoyable trip. You can choose to start your days earlier in the morning, have a siesta, and go out later in the afternoon to avoid the burning sunshine.
To enjoy your evenings: The Two Rivers and Four Lakes Night Cruise and watching the night performance Impression Liu Sanjie in Yangshuo are summer favorites.
Autumn in Guilin is from September to November.
Weather: It is generally pleasantly warm/mild and reasonably dry in autumn. Guilin is beautiful as the weather cools. In the mountains, there is a big difference in temperature between day and night.
Autumn is the best time to visit Guilin for weather.
The Longji Rice Terraces are shrouded in a golden color in autumn (from late September to early October). The time differs a bit each year. Ask a local travel expert the time to avoid the disappointment of seeing a barren field with the paddy rice harvested.
You can attend the Red Clothes Festival in Huangluo Yao Minority Village near Longji, which is a great opportunity to immerse yourself in China's ethnic heritage. The time for the festival varies each year.
Winter in Guilin is from December to February.
Guilin’s winter climate: It only really snows on Guilin’s high mountains. Though it feels very cold with the dampness, especially in January, it can still be very pleasant when the sun is out.
Clothing: Prepare thick coats and trousers, as well as a warm hat and an umbrella (rainfall is least, but cold drizzle feels worse here than a summer soaking). Locals wear thermal underwear all winter since there is no heating in most places.
Winter is the low season in Guilin, so it is less crowded. It regarded as a good time to visit if you prefer a quieter experience.
Chinese New Year falls somewhere from late January to mid February. Streets of the city will be colorfully decorated for China’s No. 1 event.
If it snows Longji is a great place to visit. The mountain terraces and pine forests are grand and stunning covered by a blanket of snow. However, otherwise they are barren and least appealing in winter. You should book a flexible tour with us for January for the best Guilin snow prospects.
Usually from November to December the rice terraces are barren and brown with nothing of interest. Each area of rice terraces has a different barren time. Our guides who are on the terraces most of the year will know, but we can’t tell you here as the time differs each year.
It is not every day that you can see farmers working in the fields. If you really want to see scenes of ethnic people working the fields among the hills, we can help you get there at the right times in the right season. Plan to visit Guilin? visit our Guilin tours page to see private tours to visit Guilin.
Guilin’s air quality is generally very good for China. If you are very sensitive to smog, tell our travel advisor or guide, and they will prepare mask for you for the city. In countryside areas like Yangshuo and Longsheng the air should be fine for all.
Have a look at our Guilin Tours for tour inspirations. Our tours can be customized.