Top 14 Coolest Places to Visit in China During Summer 2024

Where to travel for a cool summer holiday? The below places should be on your bucket list. Summer lasts from early May to late September in China. Every destination sure has its charm during a different period.

1. Tibet - Holy Religious Culture

Cool weather and religious vistas, both natural and cultural, grant Tibet one of the best destinations for your summer travel in China.

In most areas of Tibet, summer lasts from May to August with an average temperature of 20-25°C (68-77°F). Also, it is the time with the highest air oxygen content. These make for a comfortable and easy trip to explore Tibet's various highlights.

What's even better is the train travel from Qinghai or Yunnan.

Given that 20 days is needed for a Tibet Travel Permit, it is suggested you plan the trip at least 1 month ahead. You need to protect yourself from the strong ultraviolet rays, so sunglasses, sunblock, a hat, and a light coat should be in your backpack. 

Can Foreigners Visit Tibet Independently?

Foreigners can not travel to Tibet independently. Foreign passport holders should apply Tibet Travel Permit to enter Tibet, and can not travel to Tibet independently, therefore, Foreign visitors must travel with a tour agent like us.

Small Group: 8 Days Lhasa to Everest Base Camp Tour

  • Day 1 Arrive in Lhasa: Airport/train station to hotel transfer
  • Day 2 Lhasa: Potala Palace--Johkang Temple--Barkor Street
  • Day 3 Lhasa: Drepung Monastery--Sera Monastery
  • Day 4 Lhasa to Gyantse to Shigatse:Yamdrotso Lake--Karola Glacier--Simila Pass and Manla Reservoir--Gyantse Kumbum & Pelkor Monastery
  • Day 5 Shigatse to Rongbuk: Far View of Himalaya Mountain Range
  • Day 6 Rongbuk to Shigatse: Everest Base Camp--Rongbuk Monastery
  • Day 7 Shigatse to Lhasa: Tashilunpo Monastery--River View of Brahmaputra
  • Day 8 Lhasa Departure: Hotel to Airport/Train station transfer

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2. Huangshan - Breathtaking Vistas from Mountaintop

With a clear view and a challenge to walk, Huangshan, which is also called the Yellow Mountain, is excellent for trekking in summer. It presents a visual adventure, let alone a brave trek along its jaw-dropping walkways.

In addition to the awesome vistas, Huangshan also offers a thrilling summer with a cool temperature. The average temperature in summer is 12-20°C (54-68°F), making it a cool- even a bit cold- trip on the mountain top.

If mountain trekking is not your thing, it is suggested to check out the obscure villages in Hongcun (宏村) or Xidi (西递). The sun rises early, and so do the hard-working villagers.

Go wandering about their houses or watch them work in fields, with such a strong sense of life that you might find quite touching. Bright colors of the villages and fields are ideal for a photography tour or quick sketches.

Tips: The adventurous Zhangjiajie, which is renowned for its Avatar Hallelujah Mountains and sky glass path, is also a good option for summer travel.

Yellow Mountain
Yellow Mountain

3. Guilin - Karst Landscapes and Bamboo Rafting

Guilin offers a full package for a wonderful summer holiday- whether you want an easy-peasy cruise tour on the Li River or an in-depth experience of rock climbing and countryside cycling in Yangshuo.

The city is hot and humid in summer but caving and water activities will cool you off.

The biggest reason to have your summer holiday in Guilin is the gorgeous Li River. It rains a lot during summertime in Guilin and the Li River brings out its best during the time from April to September.

The fun comes from activities related to water or natural hide-outs. Potholing into many limestone caves, Reed Flute Cave for example, not only means an adventure but also a great way to cool off.

Besides the completely beautiful landscape, boating or river drifting in Yangshuo is also very exhilarating.

Tips: Whenever you decide to travel, check the week's weather first before you travel to Guilin- especially in summer. An umbrella and sun hat are always a must.

5-Day Guilin and Yangshuo Summer Vacation

  • Day 1 Guilin Arrival--Longji Terraced Field--Learn How to Make Local Oil Tea from a Minority Family
  • Day 2 Guilin to Xingping: One-Day Tour for 100% Real China Caving--Stay Overnight in a Tent Near the Li River
  • Day 3 Xingping to Yangshuo: Li River Hiking--experience making tofu and making sticky rice cake from a farming family.
  • Day 4 Yangshuo: Yangshuo Countryside Cycling--Rock Climbing--Bamboo Rafting
  • Day 5 Transfer from Yangshuo to Guilin--Guilin Departure

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4. Yangtze River - Three Gorges Dam and Cruises

Before the grand Three Gorges Dam was built, the region of the Yangtze River used to suffer from floods during summertime. The story is different nowadays and traveling to the Yangtze River during summer brings more than a holiday.

Besides refreshing river wind and fascinating scenery, there's something more you should expect while traveling to the Yangtze River in summer:

The temperature from May to early September ranges from 20-28°C (68-83°F). it is recommended to take the cruise in May or September.

An overcoat is still necessary during summer for cruising nights can get a bit cold.

Yangtze River
Yangtze River Cruise

5. Guizhou - Waterfalls and Minority Culture

If you're talking about a cool summer, Guizhou should come to mind. With an average temperature of 20-25°C (68-77°F), a summer holiday in Guizhou is blessed with amazing landscapes (mostly waterfalls and mountains) and colorful minority lives.

Besides the classical Huangguoshu Waterfalls, you should make a bee-line for Qiandongnan (aka Southeastern Guizhou). From there, find your way to the villages of the Miao People in Kaili (凯里), Xijiang (西江), and Zhenyuan (镇远).

Traditional minority festivals in summer include:

During these special occasions, you don't need to get invited. Just walking around the villages, you can make yourself a part of the celebration.


6. Mt. Emei - Buddhist Culture

A three-hour drive from Chengdu, Mt. Emei is a famous Buddhist mountain in China. With sprawling temples and monasteries, it is famous for the 48-meter-high statue of Samantabhadra at the Golden Summit.

Thanks to its over 3,000-meter altitude, Mt. Emei is not only a Buddhist holy ground but also a summer resort blessed with beautiful scenery and lovely wild monkeys, who may jump out to tease you at any time.

Optional choice: Mt. Qingcheng, a holy mountain of Taoism, is another good option to escape the summer heat of Chengdu and experience the religious culture.

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7. Xinjiang - Silk Road Gateway, Exotic Culture

The best time to visit Xinjiang is in Summer from July to September, as the weather is moderately warm and pleasant, with an average temperature range from 16℃-27℃, dry, and very little precipitation.

Xinjiang boasts many distinctive landscapes and exotic cultures, for specific places to visit in summer: the capital city of Urumqi, Turpan, home to many civilizations, grape valleys, the crossroad of the ancient Silk Road in Kashgar Old Town, take a road trip through Duku Highway, enjoy magnificent views of deep mountain valleys, glaciers, forests, and grasslands along the way.

Blessed with plentiful sunshine, Xinjiang produces the sweetest Hami melons and grapes in China. Summer is a time for ripe fruits, which you can not miss.

Can Foreigners Travel to Xinjiang?

Foreigners can travel to Xinjiang and don't need a special permit for entry. You can travel with a tour agent like us to create a hassle-free holiday. Contact us right now.

Summer Scenery in Xinjiang

Summer Scenery in Xinjiang

8. Inner Mongolia - Vast Grassland, Summer Resort

8-Day Inner Mongolia Landscape and Culture Immersion Tour

  • Tour deep into the Hulunbir Grassland and enjoy the stunning scenery along the Mozhigrad River
  • Visit the traditional Russian families and Oruguya Ewenke Reindeer Tribe
  • Experience the unique horseback riding and be a real Mongolian warrior

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The best time to visit Inner Mongolia is in Summer in July and August, the weather is comfortable and dry, reputed as a paradise for escaping the heat of summer. You can admire never-ending heaps of grass crossed by a narrow and winding river and spotted by Mongolian yurts in Hulun Buir Prairie.

Experienced horse riding with local herders. Visit a Russian family, learn about Russian customs and religious beliefs, and see a performance of national musical instruments. head to the Aoluguya Tribe - renowned as the home of the reindeer-breeding Ewenki tribe.

Inner Mongolia

Vast Grassland in Inner Mongolia

9. Gansu - Distinctive Landscape and Cultural

Summer is the best time to visit Gansu due to the pleasant weather, clear sky, and relatively little cloud cover, the sceneries are their best present.

Gansu has distinctive nature landscapes and features a grand prairie, Zhangye Danxia-colored mountains, deserts, Ming Great Wall Fort, and Tibetan culture.

You can start the trip from the epic Mogao Cave in Dunhuang, amazed by thousands of Buddha features and exquisite wall paintings. Visit Echoing Sand Mountain located in the vastness of the desert, the place where the sand and the oasis meet. Extend the tour to Zhangye National Geopark, and see the stunning display of colors across hills and rock formations.

Mogao Cave in Dunhuang

Mogao Cave in Dunhuang

10. Yunnan - Ethnic Diversity

Yunnan has the mildest climate in China. Summertime is warm and mildly humid, The average temperature of the summer is between 19℃ and 22 ℃, the capital city of Yunnan - Kunming is known as “The City of Eternal Spring”.

Yunnan is also home to 25 ethnic groups among 56 ethnic minorities in China. The cities of Dali, Kunming, Lijiang Shangri-la, and Xishuangbanna are suitable for travel in summer, Those iconic cities are distinctive with splendid ethnic cultures, majestic landscapes, and tropical rainforests.

7-10 days of travel can go through 3-4 major cities in Yunnan.

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11. Zhangjiajie - Floating "Hallelujah Mountains"

Summer is the peak tourist season in Zhangjiajie due to the lush green and cool in the mountain area, known as a great place for a summer escape.

The average temperature in summer in Zhangjiajie is around 19℃ (66℉) -29℃ (84℉), which makes the parks pretty cool and pleasant for travel. The famous Hallelujah Mountains in Avatar were inspired by towering mountain pillars in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park.

4-5 days is enough time to see the core sites in this area.

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Tianmen Mountain, and Grand Valley (glass bridge) are key sites to visit, featuring high mountain valleys, a flowing brook, the world's longest cable car, the transparent glass-bottom bridge, and limestone caves.

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park

12. Qinghai - Salt Lakes, Grassland, Ethnic Minorities.

Qinghai has a highland continental climate, characterized by strong UV radiation, dry and cool in summer. The average temperature can range from 5℃ to 20℃ with big differences between day and night.

Qinghai Lake is the largest inland lake and saltwater lake in China, surrounded by plateaus, grassland, snow mountains, and desert. Another ionic site is Chaika Salt Lake, reputed as the mirror of the sky.

You can take the most classic 7-day Silk Road cultural circuit tour to Xining, Qinghai Lake, Zhangye, and Dunhuang, and see the key sites of Qinghai Lake, Chaika Salt Lake, Water Yadan, Dachaidan Emerald Lake, Mogao Grottoes, and Echoing Sand Mountain.

Qinghai Lake

Qinghai Lake

13. Jiuzhaigou - Purity and Transparency Lake

Summer in Jiuzhaigou is from June to August while the rainy season with an abundant water supply. You can see crystal-clear lakes, and green, cascading waterfalls during this season.

Jiuzhaigou's scenic spot is composed of three deep valleys in a Y-shaped shape, Rize Valley, Zechawa Valley, and Shuzheng Valley.

Summer is the peak tourist season, suggested starting the trip earlier at 7 -8 o'clock to avoid the crowds.

The best route for hiking: Pearl Beach - Pearl Beach Waterfall - Jinghai - Rize Valley - Nuorilang Waterfall - Shuzheng Waterfall - Shuzheng Village

Jiuzhaigou Valley

Jiuzhaigou Valley

14. Moganshan - Shanghai Summer Escape

Moganshan is a popular summer retreat both for Chinese and Western expatriates, just a few hours from Shanghai. The area has been dubbed the “back garden of Shanghainese”.

There are many villas around the whole mountain, some of which were built in the last century in the 1900s by famous persons who own a piece of history behind the building.

A lot of nice scenery of bamboo on the hillsides of the mountain, nice to take a moderate hike around the site to breathe the fresh air.

Moganshan boasts of its luxurious resorts, with a price range from 2500rmb to 4000rmb per night, many guesthouse alternatives are easy to find across the entire region.


Moganshan Resorts

China Travel is one of China’s leading touring specialists. We are based in Guilin, with over 20 years of different styles of travel and tour service experience. Call us at 86-773-286-5632 (international rates apply) for any inquiries.

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