Yunnan is a treasure house of minority ethnic culture and natural wonders. Traveling in Yunnan in different seasons or months, you will see different sceneries and have different cultural experiences.
Given its vast, diverse territory, Yunnan has several climate types. Most regions of Yunnan have a subtropical plateau monsoon climate.
Central Yunnan and eastern Yunnan (e.g. Kunming, Wenshan) has a temperate climate. In these areas, you can feel spring all year round, but embrace the cold when raining in winter.
Northwest Yunnan (e.g. Shangri-La, Deqin) has a cold climate, with long winter, very limited summer time, and short spring and autumn seasons.
Southern and southwestern Yunnan (e.g. Yuanyang Rice Terraces, Xishuangbanna, Mojiang) in low and hot valleys has tropical monsoon climate, with long summer and almost no winter.
The Main Features of Yunnan Climate:
- Obvious vertical variations and regional variations in climate
- The annual temperature difference is small, while the daily temperature difference is large
- Distinctive dry and rainy seasons, June to August is the rainy season
- Long frost-free season, up to 330 days, with year-round sunshine in most areas
Travel to Yunnan in Different Seasons
If you plan to visit Yunnan in spring time (average daily temperature of around 7 – 21°C) and early summer, you will find that everything comes to life and smells so good. Various kinds of flowers are in full bloom in the green world.
Traveling to Yunnan in mid-summer (average daily temperature of around 16-24°C), the temperature differences between day and night is the smallest. And you don't have to pack many clothes.
The blessed land of Yunnan is most beautiful in autumn (average daily temperature of around 14-22°C), with harvest, fall foliage and best weather.
Winter is still a good time to visit Yunnan (average daily temperature of around 4-16°C), especially for Yuanyang Rice Terraces and Xishuangbanna and other South Yunnan destinations.
The Best Time to Visit Yunnan: Most Popular Destinations
Generally speaking, Yunnan is a year-round travel destination. Any time is a good time to visit some places of the province. However, spring (especially March & April) and autumn (September till November) are widely regarded as the best times to travel to Yunnan. But if you plan to visit South Yunnan, like Yuanyang Rice Terraces and Xishuangbanna, October to March is the best months.
For travelers looking for ethnic festival experience, then April (Water Splashing Festival, March Street of Bai) and August (Torch Festival) are the best time to visit Yunnan. >> Contact with your Yunnan Discovery travel consultant to tailor make Yunnan Festival Tours.
|Destination||Best Travel Time||What to See & Top Things to Do|
|Kunming||All year round, especially from April to June, September to November||Stone Forest (UNESCO), flower markets|
|Dali||All year round, especially from March to June, September to October||Stunning nature, old towns, architectures, minority cultures|
|Lijiang||All year round, especially from April to June, September to October||Stunning nature, Lijiang Ancient Town (UNESCO), architectures, minority cultures|
|Lugu Lake||From May to October||Stunning nature, dreamy lake, mysterious minority cultures|
|Tiger Leaping Gorge||From March to June, September to December||One of the most beautiful canyons and gorges on earth, best hiking & trekking trails, Three Parallel Rivers (UNESCO)|
|Shangri-La||From May to October||Stunning nature, flowers in blossom, sacred Buddhist sites, remote villages|
|Yuanyang Rice Terraces||From October to March||One of world's most specular terrace fields (UNESCO), minority cultures|
|Jianshui||All year round||Ancient Town, historical sites, traditional dwellings|
|Xishuangbanna||All year round, except July and August||Tropical landscape, minority culture|
|Dashanbao Natural Reserve in Zhaotong||All year round, except July and August||Breathtaking landscape of mountains and valleys, the natural habitat of black-necked crane, ancient towns, remote villages|
|Luoping||spring time from February to early April||Boundless canola flower fields for photography, Nine Dragon Waterfall, minority cultures|
|Meili Snow Mountain||From April to June, May to October||Snow-capped holy mountains, Yubeng Village, best hikes & treks, sacred Buddhist sites|
Recommended classic Yunnan tours: