November is not a big travel month in China. But for foreign visitors, it can be a really lovely month in which to travel in China. As far as crowds and fares go, it's less busy and less expensive. In October, you have the week-long public holiday for the People's Republic of China National Day, which makes travel more crowded and more expensive. And in December, it's already getting quite cold, especially in China's northern reaches. Therefore, November can be a relatively peaceful month in which to travel.
November Weather in China
China's weather in November is variable - as it is all year. Because it is such a large country, you will find quite different weather from north to south and east to west. Northern China will begin to see some really cold temperatures in late November but the beginning of the month can still be warm enough for pleasant outdoor activities. Central and Southern China will still see moderate and comfortable temperatures so will be very nice for travel and outdoor adventuring.
Temperatures and Rainfall in November
Here are listings for the average daytime temperatures and an average number of rainy days for a few cities in China. Click the links to see the stats by month.
- Beijing: the ave daytime temp is 50F (10C) and ave number of rainy days is 4.
- Shanghai: the ave daytime temp is 62F (17C) and ave number of rainy days is 8.
- Guangzhou: the ave daytime temp is 76F (25C) and ave number of rainy days is 6.
- Guilin: the ave daytime temp is 68F (20 C) and ave number of rainy days is 10.
Layers are essential for packing in autumn/winter weather. You can get a nice warm day in the north and wet and cold days in the south. You will want to be able to warm up or cool down, depending on what the weather is doing. So packing should be pretty simple. Be sure to read our complete packing guide for China.
- North: It will be cool-cold during the day and cold at night. A warm base layer and jacket are good for both day and evening.
- Central: It will be chilly during the day and cooler at night. A light-weight base layer with long sleeves/pants for the day plus a jacket at night should be good.
- South: It will still be quite warm. Early fall dressing is fine but bring something lightweight for the occasional cool evening or heavy a/c room.
What's Great About Visiting China in November
As mentioned above, with the week-long public holidays in October over, domestic airfare prices are on the decrease (usually) and it is a relatively quiet period for domestic travelers. Therefore, it is a good time to visit China's top attractions which won't be as crowded as in peak times.
The mild weather in the central and south China regions is quite suitable for sightseeing and touring outdoor venues. You can avoid northern China completely and make your tour of the places in China that are warmer.
The ' is lovely. because the cold comes later to the south, you may even be able to take in some beautiful fall scenery as late as November. In fact, the gingko trees in Shanghai do not turn that gorgeous golden color until mid-November.
What's Not so Great About Visiting China in November
The biggest disadvantage of November is that if you're planning travel in the north, even Beijing, then you are bound to experience some quite cold and winter-like conditions the later you get into November. Depending on what your plan is, it might be too cold to stay long on top of the snowy-windy Great Wall.