July is a peak travel time for Chinese residents. With that in mind, expect to encounter crowds as well as humid, rainy weather in tourist hotspots like Beijing and Shanghai. If you plan on visiting China in the summer, make sure to book your hotels and tours in advance.
July Weather in China
Summer travel can be difficult in China, especially if you're sensitive to heat and humidity. July is the wettest month in China and has routine rain storms. Guangzhou bears the worst of it, with an average of 16 rainy days and typical daytime temps of 91°F (33°C). Shanghai sees 89°F (32°C) temperatures and 12 rainy days while Beijing gets two weeks of rain and slightly cooler days at 86°F (30°C). On the bright side, hotels and restaurants almost always have air conditioning to cool you off.
What to Pack
Be prepared for the summer showers and humid weather by packing a lightweight rain jacket and umbrella as well as airy base layers like shorts and T-shirts. Comfortable and easy-to-dry shoes are also essential. Pack several pairs so that if one set gets wet in a downpour, you will have something dry to put on. Or, carry rubber flip-flops with you to change into when it starts to rain.
China is very casual so you won't feel under-dressed. Sleeveless tops and shorts are suitable for women unless you'll be visiting Buddhist temples and monasteries, where it's respectful to cover your shoulders with a shawl.
Best Things to Do in July
With eastern China heating up in July, it's a good time to visit some of the country's cooler areas. Known as the Hawaii of China, Hainan is a tropical island just south of Hong Kong. A slew of luxury beach resorts line Sanya Bay and the crescent-shaped Yalong Bay while the Yanoda Rainforest has many mountainous hiking trails that cross suspension bridges and wind past waterfalls.
If you want to take it slow, hop on a cruise ship down the Yangtze River, which is Asia's largest river and the third-longest river in the world, behind the Nile and Amazon. Flowing from Tibet to the East China Sea, this scenic stretch is surrounded by misty green peaks, bamboo groves, and sheer cliffs. Take in the sights, such as the ancient White Emperor City, the Three Gorges, and Fengdu Ghost City.
July Events in China
China hosts many cultural festivals every July. Tibet, a holy place in Buddhist culture, is much cooler in the summer thanks to its high altitude. The area draws crowds with its Gyantse Horse Race Festival, which features horse races, archery contests, local craft markets, Tibetan opera, traditional dances, and competitive games. Cities also put on big events such as the Hong Kong Book Fair, which draws more than one million eager readers per year.