June is the start of summer in China; daytime temperatures feel even hotter due to pop-up showers that produce humidity. Even though June is slightly cooler and less humid than July or August, you'll still need a handkerchief to dab at your brow between thunderstorms. Flowers will be pleasantly in full bloom partly because June is one of the top-3 wettest months of the year for China as a whole.
If you are very sensitive to heat and humidity, then June in China may not be ideal for you. The weather can be debilitating in busy cities, especially when air quality is poor due to pollution. If you don't fare well in hot-and-wet climates, perhaps consider waiting to travel until fall. Thankfully, indoor spaces are generally well air conditioned.
Typhoon Season in Hong Kong
Although Mother Nature doesn't care much about the Gregorian Calendar, typhoon season typically begins in May and tapers off around the end of October. A majority of the typhoons that hit Hong Kong occur during July, August, and September, but there is always the chance an early one will turn up in June.
Pay attention when big weather systems move into the area. Even if they don't make landfall, your flights may be affected.
China Weather in June
(Average high / low June temperatures and humidity across China)
- Beijing: 87 F (30.5 C) / 67 F (19.4 C) with 61 percent humidity
- Harbin: 80 F (26.7 C) / 61 F (16.1 C) with 62 percent humidity
- Xi'An: 89 F (31.7 C) / 67 F (19.4 C) with 59 percent humidity
- Shanghai: 83 F (28.3 C) / 71 F (21.7 C) with 79 percent humidity
- Guanzhou: 87 F (30.5 C) / 74 F (23.3 C) with 74 percent humidity
- Guilin: 87 F (30.5 C) / 74 F (23.3 C) with 82 percent humidity
(Average rainfall for June in China)
- Beijing: 1.5 inches (38 mm) / average of 10 rainy days
- Harbin: 3.9 inches (99 mm) / average of 13.5 rainy days
- Xi'An: 0.9 inches (23 mm) / average of 9 rainy days
- Shanghai: 3.7 inches (94 mm) / average of 13 rainy days
- Guanzhou: 7.5 inches (190 mm) / average of 18 wet days
- Guilin: 9.9 inches (251 mm) / average of 17.5 wet days
Northern destinations in China such as Beijing and Harbin are going to have slightly drier weather than central regions where the humidity really begins to build in June. The weather in Southern China is especially hot and wet in June.
Guilin, one of the top destinations for green scenery in China, will be even more rainy and humid.
What to Pack
June can be a little bit tricky for packing properly. The start of summer brings hot afternoons and then cool evenings, especially at higher altitudes. Of course, if you will be in the hot-and-humid parts of China, air conditioning will be cranking at full speed. If you are sensitive to air conditioning, you might need a light sweater for inside.
As June is one of the wettest months in China, you will need to be prepared for that as well.
- Pack comfortable and easy-to-dry shoes.
- Bring a light, airy base layer such as shorts and short-sleeved shirts. China is very casual, so you will rarely be considered "under dressed." Sleeveless tops and shorts are suitable for women as well as men, unless you'll be visiting Muslim regions such as Xinjiang. Also, you'll need to dress conservatively to enter Tibetan temples.
- If you don't bring rain gear, you'll be able to buy it locally without trouble.
- If you have a respiratory condition, you may consider packing a quality mask for days when air pollution is bad in cities. The rain in June should help clean the air, but being prepared is wise. Masks are available for sale everywhere (locals often wear them), however, quality and functionality aren't guaranteed if you buy one on the street.
June Events in China
Although June is a relatively busy month for tourism in China, there aren't many festivals that will affect your trip.
- Dragon Boat Festival: Dates for the festival vary on the lunisolar calendar, but it's often held near the summer solstice. Even though the Dragon Boat Festival (numerous events are held throughout China) is a public holiday, people don't travel far and wide like they do during holidays such as Chinese New Year and National Day (October 1). You won't have to worry too much about large crowds and bogged-down public transportation—just choose a place to enjoy the interesting festival!
June Travel Tips
- June is a beautiful time to visit areas that are famous for flowers and nature, such as Hangzhou, Yunnan Province, the Yellow Mountains, and Guilin. Many schools are still in session in early June, so you can still avoid the summer holiday travel season when peak crowds hit many major destinations.
- Expect pop-up showers at any time! Standing in the middle of Tiananmen Square with your passport and camera is a bad time to realize you left your umbrella back at the hotel.
Although many travelers agree that fall may be the most ideal time to visit China, summer can be enjoyable, too!
Updated by Greg Rodgers