March sees the first efforts of spring trying to break out of winter hibernation. March doesn't have any public holidays so for domestic tourists, it's not a big time to travel. In fact, sandwiched between the big Chinese New Year holidays and the start of short spring holidays such as Qing Ming, March is a pretty quiet time in China.
Northern China finally starts to warm up with an average eleven degree (F) increase from Feb. Central China is still going to feel chilly and very damp. The rain really starts to kick in now and you'll be getting a lot more rain days in both central and southern China. In the south though, the warmer weather will feel lovely and you'll really be comfortable sightseeing in cool spring temps. Just don't forget your rain boots!
See more about the weather by region for China.
March Temperatures and Rainfall
Here are listings for the average daytime temperatures and 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 51F (11C) and ave number of rainy days is 4.
- Shanghai: the ave daytime temp is 55F (13C) and ave number of rainy days is 13.
- Guangzhou: the ave daytime temp is 71F (21C) and ave number of rainy days is 14.
- Guilin: the ave daytime temp is 62F (17 C) and ave number of rainy days is 19.
March Packing Suggestions
You'll still need plenty of layers for China in March.
- North: it will feel a lot warmer during the day but the average is still below-freezing at night. Bring a heavy base layer, fleece and a wind-proof or down jacket.
- Central: the weather's warming up but it still feels chilly during the day because of the damp. A heavy base layer (e.g. jeans, boots and sweaters) along with a rain/wind-proof jacket will be enough.
- South: it will be warm during the day and cool at night. You'll be able to wear shorts on some days but it's still advisable to bring something warmer. Rain-wear is essential: half the month can see rain.
Read more about packing lists for China: A Complete Guide to Packing for China Travel
What's Great About Visiting China in March
As mentioned above, March is a quiet time for domestic travelers so that makes it pretty convenient for sightseeing and visiting major sights as they won't be as crowded as they are during peak domestic tourist periods.
What's Not So Great About Visiting China in March
The rain in central and south China can make sightseeing difficult and dreary at times. This might make you regret your decision to spend a week touring around Guilin.
Try to be flexible in your travel. Changing your itinerary, especially changing your domestic airline tickets, is actually pretty reasonable. If you find out where you're going is going to be drenched in heavy rainfall for the entire time of your visit, see if you can make a change to your itinerary. Finally, as long as you prepare for it, you'll be fine. Just don't get caught without an umbrella in your bag.
What's Happening in March
Enjoy discussions and readings from authors from around the world at the annual Shanghai International Literary Festival at M on the Bund's Glamour Bar.