August in China: Weather, What to Pack, and What to See

Danxia landform Zhangye Hexi Corridor.jpg

Sara Naumann

In August, summer begins to wane in China. Average temperatures drop slightly, though it's still quite humid across most of the country except for in the Northwest and Tibet, where the weather is mild and delightful.

Many people in China are traveling with their children during August, so while big attractions can be crowded, activities and events all over China are very family-friendly. However, since there aren't any national holidays in August, you'll be able to avoid the masses that usually travel during the holidays by planning your trip during the week.

China Weather in August

China is hot and humid across most of the country in August, but in arid parts of the country such as Tibet and the Northwest, you'll experience hot days and much cooler nights. Average high temperatures across the country reach between 85 to 91 degrees Fahrenheit (29 to 33 degrees Celsius) while lows can go down to 68 F (20 C). Because the weather does vary across the country, be sure to check weather profiles for your specific destination in China.

CityAverage HighAverage LowAverage Number of Rainy Days
Beijing85 F (29 C)68 F (20 C)13
Shanghai89 F (32 C)77 F (25 C)10
Guangzhou89 F (32 C)77 F (25 C)16
Guilin91 F (33 C)75 F (24 C)15

What to Pack

It's going to be hot and humid outside and late August sees summer thunderstorms and the occasional typhoon along the coast. As a result, you'll want to bring quick-dry clothing, lightweight shirts and pants, and comfortable, breathable shoes.

You should also bring a sun hat, sunglasses, and an umbrella, especially if you're traveling to the wetter regions of the country. A good sunscreen is still a little difficult to find, especially outside the major cities, so be sure to bring enough with you. Bug repellent is also a good idea if you will be spending time outside during the evening hours when mosquitoes are rampant.

August Events in China

From Chinese Valentine's Day to the Hungry Ghost Festival, there are plenty of events, celebrations, and activities to enjoy on your trip to China this August. While most events are family-friendly, there are a few alcoholic events like the Qingdao International Beer Festival that require attendees to be over 21, so be sure to check each website before you plan your trip if you're traveling with family.

  • Qingdao International Beer FestivalKnown as Asia's Oktoberfest, this annual event is hosted by the People's Government of Qingdao City from August 11 to 25, 2018, and features beers from all around the world.
  • Double Seventh Day: The Chinese version of Valentine's Day, also known as the Qixi Festival, is celebrated on August 17, 2018.
  • The Hungry Ghost Festival: A special celebration is held on August 25, 2018, to remember the dead during the seventh lunar month, when traditional Chinese belief states that the restless spirits roam the earth.
  • Nagqu Horse Racing FestivalThis annual event takes place in Tibet and features cultural dancing, music, and food alongside horseback riding skill competitions on August 1, 2018.
  • Ziyuan Water Lantern and Song FestivalOn August 23 to 24, 2018, hundreds of people will gather in Yiyuan County to float water lanterns down the local river, share stories and activities celebrating their heritage, and take part in folk song competitions.

    August Travel Tips

    • No Chinese national holiday means less domestic tourism than other months, so you shouldn't have any difficulty booking hotel or dinner reservations, even if you wait until the last minute.
    • August in the north is generally a dry month, so there's less chance of being soaked on the Great Wall, but late August sees the beginning of seasonal typhoons along the southern coast, so it's possible you might get pretty wet in Hong Kong, Shanghai, or Xiamen.
    • It's going to be hot, there's no doubt about it. If you're a cool weather person and are uncomfortable in humidity, then perhaps it would be better to wait until a cooler month, like October.