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

Where to Go in August for the Best Weather

Beijing skyline in August
Sean Pavone / Getty Images  

The weather for August in China still feels very much like summer, but the heat begins to wane slightly. Humidity is still high across the country except in the northwest and Tibet where weather is mild and delightful.

Many local families are traveling with their children during August. Big, family-friendly attractions can be even more crowded than usual. The good news is there aren't any national holidays in August; you'll be able to avoid the holiday-travel masses that often clog popular places.

China's Typhoon Season in August

August is often the peak of China's typhoon season that runs from May to December. Hong Kong and Guangdong are especially susceptible to big storms. Weather systems can last from a few hours to a few days.

Even if you aren't where the storm makes landfall, typhoons can generate heavy rain in the region. Expect potential flooding and transportation challenges.

China Weather in August

City Average High Average Low Precipitation Rainy Days
Beijing 87 F (30.6 C) 70 F (21.1 C) 2.9 inches 12
Shanghai 90 F (32.2 C) 78 F (25.6 C) 3.3 inches 12
Guangzhou 92 F (33.3 C) 78 F (25.6 C) 6 inches 17
Guilin 91 F (32.8 C) 76 F (24.4 C) 2.8 inches 15

China is hot and humid across most of the country in August, but there are exceptions. 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 China reach between 87 to 92 degrees Fahrenheit (30 to 33 degrees Celsius) while lows can dip 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.

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. Rain boosts local mosquito populations. Insect 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 alcohol-oriented events such as the Qingdao International Beer Festival that require attendees to be over 21. Check the event 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 in July and August. The festival 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 every August; dates vary because the event is based on the lunisolar calendar.
  • The Hungry Ghost Festival: A special celebration is held every August to remember the dead during the seventh lunar month, a time when traditional Chinese belief states that the restless spirits roam the earth. Variations of the Hungry Ghosts Festival are celebrated all over the world.
  • Nagqu Horse Racing FestivalThis annual event takes place in Tibet and features cultural dancing, music, and food alongside horseback riding skill competitions. The festival begins on August 1.
  • Ziyuan Water Lantern and Song Festival: 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. Dates vary in August.

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 is generally a dry month in the north of China, so there's less chance of being soaked on the Great Wall. 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.
  • August is 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 such as October.

Updated by Greg Rodgers

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