China Travel in December

China Travel in December will introduce the China weather in December, what to pack for China travel in December, best places to visit in December, festivals in December and travel tips. December is the off season in most parts of China and the quietest time of the year. Travel costs are lower and scenic spots are less crowded. Tourists can avoid crowded crowds and enjoy a cost-effective tour. However, ski resorts in China are in full swing, and ice and snow activities in Harbin have already begun.

China Weather in December

Except for some areas in the south and southwest, China enters a severe winter in December. In December, north China has cold weather, while central China is extremely humid and cold. The south of China is relatively warmer. If you are in Beijing or other places in north China, December’s rainfall is the least of the year, so you can expect the Great Wall to have a dry day. East China, including Shanghai and most of Huangshan, usually stays above zero, but there may be wind and humidity. Central China is cold and dry, and many buildings in this area do not have indoor heating systems. Compared with most other parts of China, south China has pleasant winter weather, almost all above freezing point.

China Weather in December By Region & What to Pack

Due to China’s vast territory, different regions have different weather. The following is the weather situation in major regions of China in December.

North China in December

  • Representative Cities: BeijingXianHarbinChangchunJinanShenyangTianjin
  • Weather Feature: North China is very cold and dry. December is the second month of winter in Beijing, and the daytime temperature just exceeds freezing point. The average temperature in December in Beijing is -7-3°C. Harbin enters a long winter in December. It is cold, dry and sunny, with snow cover. The temperature is kept below freezing point, averaging -10°C to -20°C. The indoor heating system in north China is still on in December, so you won’t feel too cold.
  • What to Pack: In the north, it is very cold during the day and it is often below zero at night. You need to wear thermal underwear, fleece and windproof down jacket to keep warm. Remember to prepare warm winter clothes when traveling to Harbin. You can buy cheap warm clothes in Harbin. In addition, most buildings in north China have central heating.

East China in December

  • Representative Cities: ShanghaiHuangshanNanjingHangzhou
  • Weather Feature: Windy, cold and humid weather make people stay indoors. The temperature in Shanghai is usually kept above zero, and the average temperature in December is 2-11°C.
  • What to Pack: Sweater, coat, winter jacket and other warm clothes are needed. 

Central China in December

  • Representative Cities: WuhanChangshaNanchangZhangjiajie
  • Weather Feature: Central China is cold and dry. Since there is no unified indoor heating system, the room is relatively cold. Snow falls several times a month, and there may be ice and slush on the ground, even in the area south of the Yangtze River. High humidity makes people feel colder than northern Beijing. The average temperature in December in Zhangjiajie is 4-12°C.
  • What to Pack: In central China, it is very cold during the day and even colder at night, but seldom freezes. Warm underwear, sweaters, jeans, boots and a waterproof/windproof jacket are enough.

South China in December

  • Representative Cities: GuilinGuangzhouSanyaHong KongMacauShenzhen
  • Weather Feature: For those who are spending their winter vacation, the south China is a good place to escape the cold weather. Outdoor activities and sightseeing are both suitable. Other places in south China usually have a pleasant winter with plenty of sunshine, but Guilin is cold because of its high humidity, although it almost never freezes. The average temperature of Guilin in December is 8-16°C. Hong Kong has a mild climate and low humidity in December, with an average temperature of about 21°C. Although it is often cloudy, the rain is scarce and there is no typhoon this month. Therefore, the weather is very suitable for visiting scenic spots in Hong Kong.
  • What to Pack: Coat/jacket, long sleeves, trousers and rain gear are enough. But if you are in Guilin, it will be more comfortable to wear more layers of clothes. Remember to  bring a thicker coat.

West China in December

  • Representative Cities: ChengduKunmingLhasaChongqing
  • Weather Feature: In many parts of west China, the weather is cold but sunny in winter. High altitude areas such as Tibet and western Yunnan are very cold. The average temperature in December ranges from -5°C to 11°C in Lhasa, and there is usually no rainy day in December. In Yunnan, the daytime in December is comfortable, cool and warm. The average temperature in Kunming, capital of Yunnan province, is 3-15°C. The night temperature in Lijiang and Dali is low, and tropical Xishuangbanna is always warm. December is not a good time to travel to Xinjiang. The temperature is below zero and there are severe weather conditions such as heavy snow.
  • What to Pack: Take your winter clothes, gloves, sunglasses and hat. For most of popular places, you should wear several more layers of clothes at night. You need a thick coat in the mountains.

China Weather and Climate in December by Cities

Best Places to Visit in December

In December, most parts of China enter a cold winter. But the low temperature has also brought some unique scenery, such as Harbin’s ice and snow landscape and the sea of clouds on Mount Emei. If you prefer a warm place, you can go to tropical Sanya to enjoy the sunshine, or go to Hong Kong and Macau to enjoy the shopping season around Christmas. Other places worth visiting in December include Shanghai and Chengdu, etc. 


When you travel to Beijing in December, you can enjoy a less crowded and relatively quiet trip during the off season. If you only have this month to travel, you will not be able to see the best natural scenery in Beijing, but the special quietness of winter and fewer tourists will make your visit to historical sites more peaceful. Skiing is one of the most popular activities when traveling to Beijing in December. By December, all ski resorts in Beijing are opened. The four most popular ski resorts are Nanshan ski resort, Wanlong ski resort, Jundushan ski resort and Shijinglong ski resort.

Hong Kong

A trip to Hong Kong in December has at least two advantages: mild weather and a large number of discounted goods. In December, Hong Kong is one of the best tourist destinations in China. Due to more than 100 years of colonial history, it is an international metropolis where Chinese and western cultures blend. Tsim Sha Tsui and Mong Kok are typical shopping paradise for most international fashion brands, and also have some local cheap accessories. December is the best month for shopping because there are many promotions around Christmas and New Year’s Day. Influenced by western culture, people here are also enthusiastic about Christmas. Besides, you can’t miss the magnificent New Year fireworks display at Victoria Harbour.


Sanya is one of the most popular tourist destinations in China in December. The first stop is Wuzhizhou Island, where you can see tropical scenery and enjoy water recreation, such as water skateboards and water parachutes. This is also a good place to dive and watch the sunrise. Yalong Bay is characterized by the clearest water and beautiful beaches. It also includes many high-end resorts where you can play golf and enjoy hot springs. Last but not least, some delicious seafood must be tasted in the first market.


Harbin in December is a world of ice and snow. In addition to the famous Sophia Cathedral and the Byzantine-style Central Street, you can also enjoy skating and skiing in the Sun Island scenic area. Besides, you can’t miss the amazing ice sculpture exhibition in the sun island scenic area. The best time to travel to Harbin is from December to January, when the city is decorated with silvery white ice and snow. Although the annual Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival usually opens in early January, ice and snow themed celebrations have been held since December, including enjoying ice sculpture, winter swimming, snow soccer and skiing. Harbin has many ski resorts, the most famous of which is Yabuli ski resort.


During this period, despite the cold weather, Shanghai is also one of the best tourist destinations in December. Walking along the Bund or cruising on the Huangpu River is a good way to appreciate exotic buildings and skyscrapers. Enjoying the exquisite Yu Garden can give you a unique experience. Shanghai Disneyland is the first Disneyland in mainland China and the largest Disneyland in Asia. You can have fun with your family or friends here. Tianzifang is an interesting place, there are many special creative shops, and you can buy some special souvenirs.


In cold winter, eating a spicy hot pot in Chengdu is undoubtedly a pleasant thing, especially for those addicted to spicy food. However, if you can’t stand spicy food, clear soup hot pot will be a good choice. Apart from the popular hot pot, Chengdu is also famous as the hometown of giant pandas. If you travel to Chengdu, watching giant pandas is an essential activity. In addition, if you want to visit some historical relics, you cannot miss the Sanxingdui Museum and Dujiangyan Water Conservancy Project.

Mount Emei

Emei Mountain is one of the most popular scenic spots in December. As one of China’s four famous Buddhist mountains, it worships many Buddha statues from the foot of the mountain to the top of the mountain. In addition, it will be very pleasant to watch the sunrise or sunset at the top of the mountain. If you want to watch the sunrise, you need to get up early and choose a suitable location. The white and transparent rime scenery on the mountain is also impressive. Standing on the mountain, you will also have the opportunity to enjoy the sea of clouds and an amazing Buddha’s light, which is a halo of several colors appeared in the sun. It seldom appears, but more frequently in winter.

Note: Wear comfortable, waterproof and non-slip boots when climbing the mountain. Soaking in hot springs, watching sunrise and skiing are also recommended activities around Emei Mountain.

Yellow Mountain/Huangshan

Huangshan is worth visiting all the year round. Different from the famous Huangshan Mountain picture scroll with the pine and cypress trees and jagged rocks of grotesque shapes, Huangshan Mountain in December is a large picture scroll of quiet, white and magnificent snow. Tourists are more likely to see the magnificent sea of clouds in winter. The sunrise and sunset on the mountain are also spectacular. These are the photographer’s favorite scenes. Admission fee, hotel fees and cable car fees are greatly reduced in winter, but some roads are closed due to danger in winter.


Unlike most parts of China, Xishuangbanna’s tourist season lasts from November to April. Located at the southernmost tip of mainland China, it is hot in summer but very comfortable in winter, close to Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. There you can see all kinds of tropical plants and even meet an elephant in the Wild Elephant Valley. Xishuangbanna has the largest Dai population. You can taste all kinds of ethnic foods and experience unique ethnic customs. Dai dances are very elegant. A typical example is peacock dance.

China Festivals and Events by Month

In December, the main festivals and events in China include Winter Solstice, Harbin Ice and Snow Festival, etc. 

Travel Tips For China Travel in December

  • In terms of weather, winter is not an ideal time to travel in China. However, the advantage of December is that a low tide period for domestic tourists, so major tourist destinations will not be crowded and hotel and air ticket prices will be much cheaper. You can also see some of the country’s most famous scenic spots, such as the Great Wall and Huangshan Mountain, which are all covered with snow. This is completely different from the scene in summer.
  • In addition, if you plan to go to Tibet, it is also possible to go to Tibet in December. Although winter in Tibet is very cold, it is the season of pilgrimage, so you can see many farmers leaving their fields to pray and sacrifice in holy places.
  • China is becoming a more popular ski destination. If you want to ski in China, ski resorts in the northeast and near Beijing are good choices.
  • When traveling in China, especially in winter, it is very important to wear more layers of clothes. If you plan to travel to Beijing, don’t underestimate the cold there. You can even consider wearing a ski mask because the weather is too cold. If you are planning to travel to the Great Wall or visit the Forbidden City, you will be grateful for your long Johns, good gloves and hat. No matter where you go, you should put on a waterproof/windproof coat. Depending on the outdoor temperature, you can add or remove layers of clothes.