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Yunnan Travel Seasons

Yunnan Travel Seasons

“Seasons vary on a single mountain and weather differs within a short distance,” is a widely known and accurate description of the climate in Yunnan. Characterized by varied topography and changeable weather, Yunnan has the marked features of undistinguished seasonal changes and an obvious division of humid and dry seasons. Yunnan welcomes most of its yearly rainfall from May to October, during which the road traffic is often in terrible condition. This time period is the peak period for traffic accidents.

“There are four seasons in a day,” is a common phrase in many areas of Yunnan. While walking on the street, it is difficult to tell what the current season is on account of people’s clothing choices. This is due to the quickly changing weather and need for various types of dress in one day. This attitude of dress is known as one of the eight odd features in Yunnan—you can wear the same clothes regardless of the seasonal changes.


Kunming enjoys the reputation as, “the Spring City.” The weather is not too hot in summer nor too cold in winter. The city is located in the temperate monsoon humid climate zone.

There is a great difference in temperature from day to night in Kunming. In winter and spring, the day to night difference can be 12-20℃. When traveling to Kunming, it is imperative to bring a sweater or a coat. The rainy season falls from May to October. Rain greatly impacts the temperature, so a coat is necessary. Cold evenings included, Kunming is an ideal destination for traveling all year round. The best time is from March to October, during which the Yunnan ethnic minorities celebrate most of their traditional festivals. This period is also the harvest season for fruits and flowers. Travelers are blessed by what Yunnan has to offer.


Located in the plateau monsoon climate zone in the low latitude area, Dali has the features of undistinguishable seasonal changes and a small yearly temperature difference with its annual average temperature of 15℃. The weather is temperate all  year round without being too cold in winter and too hot in summer. The Bai people celebrate most of their traditional festivals in March and April. When visiting Dali, one can experience the prevalent ethnic local lifestyle. A typical song states, “Dali showcases its exceptional beauty in March.” Thus, March is the best time for travel to Dali.


Situated in the southwest plateau monsoon climate zone, Lijiang has a lower temperature and a vast difference in temperature from day to night. Travel to Lijiang is possible during any season. The items that are necessary to bring include: short T-shirts, sweaters, coats, sun cream and rain gear. In Lijiang, each day is interesting and has something to offer.

Lying in the extensive mountain range, the Lugu Lake and its surrounding areas are blessed with a comfortable climate as the surface of the lake moderates the outside temperature. The weather is warm in winter and cool in summer with a monthly average temperature of less than 20℃. The best time for travel to Lugu Lake is spring and summer.

Xishuang Banna

Located in the tropical rainforest climate zone, Xishuang Banna is warm all year round without being too hot in summer and too cold in winter. The best time for visiting Xishuang Banna is from October to June.

There is a division of humid and dry seasons in Xishuang Banna. From November to December and from January to April, is dry season and from May to October is rainy season. The city boasts an annual average temperature of 21℃. Even in January, the temperature is warm during the day. A sweater is sufficient in winter. 

Shangri-La (Zhongdian)

Spring and summer are the best seasons for travel to Shangri-La. Spring and winter are mild and a variety flowers blossom in a riot of color, which will never fail to please visitors. Autumn in the Diqing Plateau is known to leave an everlasting impression on visitors for the rest of their lives. Around 10 days after the Mid-Autumn Festival, the plateau is dotted with the enticing autumn scenery. The scenery surrounding Shudu Lake, Xiaozhong Dian and Baimang Xue is worthwhile to experience in terms of beauty and grandeur.


Located in the plateau of the low latitude area, Baoshan is known for its varied topography. It’s this feature that results in the stereoscopic climate, which is vividly depicted by the saying, “Season varies in a single mountain and weather differs within a short distance”. There are altogether 7 types of climate in Baoshan: the north tropical zone climate, the southern Asian tropical zone climate, the central Asian tropical zone climate, the north subtropical zone climate, the south temperate zone climate, the mid-temperate zone climate and the plateau climate. Baoshan has a small year temperature difference with an average temperature of 14-17℃. However, it has a great difference in temperature from day to night. In addition, its division of humid and dry seasons is obvious and its rainfall is abundant. In general, the climate is quite comfortable in Baoshan. 


Most of the places in Honghe prefecture are located in the subtropical plateau monsoon climate zone with an annual average temperature of 15-22.6℃. The temperature increases from Yuanyang to Jianshui to Mengzi to Hekou. When traveling to Honghe, travelers need to bring clothing that can be worn both in hot and cold seasons. Also, a rain coat is a useful tool for wearing during rainstorms and as well as alternative uses of blankets or ground covers. The best time to visit Honghe is from March to April and from September to November.


In Yuxi, most places are located in the subtropical inland plateau climate zone. The valley of the Yuanjiang River in the south is seated in the tropical and southern Asian tropical climate zone. Spring lasts all year round with an obvious division of dry and humid seasons and an annual average temperature of 15.5-23.7℃. The difference in temperature during day and night is great. In spring and autumn, one needs to prepare a coat and in winter travelers should bring winter clothes. The best time for travel to Yuxi is in summer and autumn.