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Best Time to Visit Guilin: Seasonal, Monthly Weather & Climate Guide

Written by Senior Expert Celine Schneider|Updated: 2024-04-26

Planning the best time to visit Guilin in Guangxi is key to experiencing this top Chinese destination at its utmost splendor. As one of China’s most popular scenic spots, Guilin lures travelers with its iconic karst mountains, rippling rivers, and idyllic rural charm. So when is the best time to visit Guilin? The consensus is that the best time to tour Guilin are April, May, September, and October.

However, with the array of experiences Guilin offers—from cruising the tranquil Li River and basking in the ethereal beauty of the Longji Rice Terraces to exploring the wonders of Reed Flute Cave and meandering through scenic trails to vibrant festivals—there's never a bad time to visit.

You'll need a comprehensive Guilin weather guide to the optimal travel times, including Guilin's seasons, monthly weather and climate, festivals, and activities to plan your perfect Guilin vacation.

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  • triangleWhen is the Best Time to Visit Guilin?
  • triangleFour Seasons in Guilin
  • triangleGuilin Weather and Climate: Monthly Weather, Climate and Packing Tips
  • triangleBest Times for Guilin Activities
  • triangleBest Time to Visit Guilin for Festivals
  • triangleExplore Guilin/Yangshuo with Asia Odyssey Travel

When is the Best Time to Visit Guilin?

As one of China's most famous tourist destinations, Guilin showcases stunning natural scenery throughout the year. However, the peak influx of visitors occurs during the period from April to October. During this time, you can leisurely cruise along the breathtaking Li River, drift on bamboo rafts, or choose to hike or cycle to the Longji Rice Terraces and experience the serene charm of rural Yangshuo. The pleasant climate and captivating landscapes make this period perfect for a variety of enjoyable activities.

  Weather Forecast  

April-May and September-October: Best Time to Tour Guilin

The best time to visit Guilin in Guangxi is in April, May, September and October. During this period, average temperatures range between 25 to 28 °C, providing pleasant and comfortable weather for touring. The rainfall is moderate, allowing you to enjoy the beautiful scenery in optimal conditions.

In April and May, the charming drizzles make the Li River swell with abundant water. The misty rain and fog set the perfect scene for cruising along the Li River and experiencing the alluring "Li River in Rain" landscape, as if stepping into a fairyland. Additionally, by May, the Longji Terraced Fields begin to fill with water, creating a mirror-like effect on the surface as the mountain ridges are reflected on the shimmering terraces, presenting a unique and magnificent sight.

In September and October, Guilin enjoys cool and pleasant weather, with decreased rainfall. The Li River becomes clearer and more enchanting, perfect for drifting down to the 20 Yuan banknote scenic area near Xingping Town to capture a one-of-a-kind photo. Now is harvest season, and you can ride a bicycle through the expansive golden rice paddies of Yangshuo countryside, laughing and sharing the farmers' joy. Moreover, the jubilation of harvest in Longji Terraces also awaits you, along with the stunning visual feast of the cascading golden terraced fields extending to the foot of the mountains.

Li River in May
Stunning May rain in Li River
Li River in September
September is one of the best times to visit

The Second Best Time to Visit Guilin

Another favorable season is the summer months of June to August, as well as March and November. If your vacation plans fall within this period, they also serve as excellent alternative options.

The summer months of June through August are the liveliest season in Guilin, with various water activities serving as great ways to beat the heat and unwind. Cruising along the Li River, bamboo rafting on the Yulong River/Li River, Stream-Tracing and SUP in Longhuxia Gorge make for an invigorating vacation. If you want to escape the sweltering heat, exploring the shady Reed Flute Cave, Crown Cave, and Silver Cave is highly recommended. These underground wonders add infinite curiosity and adventure to scorching summer days.

In March, temperatures in Guilin start to warm up, and the rainy season has begun. Cruising along the Li River offers an experience of the “Li River in Rain” landscape, with misty rain and blossoming flowers along the banks, as farmers begin their spring plowing.

From late October to late November is the season for maple leaves and ginkgo trees. The maple trees along Seven Star Road and Gudong Waterfall turn fiery red, intoxicating the world. The golden ginkgo leaves in the city center and Haiyang Town are also magnificent, attracting countless visitors and photography enthusiasts.

Summer activities in Guilin
June to August is the best time to experience outdoor activities in Guilin
Explore caves and experience unique fun

Peak Season in Guilin

Generally speaking, the peak tourism season in Guilin runs from April to October. During these months, prices are higher due to high demand.

July and August see massive crowds as students take their summer holidays. Major Chinese long holidays like Labor Day (May 1st), National Day (Oct 1st) and Chinese New Year also attract peak visitor numbers to Guilin. It's best to book accommodation and tickets well in advance if visiting during peak seasons.

Off-Season for Guilin Travel

December through February is Guilin’s off-season with fewer tourists. Hotel rates and airfares are more affordable. The winter months have cooler temperatures and dry weather. While occasional rain or snow can happen, the majestic scenery remains. Off-season travel allows you to experience Guilin’s natural beauty with more solitude.

Four Seasons in Guilin

Visiting Guilin in Spring (March-May)

Spring in Guilin runs from March to May, with temperatures warming up and ranging from 15 to 21 °C. Most of the time the weather is sunny, with occasional drizzles. Towards the end of April, the number of rainy days gradually increases. During this season, the misty, meandering Li River after the rain is especially mesmerizing and refreshing, like stepping into a utopia. It is recommended to wear light jackets and raincoats when traveling, and bring umbrellas or rain capes to prepare for potential light showers.

Longji Rice Terraces
The mirror-like effect of the Longji Rice Terraces in spring
The Li River in Spring
The Li River in Spring

Summer Travel in Guilin (June to August)

Summer in Guilin extends from June to August, with temperatures soaring to over 30 °C. While early June still feels pleasant, July and August can be hot and humid. It is the main rainy season in Guilin, characterized by sudden heavy downpours but also occasional sunny days. The abundant rainfall rejuvenates the landscape, making the mist-shrouded Li River and lush green mountains even more enchanting.

To beat the summer heat, it is advisable to focus on water activities during your visit. Loose, breathable clothing, along with a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen, are recommended. It's also a good idea to bring an extra set of clothes for after water activities.

Guilin's Longhu Gorge
Experience fun water activities in Guilin during the summer
Yangshuo in summer
Spend a pleasant time in Yangshuo during the summer

Fall Travel in Guilin (September to November)

Autumn in Guilin spans September through November. Temperatures cool down to a comfortable range of 15 to 27 °C. Skies are bright and sunny, with low humidity and infrequent rainfall. Guilin's countryside glows in warm hues during fall. The Longji rice terraces blanket the mountains in red and yellow, presenting a visual feast. The clear waters of the Li River also take on a mirror-like tranquility.

Crisp mornings and mild days make autumn ideal for outdoor activities. Hiking amidst the golden foliage and cycling by the rivers are popular options. Just bring a light jacket for the cooler evenings.

Autumn in the Longji Rice Terraces
Experience the joy of golden harvest in the Longji Rice Terraces during autumn
Autumn in Yangshuo
Autumn in Yangshuo

Visiting Guilin in Winter (December to February)

The cold and dry winter in Guilin runs from December through February. Average temperatures can dip as low as 5 to 15 °C. Although occasional light rain or snow may occur, it is generally not excessively cold. Winter often brings sunny and refreshing weather, showcasing breathtaking mountain landscapes. This season sees fewer tourists in Guilin, creating a tranquil atmosphere and offering affordable prices. While outdoor activities may be less ideal during winter, the hot springs in Longsheng provide warmth and therapeutic benefits. It is recommended to bring insulated jackets, gloves, and hats for added comfort.

Guilin Weather and Climate: Monthly Weather, Climate and Packing Tips

The climate of Guilin falls under the subtropical humid monsoon climate. It is characterized by warm and humid conditions throughout the year, with an average temperature of around 19 degrees Celsius. The rainfall is evenly distributed, and it rains throughout the year. Guilin is known for its abundant natural landscapes and unique geological features. No matter when you visit Guilin, you can enjoy the beautiful scenery of mountains and rivers.

Season Month Avg. Temp (°C) Rainfall(mm) Rain days Tips
Winter Jan 5-12°C 55 16 Bring warm layers
Feb 6-13°C 84 16 Warm jacket recommended
Spring Mar 10-17°C 140 19 Light jacket, umbrella
Apr 15-23°C 135 20 Raincoat, light layers
May 20-28°C 347 19 Umbrella, rain poncho
Summer Jun 22-30°C 332 18 Breathable clothes, hat
Jul 24-33°C 218 16 Light clothes, rain gear
Aug 25-33°C 179 15 Raincoat, sun protection
Autumn Sept 21-30°C 83 8 Light jacket for evenings
Oct 16-27°C 88 10 Light layers, umbrella
Nov 11-20°C 66 9 Light jacket, layers
Winter Dec 6-15°C 48 9 Warm coats, gloves

Best Times for Guilin Activities

Guilin Attractions Best Months
Li River April, May, July, August, September, October, November
Yangshuo Countryside April, May, September, October
Longji Rice Terraces May, June, July, August, September, October
Xingping Acient Town April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November
Yulong River April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November
Caves All year round

Bamboo Rafting: The best time for bamboo rafting is May to August, as the higher water levels allow for an exciting ride over the rapids. For a more leisurely drifting experience, the water levels in autumn from September to November are also suitable. Winter's low water levels make rafting not feasible.

Hiking: The best time for hiking in Guilin is spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November)strong>. During these seasons, the weather is mild and pleasant, with temperatures around 20°C. There is minimal rainfall, making it ideal for various trekking routes. During these times, you can fully enjoy popular hiking routes such as Li River trek, Yulong River trek, and Longji Rice Terraces hike. Along the way, you can admire the beautiful landscapes of Guilin and the charming countryside, immersing yourself in the relaxation and rejuvenation that hiking brings.

Biking: The best time for biking in Guilin is also spring and autumn. Whether leisurely cycling through the countryside of Yangshuo or riding along the bike paths along the Li River, spring and autumn provide ideal weather conditions for biking experiences in Guilin.

Yulong Bamboo Rafting
September is an ideal time to enjoy bamboo rafting in Yangshuo
Yangshuo Biking
Biking on the rural paths of Yangshuo in spring

Best Time to Visit Guilin for Festivals

Apart from the traditional festivals, Guilin has a plethora of festivals that await your exploration, offering a profound insight into the local ethnic customs and cultural heritage. If you are a passionate lover of culture, make sure not to miss the chance to indulge in the vibrant festivities of Guilin during your visit.

Longsheng Rice Planting Festival (April) - The local Yi people celebrate the rice planting season with rituals for a good harvest.

Longji Terraced Fields Festival (April) - Held by the Zhuang and Yao ethnic groups, this festival features traditional singing and dancing.

Dragon Boat Festival (May/June) - Watch exhilarating dragon boat races on the Li River in early summer.

Guilin Fishing Lights Festival (June) - Fishermen light up their boats on the Li River around the summer solstice.

Yao Ethnic Minority Torch Festival (June) - The Yao people parade at night with torches through rice paddy fields.

Rongjiang Drying Clothes Festival (June) - A traditional festival where Yao women hang their handmade clothing near the river to dry.

Chinese New Year (January/February) - Enjoy colorful decorations and dragon dances throughout Guilin during this major Chinese festival.

In general, the best time to visit Guilin is April, May, September and October. However, as a captivating and popular tourist destination in China, Guilin has something to offer throughout the year. Whether you desire to experience the misty charm of the Jiangnan region, the vibrant summer, the bountiful autumn harvest, the enchanting winter scenery, or the diverse cultural celebrations, Guilin has it all!

Drying Clothes Festival
Drying Clothes Festival
Longsheng Rice Planting Festival
Longsheng Rice Planting Festival

Explore Guilin/Yangshuo with Asia Odyssey Travel

Based in China, with our office conveniently located in Guilin, Guangxi, the local team at Asia Odyssey Travel is dedicated to providing exceptional service to ensure an unforgettable experience for those who visit this beautiful Guilin. We offer a variety of carefully designed Guilin tours, including Classic Guilin Tours, Li River Tours, Yangshuo Tours, and Longji Rice Terraces Tours, tailored to meet your needs and desires. Whether you prefer a private tour with a flexible itinerary or a small group tour without compromising on quality, Asia Odyssey Travel has the perfect tour for you, ensuring that your journey to Guilin is a worry-free vacation.

If you're looking to extend your stay in Guilin into a longer vacation, Asia Odyssey Travel also offers a range of inspiring ideas through China Tour Packages with Guilin. Our professional travel consultants are ready to assist you in customizing a tailor-made Guilin Tour at the best local price. Don't hesitate to contact us to start planning your dream trip to Guilin today!

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