Great Wall Autumn

Best Things to Do in China in Autumn

Visiting China in Autumn is often thought to be the best choice for would be travelers. This is when China’s weather system is said to be at its peak. Just like the tale of the three bears, it’s not too hot and not too cold. It’s just right. Perhaps that’s why it’s the best time of year when most of China’s overseas tourists make their way into the country.

Autumn in China

However, there is also a time in China, which you should almost definitely avoid. That time is the National Day Holiday, which is celebrated annually on October 1st. Every year, this week-long public holiday hosts some of the biggest movements across the country for domestic tourism. Did you know that China has over 1 billion people? Yeah, need we say anymore?

However, if you manage to come outside of that time during Autumn, you’ve got a huge number of options for things to do throughout the entire country. To help spark your imagination, here are just a ‘few’ of the things available in China during Autumn.

The Great Wall of China

What list of recommendations would start without mentioning the Great Wall of China? It’s very possibly the biggest and most popular attraction in the country! Several of its walls were built as early as 7th Century BC. After all, it’s one of the seven wonders of the world, isn’t it?

the Great Wall of China

It’s especially good during the Autumn because all of the lovely autumnal colours have started to make their way into the trees and leaves. You’ll see endless seas of reds and yellows from the top of the walk – all 4,000 miles of it.

You also have several other choices for visiting the Great Wall. Badaling is the most popular and well known, which also means that it can get the most crowded. So, how about heading to Mutianyu instead? It’s the most fully restored section of the wall, and it’s also surrounded by the incredible tree seas mentioned above. If you want to get away from all the crowds, the best place is probably the Jiankou section. This is the most dangerous part of the Great Wall, but if you’re up to the hike, it’s definitely worth it.

Jiuzhaigou Valley

Now a lot of different sources say that this incredible destination – one of China’s most beautiful National parks, if not THE most beautiful – is located next to Chengdu. That’s not true. Chengdu to Jiuzhaigou requires a 10-hour bus journey to the north of the Sichuan province. It’s actually much easier to get there by flying to the nearest airport.

Jiuzhaigou Valley

Jiuzhaigou Valley is also one of the most recommended places in China due to its many multi-level waterfalls, colorful lakes, and snow-capped peaks. It really is a natural wonder. The park is also secluded within mountain ranges, which protect it from the influences of the outside world. In fact, at the entrance, you can see the park’s water mixing with water from outside in a small stream. The difference is unbelievable. On one-half you have the perfect blue, beautiful water, on the other, you have something which looks comparatively like sludge.

Inside the National park, the views are just stunning. We’re talking mountains surrounding you, forests growing everywhere, and waterfalls cascading over the edge of brilliant cliffs. What’s more, Autumn is the perfect time to visit the place due to the explosion of colour which takes place amongst the area’s natural flora. Trust us, put Jiuzhaigou towards the top of your agenda.

Emei Mountain

Sticking to the more western areas of China, the next destination on our list is Emei Shan. Now, Emei mountain is actually good all year round, but we think it’s the best in Autumn because the weather is perfect for climbing to the top and you’re most likely to see it’s incredible cloud seas. Whilst it’s possible to take a cable car, or even a bus, a good day long trek never hurt anyone, and waking up early the next morning to catch the sunrise is more than worth the wait.

Emei Mountains

The mountain actually has several different levels to it and the peak is only one of them. Around the middle of the mountain, there is an area where you might get lucky and catch sight of a few monkeys. Make sure that you keep your stuff locked away though, and don’t offer them food. They can be a little bit mean if provoked as the phrase ‘don’t steal’ isn’t in their vocabulary.

You can spend the night at one of the hotels near the summit of the mountain, then head to the hotels in the morning. Alternatively, you can stay in one of the Buddhist monasteries on the way to the top. It’s a pretty cool experience.


Even if you haven’t heard of Guilin before, you have probably seen pictures of it. It’s the type of landscape that all the tour brochures use to advertise China. Incredible Karst rock formations and mountains, interspersed with beautiful flowing rivers, upon which fishermen try to catch the biggest thing they can.

Guilin, China

The most recommended place is known as the Yangshuo Countryside. This is an area where you can really come together with your family and enjoy the natural beauty in the area. You can even visit a real farm if you book in advance, and see what it’s like to live as a Chinese farmer.

Hua Shan

Hua Shan is famous for its dangerous walk along the top, with a ledge barely wide enough to accommodate a person’s feet, and stairs steep enough to require ladder climbing skills. However, if you’re up for a real adrenaline rush, this mountain in the north of China (near to Xi’an) should be towards the top of your list of places to travel. It quite literally requires you to climb with gear, it’s that intense!

Hua Shan Mountains

Once you’re finished here (or before), you can always head to nearby (ish) Xi’an and check out the famous Terracotta Warriors. Or just try to wind down the serious thrill you just had at Hua Shan. Good luck!

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Cez Krol

Travel blogger at eTramping
Cez lives in China like a local for the past 4 years. Apart from speaking the language, he loves to discover more about this unique country of extreme contrasts. He shares his China experiences here at Sublime China and on his blog eTramping, so go and check out what's out there for you in China.
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