Did you know that London and Beijing are at the same latitude but the climate of these two cities differ wildly. London is an all year round destination but the best time to visit Beijing is in the spring or autumn, the summers in Beijing being very humid and the winters very cold .
China is a vast country almost the same size as the whole of Europe and it’s very important to choose a good time to visit it. Most of the travel guide books suggest travelling either in April, May or September, October when hotel prices are usually high. This rule is valid if you are going for longer than three weeks and if your tour starts in Beijing and finishes in Hong Kong. Most people plan to go to China only once in their lifetime and they tend to choose longer tours to keep costs down. But from my experience I would suggest you go for a shorter time, say up to 10 days. This way you can go during November and early December or February and March when the prices are lower and the weather conditions still acceptable. Yes it may get cold but not unbearable. If you wear warm clothes which you can buy cheaply at the local market in any city in China then you will get nice crispy days which are fantastic for taking good photos plus most of the sights are empty and you can enjoy them on your own away from other people. If you are going to the south of China the winters are usually mild and make traveling a pleasure in the southern part of China between the months of November and February.
Whenever you decide to travel to China try to avoid 1-8 May (Labour holidays) or 1- 8 October (Liberation Day) when hard – working Chinese get a one week holiday. Most of the sightseeing spots during this time get swamped with large groups of Chinese people who have a different way of exploring – you can recognize them very easily – they are all dressed in the same color clothes for easy recognition and led by a tour guide with a megaphone whose strength is strong enough to seriously damage your ears. Not to mention that you won’t be able to get close to any of the sights and you won’t be able to hear your own guide.
If you are going to stay in big cities try to book hotels during the weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) as most Chinese try to escape from the city to the countryside during weekends.
Also check if there are any big exhibitions taking place, these usually increase the cost of your hotel stay. This year Horticulturla EXPO takes place in Xian from May to October so hotel prices are going to be higher. F1 is also taking place in April in Shanghai and the same will apply.