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January in China - Weather and Event Guide

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January in China - Weather and Event Guide

A shopping mall decorates for Chinese New Year.

© 2010 Sara Naumann, licensed to About.com.

January Overview:

Ah, here we are in the peak of winter. Brrr. But January is not all bad. In fact, it is a really nice time to see China. Let it be known, however, that it is most certainly cold!

OK, your wimpy guide might be overdoing things. It's actually a dry cold across the north that does allow you to get out and do things, as long as you're well insulated. Across central China, the weather is a little more uncomfortable because of the dampness. But in the south, it's actually not too bad. You'll have cooler temps, but it can be quite comfortable for walking and sight-seeing.

January Weather:

January Packing Suggestions:


Layers are essential for winter. Be sure to read my Complete Packing Guide for China for more.
  • North: it will be cold during the day and below freezing at night. You'll probably be thankful if you bring along a long underwear, a fleece and a wind-proof or down jacket.
  • Central: it will be quite chilly during the day and cooler at night, but rarely freezing. A heavy base layer (e.g. jeans, boots and sweaters) along with a rain/wind-proof jacket will be enough. If you're easily cold, a down jacket might be better.
  • South: it will be cool. Long sleeves and pants, as well as a rain/wind-proof jacket are essential.

Visiting China in January - Pros:

  • Dry weather in Beijing and the rest of northern China makes for cold, but almost-guaranteed dry sight-seeing.
  • Cold weather in central and south China can still be comfortable for sight-seeing and touring as long as you've brought the right layers.

Visiting China in January - Cons:

It's cold!

Chinese New Year typically lands at the end of January or early February. This isn't necessarily a "con" but it can make travel around China a little more expensive. Just book ahead.

The Weather Month by Month:

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  3. China Travel
  4. Plan Your Trip to China
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  6. January in China Weather and Event Guide - A Guide to China in January

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