A Chinese Winter Adventure
China is an incredible place to visit all year round. It has an unbelievably rich culture and history, a variety of unique cuisines, as well as astonishing places to see. What’s more, it’s a rapidly developing country that you have to witness for yourself.
Jump out of your comfort zone, challenge yourself to learn Mandarin, and begin to understand this beautiful and sometimes confusing country. Whilst the majority of people visit in spring, summer or autumn, China is also a special place to spend winter: here are five reasons why—provided that you bring a coat—winter in China is a unique, beautiful, and peaceful experience.
The unrivalled tranquillity
During the height of summer when everyone takes a long holiday, and during both spring and autumn where tourists try to avoid the summer humidity and enjoy milder weather, Chinese cities and famous sites are crowded with both domestic ad international tourists.
During winter, the lack of tourists means that astonishing sights such as the Forbidden City, the Great Wall and the Bund can be better appreciated without having to negotiate seething crowds.
Consequently, your trip will be far more enjoyable and visiting tourist sites far more peaceful, and even better- you can avoid the humidity of summer, where it can feel like you are walking through maple syrup.
The beautiful scenery
China is stunning all year round, but winter weather is a wonderful lens through which to see China. In Beijing, the Summer Palace in winter offers some of the most beautiful scenery, when Longevity Hill, bridges, pavilions and the frozen waters of Kunming Lake are covered with snow.
In most parts, the Great Wall is still accessible in winter, and is even more astonishing when blanketed with snow in contrast to the crisp winter sky. These make for some pretty special photos to show your friends back home.
The warming winter food
Chinese food is incredibly varied and flavourful, Hotpot, whilst now popular across the country all year round, is a dish that was traditionally eaten in winter and it’s easy to understand why.
Normally a bowl of broth is put in the middle of the table, a selection of meats and other ingredients (noodles, tofu, vegetables) are ordered, and the diners add this to the pot and cook it together. Not only is it warming, but it is also an incredibly sociable way of eating and spending time with others.
The Shanghai Style Vegetable Rice
The dish was originally just a dish for low paid male workers around the Shanghai area. However gradually, this dish became widely spread and has become one of the signature dish in Shanghai Cuisine.
Mongolian Lamb With Green Onions.
The extreme winter weather conditions in Mongolia meant that anyone living there needed a diet high in animal fat to keep warm. It’s cuisine being heavily influenced by Chinese recipes, meant that it soon became popular across all of China.
The unique winter activities
Whilst summer is so hot that it’s difficult to do activities without feeling the energy rapidly drain from you, wintertime in China offers unique activities. The beautiful lakes in Beijing freeze over in winter making them perfect for scenic ice-skating with Beijing locals.
You can also enjoy the colourful ice lanterns, either moulded or carved into different shapes. Don’t forget- this is only on top of everything else you can do year round in both Shanghai and Beijing- eat delicious street food, experience buzzing nightlife and immerse yourself in the unique cultures of the two cities.
Here I Come! When winter arrives the flowing rivers of China become solid, resulting in a perfect environment for some classic winter fun, Ice Skating. Don’t we all remember those short lived moments where death suddenly seemed very near, only avoided by grabbing the nearest person when a crash seemed unavoidable. Or falling hard on your butt followed by a helplessly sliding across the entire ice rink for everybody to see your elegance.
WATCH OUT! While trying to stay warm and safe from the bitter cold, the hills around China turns into a paradise for children in all ages. Leaving the rest of us a moving target for off road children on fast sledges. If you have a need for speed, join the fast ice-kissed hills of China on your own snow rocket.
Low season means lower prices. Gone are the days where there are tourists aplenty and constantly high demand. This means that you’ll get better deals on everything, from flights into China to bargaining at street markets.
If you come to China during winter, you’re certain to get ‘more bang for your buck’.
If you want to read more about the beautiful winter in China, see our story on why the public parks is a must visit attraction during your Chinese winter adventure. Read more here.