Saturday 25th January. It is the celebration of the beginning of the New Year on the traditional Chinese calendar. Every year in each twelve-year cycle in the Chinese calendar is themed after a different animal, which represents certain attributes and traits for those born within that year.
What is the weather like in China in January?
On average, January is usually one of the coldest months to visit China. Apart from the Spring Festival, January is generally the low travel season for China, but this comes with its benefits! It is less crowded, travel costs are lower and there are often special offers. North China (Beijing) is very cold with average temperatures of -9 to -2 °C, while Southern China cities (Hong Kong) are milder in January with average temperatures of 6 to 10°C.
Don’t let the idea of relatively cold weather put you off, however. Simply bring lots of warm clothes and a winter coat, and seek comfort in cosy restaurants enjoying the delicious local warming cuisine. Chinese New Year is one of the best times to visit China, allowing you to experience their wonderful culture without much tourism.
Do you need a Visa to visit China?
British nationals normally need a visa to enter mainland China, including Hainan Island, but not Hong Kong or Macao. Most Visa applications need to be made in person at a Visa application centre. There are Visa application centres located in London, Manchester, Edinburgh and Belfast.
Places to visit in China?
China is an incredible mix of both ancient and modern culture, and it is important to experience both!
Beijing encompasses ancient China, with its star attractions including:
- Forbidden City
- The Summer Palace
- The Temple of Heaven
- Tiananmen Square.
It is also worth taking a day excursion to the Great Wall of China whilst in the Beijing area. If you want a good location for your accommodation, stay at The Opposite House with its prime position in the centre of Sanlitun.
Shanghai focusses on modern life and is the commercial hub of this incredible country.
- Shanghai has the country’s best hotels, shopping and restaurants, but also has some wonderful colonial neighbourhoods that should be explored.
- Stay in The Peninsula Shanghai for a modern take on Art Deco architecture and incredible views.
China’s hinterland in the South and West offers beautiful picturesque countryside and natural landscapes for those who want to experience more than just the hustle and bustle of the major cities.
Visiting the Great Wall of China
Visiting the Great Wall of China may not be a bad idea in January! There won’t be hordes of people clogging up the path as its China’s low tourism month, allowing you to hike and explore the wall undisrupted and at your own leisure. Secondary to this, prices for transportation and admission to the Great Wall are often lower during the low season. It is key, however, to dress appropriately for the weather. Check the forecast before you go and dress accordingly. Make sure you plan your route properly, get a guide if unsure, take plenty of water and food and enjoy!
What to eat during Chinese New Year
There are 7 lucky foods to eat during Chinese New Year and are a must if you visit China in January!
- Spring Rolls represent wealth
- Niangao (a glutinous rice cake) is thought to represent a higher income or position
- Tāngyuán (sweet rice balls) represent family togetherness
- Fish is thought to increase prosperity
- Dumplings represent wealth
- Longevity noodles represent happiness and longevity
- Good fortune fruit represent fullness and wealth
Why not try Michelin Star restaurant ‘Imperial Treasure’ in Shanghai and enjoy an award-winning Cantonese Restaurant in China this Chinese New Year?
Pre-order your Chinese Yuan before you go
This allows to you lock in our best rates and could save you money to spend during your travels!
- Orders can be placed up to two weeks in advance, and no less than 24 hours before collection.
- Place your order quickly with no upfront payment.
- Pick-up from one of our major airports or central London locations.
What are you waiting for?
The information above was accurate at the time of publication. moneycorp and its affiliates expressly disclaim any liability for the completeness or accuracy of the information contained on this page which may be subject to change.