WildChina > Destinations > Chengdu > Where to Travel Around China This Fall

It’s been a hot, hot summer. So, we’re looking forward to cooler temperatures during our favorite travel season. For those who prefer temperate weather, autumnal colors, and diminished crowds, this is your time to travel. Here is your Travel Around China This Fall guide.

If you’re thinking about traveling during the Golden Week national holiday, you’re (really) not alone. We highly recommend starting your planning as early as possible before things book out! This year we’ve also got a small group departure running for Golden Week, so if you want to attempt the impossible with us – escaping the crowds during a national holiday – we’re headed to Tibet to try our luck. We’re determined to make this Golden Week one to remember, and you’re invited along for the ride. 

If you’re still not convinced that fall in China is the best, here it is straight from our General Manager, Jenny Zhao: “Fall is a time resplendent with local minority celebrations and seasonal festivals. Lively music and traditions fill the countryside creating incredibly unique experiences in unbeatable settings. Fall is also harvest season across much of China, yielding postcard-worthy views of lush and bountiful landscapes.” 

And, because she’s our GM, we can’t sign off without a word on logistics as well, “For those who like to travel light, packing is generally more minimal during this season as temperatures and weather are milder and more predictable than summer and winter.” 

So, join us as we explore the Middle Kingdom this fall, from up-close experiences in Tibetan monasteries to an epic foodie journey around Sichuan. Here are our top picks for this season: 


Travel Around China This Fall
Chengdu locals enjoying a cup of tea at the city’s central Heming teahouse

Sichuan cuisine is famed across China and beyond, most iconically for its mouth-numbing peppercorns and sizzling chilies. So, while gongbao jiding and mapo dofu are no longer well-kept secrets, the stories and cooking techniques behind them still are.

We recommend travelers go eat and drink their way through Sichuan, the way the locals do. From mouthwatering Chengdu hot pot (of course) to savory qiaojiao beef to the ubiquitous, baijiu, there is an endless number of culinary experiences across Chengdu, Leshan, and Luzhou. Among our favorite moments include sipping tea with locals at Chengdu’s bustling Heming teahouse, getting a behind-the-scenes look at how baijiu is produced, visiting an ancient salt well, and strolling through night markets and famous “fly” restaurants.

Perfect for travelers interested in: History, culture, food & drinks (craft beer and baijiu!) 

What we love: 

⭑ Sipping tea and playing mahjong in Chengdu’s famous teahouse, where locals gather for an afternoon chat and a good old ear cleaning on the side  

⭑ Getting a closer look at China’s longest operating baijiu distillery, the Luzhou Laojiao Baijiu Distillery

⭑ Discovering the flavors and techniques of Sichuanese cuisine with a masterclass at the Sichuan Cuisine Museum  


Travel Around China This Fall
A tapestry of drying chili peppers and chrysanthemum flowers in Huangling Village

Huangshan (the Yellow Mountains) is eastern China’s most sublime mountain landscape, where delicate songshu pines cling to the vertiginous sides of soaring granite peaks. The mist-swathed vistas a recurring motif in Chinese art and literature, and, tamed by thousands of stone steps (and a few cable cars), are accessible to anyone with a head for heights. Scattered throughout the bamboo-forested lowlands are UNESCO-listed villages home to the decendants of prosperous tea and salt merchants who developed the elaborately decorative architectural style unique to this region. 

Perfect for travelers interested in: Culture, history, nature & relaxation 

What we love: 

  • Experiencing what life in ancient China was like by wandering through old villages of traditional architecture 
  • Exploring the “sea of bamboo” in Mukeng village where scenes from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon were shot  
  • Biking through tea gardens and rice and mulberry fields, then stopping by the Yixian villages to discover life in the countryside   


Travel Around China This Fall
Monks debating at Sera Monastery

A bucket-list destination for many, the ‘Roof of the World’ boasts an incredible list of awe-inspiring experiences. From gilded and incense-filled monasteries to high-altitude hikes, travelers can immerse themselves in one of the warmest cultures while learning about Tibetan life and Buddhism along this spiritual frontier. Get the most out of this once-in-a-lifetime adventure by sipping yak butter tea in a local teahouse, quietly observing crimson-robed monks meditate and debate Tibetan Buddhist philosophy, and exploring pristine landscapes in some of the world’s most remote mountains.

Perfect for travelers interested in: History, culture & spirituality 

What we love: 

  • Experiencing monks debating Tibetan Buddhist philosophy in the open courtyard of Sera Monastery 
  • Sipping yak butter tea at a local Tibetan tea house
  • Getting an up-close-and-personal perspective of Tibetan culture and modern-day life through the eyes of a local farmer by visiting his family’s home 


Dalidong architecture
Dali Dong Village

Guizhou may be one of the poorest provinces in China, but it is remarkably rich in minority culture and natural beauty. This southwestern province is home to several ethnic groups, including many types of Miao as well as the Yi and Buyi people, each with their own special clothing, customs, and language. Guizhou’s natural beauty ranges from jutting karst peaks and gushing waterfalls to river gorges and azalea gardens. During this time of the year, join local villagers in song and dance as you celebrate their harvest and new year festivals. 

Perfect for travelers interested in: Culture, food, nature & relaxation 

What we love: 

  • Meeting a Dali Dong village elder to understand the customs and history of the Dong people
  • Learning how to play the bamboo lusheng instrument, used by the Miao people during celebrations 
  • Exploring the traditions of the Biasha Miao, including their age-old technique for making gunpowder using only the natural elements found around their village 

Huangshan & Jingdezhen 

Where to Travel Around China This Fall
Jingdezhen, the porcelain capital of China

If you’re looking for some R&R, you’ll find it easy to mold into life in Jingdezhen, the porcelain capital of the world. Just a 1-hour flight or 4-hour train ride from Shanghai, yields the opportunity to visit ancient villages where locals still dry colorful crops on their terraces and artists are breathing new life into the art of porcelain. Nearby, hike the stunning UNESCO-listed granite peaks of Huangshan.

Perfect for travelers interested in: Culture, food, nature & relaxation 

What we love: 

  • Witnessing the centuries-old process of making porcelain with classically trained artisans 
  • Hiking Huangshan, a UNESCO-listed site, known for its misty granite peaks which have been immortalized in the elegant brushstrokes of Chinese landscape painting
  • Admiring contemporary ceramic arts in the Tao Xi Chuan Art District 



Where to Travel Around China This Fall
Songzanlin Monastery in Shangri-La

Yunnan’s breadth of diversity – in landscape, food, and culture – provides allure for travelers of all interests and backgrounds. Lush green valleys, turquoise waters, rice terraces, and snowcapped peaks are among the many natural wonders found here. Cultural exploration is equally abundant, with various ethnic groups sharing their customs and traditions as you travel through rustic villages and towns – remnants of China’s old trade route, the Ancient Tea Horse Road. 

Perfect for travelers interested in: History, culture, nature & relaxation 

What we love:

  • Learning how to make soy milk and tofu with a local family in Hadda village
  • Retracing an ancient Tibetan pilgrimage route to Dharma Cave
  • Hiking against a backdrop of fall hues cascading over pastures, meadows, and valleys 

Travel Around China This Fall with WildChina

Discover the real side of China. Find adventure with like-minded travelers with these carefully curated itineraries.

Related Journeys with WildChina