Archives For Summer in China

Have you noticed how hot it has been in China this summer? Even cities in the three most extreme northeastern provinces of China have recorded temperatures of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or more in the recent weeks! In one of these cities, I have personally been there in December when it was 18 degrees below zero (Fahrenheit), so you can see that a climate like that doesn’t get to 100 degrees or higher very often!

There are lots of precautions that should be made when dealing with extreme temperatures like these, and there are some for travelers as well. Would you like to review a couple of them?

First and foremost, stay hydrated! Bottles of water are inexpensive in China and easy to find in cities, so please stay hydrated and wear loose-fitting light-colored clothes. Another one is to know some of the aspects of when and where to go. I can show you an example of a mistake I made once. Would you like to see it?

Some Friendly Travel Advice -

This is the Great Wall of China at the Badaling location, which is the closest to Beijing so it is full of tourists. Also, it is the most commercialized of the locations near Beijing, so the crowds just getting there are quite large. This photo was taken in the summer, so not only was that the height of the tourist season, but it was also hot! As you can see from the photo, the air movement is somewhat restricted by the upper section of the wall. On this day I was convinced the stones in the Great Wall were absorbing the heat from the sun, and reflecting it back on the tourists!

If your travel takes place in the summer months, I would encourage you to think about getting to an outdoor tourist site early in the morning. This way it will be cooler, and you should be ahead of the crowds. On this trip to the Great Wall, combining the heat with the crowds did not make for the best experience, and that is what I want everyone to have, the best possible experience. Hopefully you can learn from my mistake!

Do you have any travel tips for sightseeing in hot weather?

Beijing is one city in China that has huge swings in their weather and temperatures over the course of the year. One summer, while I was teaching in Beijing, I would ride a bus to the school to save money. It was so hot walking to the bus, ridding the bus, and walking to the school, that I would have to take an extra shirt in my backpack to change into once I got to the school.

A couple of years after that, I was showing a group of friends from the States the sights of Beijing and we had a flaw in our scheduling. With the way our time worked out, we went to the Temple of Heaven, Tiananmen Square, and the Forbidden City all in one hot afternoon. It was so hot that one of the people with me became overheated. We had to take them back to the hotel for some rest in their air conditioned room.

As you can see from this picture of some tourists, they are wearing sleeveless shirts, which indicates how warm it really was. Also, you can see they both have a bottle of water, which is very important to have with you during the Beijing summers!


Of course, the opposite of summer is winter. Winters in Beijing can be very cold, indeed! I am confident in saying the tourism decreases in the winter! Here is a snowy scene near the center of Beijing. This was taken in March, so January and February are even colder.


Once, I was with a friend from the States and they wanted to see the Summer Palace… in the winter! There is a lake at the Summer Palace and it had iced over. Man, it was cold that day! You can see some birds walking on the ice at the partially frozen lake. So, keep the weather in mind as you make you travel plans!





May 8, 2014 — Leave a comment

Certain areas of China get very hot in the summer; therefore many people try to stay cool in the shade. A couple of hot cities I have visited are Shanghai and Xian. Shanghai feels hotter than it is because of the high humidity. Wow, one summer, when I went to Xian, the weather was so hot, that I couldn’t get my hotel room cool enough!


To beat the heat in China, the people find various ways of staying in the shade. As this first picture shows, the police in Tiananmen Square have large umbrellas to stand under― and they need them! As you can imagine, Tiananmen Square is very hot and crowded in the summer, and the cement surface absorbs the heat and makes the day that much hotter. I couldn’t imagine standing for a shift in all the heat and direct exposure to the sun.


Guard in Shade in China_Beau Sides_1


People that work outside wear hats designed to keep the sun off of them. These hats are commonly seen in China.


Shade hat_China_Beau Sides_2


The Chinese have beautiful skin with its nice olive tone, yet many Chinese want to avoid letting their skin get darker. For that reason, on hot days and when the sun is out, it is also common to see people protecting themselves from the sun by wearing full-face reflective sun visors (like sunglasses) that shield the entire face, ladies carrying umbrellas or wearing long gloves, and taxi drivers wearing gloves.


Hopefully, you now have a greater appreciation for the need for shade in China, and understand how refreshing it is to have a pagoda for some shade.


Pagoda for Shade_China_Beau Sides_3




To learn more about China, check out Lessons from China: A Westerner’s Cultural Education!


More Than One Way to Get Lessons From China!

Lessons from China: A Westerner’s Cultural Education now available as a paperback and as an e-book on Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes & Noble’s Nook!


You can buy Lessons from China on, (to donate a portion of the sale to Global Partners in Life),, and in Barnes and Noble stores and a variety of other bookstores and online booksellers.


Note: If you don’t see the book on the shelf at your local bookstore, just ask the sales clerk to order it for you. The booksellers are eager to accommodate you, whenever possible. Independent bookstores can order the book through Bookmasters.