We're recently retired and love adventure but seek warm to mild weather. Looking to travel early next year for 2-3 months and would love to hear personal experiences. Thanks so much.
For China, the best time will be Spring&Autumn. Temperatures are pleasant, if you come in Spring, the cost will be lower than in Autumn. Autumn,will be the high season, hotel, transportation...will be 15-20% higher.
In China,besides Beijing, Xi'an, Shanghai, you may visit less popular but authentic areas,such as Guizhou Province for colorful minorities, Sichuan for Giant Panda, Giant Buddha of Leshan,Taoist Mt Qingcheng, and it's yammy Sichuan food. From Sichuan, you may go to Yunnan, Laos is next door.
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Hi Risa, what a great trip! I traveled in Laos in late Feb-early March and it ranged from gloriously perfect (north of Luang Prabang) to downright hot (during the day) in Luang Prabang.
I was also in China during February (mid to late), in Hong Kong and Southwest China. Hong Kong ranged from cool (highs in the upper 50s F) to comfortable (highs in the low 70s F). In Southwest China, it was chilly and damp—we even had snow in Guizhou. The biggest trouble was that a lot of places in the area don't have the kind of heating that we're accustomed to when the weather gets cool. If you layer up your clothing, it's doable, but not the most pleasant conditions. I'd suggest doing Laos first and then moving toward China as the season progresses.
If by early you mean Jan-Feb, China will be too cold, as will Northern Laos. Though during the day it'll probably be decently warm and sunny in Laos, at night it could get right down chilly. If you push your trip to the later months, say March-May, Laos will be plenty warm(hot) and it'll be spring in southern China.