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Terracotta Army, Xi'an
Potala Palace in Lhasa
The Bund, Shanghai

When To Go

Generally speaking, the best time to go on a Yangtze cruise is during the spring and autumn seasons, particularly during the months of April, May, September and October when the weather is cool and comfortable. These mild seasons, however, are also the peak tourist months, causing higher prices and more crowds.

During the summer shoulder season from June through August, weather can be hot and humid with some rain and longer days. Costs are moderate and ships are less crowded during this time. The winter low season from November through February brings cold weather in some areas and water levels are significantly lower, making it harder to cruise at times. Low water levels also offer lovely scenery at the Three Gorges, which is the most famous attraction on the Yangtze River.

Public holidays in China, such as the Spring Festival (Chinese New Year's), International Labor Day (also known as May Day) and National Day Holiday are often 7-day-long vacations when attractive sites are visited by tourists and locals. Despite the crowds, these holidays are an excellent way to experience China's ancient cultures, values and customs first hand.

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