Spring is a good time to travel in China if you do not care about the rain. Temperatures warm up, flowers are in bloom, and there are fewer tourists than in summer.
Traveling to China in the springtime gives visitors the enviable opportunity to experience some of the finest sights in the country when the temperatures have warmed, but not to sweltering, and the crowds of tourists have not yet gathered.
The beauty of blooming flowers and trees make it one of the most picturesque and pleasant seasons in which to travel. Those who love photography will find it a season of lush, colorful blossoms and fresh green hues.
Spring in the North and South
The average occurrence of spring in China is from mid-March to mid-May, but owing to the difference in latitude and climate, northern China's spring is later, i.e. April–May, and in the south it is earlier: March–April.
Traveling During the Spring
The Spring Festival
The celebration of the Chinese Lunar New Year, although called the Spring Festival, is seldom in spring, beginning in the period from January 21 to February 20, and lasting 15 days.
Labor Day Week
Once the Spring Festival concludes, there are no public holidays other than the May 1 "golden week", when China celebrates Labor Day. During the first week of May hotel prices etc. go up and attractions become very busy as millions of Chinese use their statutory holiday for tourism.
Top Things to Do in Spring
1. Celebrate the Sister's Meal Festival with the Miao Ethnic PeopleThe Sister's Meal Festival is one of the two most important festivals celebrated by the Miao Ethnic People in Southwest China's Guizhou Province. The festival takes place from April 17 to April 19 this year. Visitors can see colorful traditional dressings, bright silver ornaments, bullfighting, horseracing, traditional Miao performances and Lusheng music during the festival. See our Sister's Meal Festival Tours
2. Celebrate the Water-Splashing Festival with the Dai Ethnic PeopleThis festival takes place in April 12. It is the most important festival of the Dai Ethnic People in Xishuangbanna, Yunnan Province. Celebrations and activities visitors may see during the festival include dragon boat race, 'Bathing the Buddha' ritual and splashing water onto each other in street. China Highlights offers a special tour to Jinghong each year to coincide with the Dai ethnic minority's annual Water Splashing Festival.
3. See Rape Flowers in WuyuanWuyuan, in Jiangxi Province, is reputed to be the most beautiful countryside in China. The natural beauty of the place reaches its peak from late March to April when the land is covered in a colorful carpet of rape flowers. Other top places to enjoy rape flowers include Luoping in Yunnan Province and areas around Qinghai Lake in Qinghai Province. Customize a trip to see rape flowers
4. Hiking Along the Li River
The Li River in Guilin is one of the most popular and picturesque scenic attractions in China. Hiking is a very nice way to enjoy the natural beauty along the river. Spring is a very comfortable time to hike as the weather is very comfortable, and the fields by the river are full of flowers and the pinnacles by the river are covered in new vegetation. See China Highlights Li River Hiking Tours
5. See Magnolia, Lilac, and the Chinese Flowering Crabapple in BeijingThe whole city wakes up, with flowers blooming, between late March and mid-May. Timing is everything when you search out the spring flowers. Beijing is an enchanting place to spend your spring when the flowers are in full bloom. Customize a trip to see flowers and other top sights in Beijing. See places to go to see flowers in Beijing.
6. Enjoy Peach Blossoms in GuilinThe best place to see peach blossoms is in Gongcheng, a town close to Guilin, although there are peach blossoms in parks in the city. Each year Gongcheng’s Peach Blossom Festival, is held to coincide with the peak of the peach blossoms in the town, which could be in February or March. Inquire for a more precise date.
7. See Plum Blossoms in NanjingThere are over 30,000 plum trees of over 350 species planted in Plum Blossom Hill in Nanjing. The Plum Blossom Festival is held each year from February 25 to March 10 on Plum Blossom Hill.
8. See Azaleas in Guizhou ProvinceA natural azalea forest spreads over 50 square kilometers near the juncture of Qianxi and Dafang counties in northeast Guizhou. Over 70 varieties can be found in the area. Guizhou Azaleas Festival is an annual event held at Jinpo village in Qianxi County, Guizhou, southwest of China from April 8 to 25.
9. See Peonies in LuoyangLuoyang National Peony Garden covers an area of roughly 1/3 sq km (1/8 sq mi), an area which is planted with over 400 peony varieties, many of which are native to countries beyond China's borders, a deliberate aim of the garden. Each year from mid-April to mid-May, the peonies in the garden in Mongshan County are in full bloom, generally reaching their peak during the period April 15–25. Luoyang Peony Festival take places from April 1 to May 7.
Where to Go in Spring
For more suggestions for the best places to travel in the spring months see:
China Spring Weather
Much of the country begins to experience a significant winter thaw early in the spring, but as the cold ebbs away winter drizzle is replaced by increasingly heavy spring rain showers. The exceptions are Hong Kong and places south of it in the tropics, which don't really experience a winter.
In northern China during March, temperatures during the day will begin to warm. The evening hours will bring a chill that could dip below freezing, however, so travelers are advised to pack warm clothing for that part of the country.
In the central and southern portions of the country, temperatures will be even warmer, but will include heavier rain showers. Packing an umbrella or raincoat is essential and dressing in layers will make it easy to adapt to whatever temperatures visitors experience.
April and May bring increasing warmth to all parts of the country. Temperatures are comfortable, though the humidity may not be. Wet weather can be expected for all parts of the country, but should not dissuade visitors from touring the sights. Vendors selling rain gear and umbrellas are plentiful and make it convenient for those who have forgotten to pack for the wet weather.