Weather: May is warm and rainy. It is cloudier than April, and it is the beginning of the rainy season. It is a good time to visit Tiger Leaping Gorge and other outdoor areas. The average nightly low temperature is a pleasant 16 °C (61 °F), and the average daily high temperature is 28 °C (82 °F). The altitude of the city is 2,400 meters (7,900 feet), so it feels warmer. The sun shines about six hours a day in May.
There is a temperature drop of about 12 °C (21 °F) at night. It rains about 11 days a month, and the total precipitation is about 96 mm. It rains more in the mountains. Check the Lijiang city weather forecast>>
Clothing: Prepare for the temperature drop by bringing a jacket and dressing in layers. During the day, clothes such as T-shirts, shorts, shirts and jeans are fine. You might need an umbrella. If you have UV sensitive skin, cover up. Bring rain gear and a coat if you walk up in the mountains.
Altitude Sickness: Most people feel tired and short of breath when they stay for a night or two. Many people need oxygen on Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. Oxygen canisters cost as much as 2/3 less in Lijiang than on the mountain. Take precautions if you have heart disease or high blood pressure.
Things to Do in Lijiang in May
Hike High at Tiger Leaping Gorge
Tiger Leaping Gorge hiking: Hikers say this is one of China's best hiking areas.
The natural wonder is one of the world's deepest gorges and is 18 kilometers long with 5,000 meter (17,000 to 18,000 feet) peaks rising on both sides of the roaring Yangtze River. You can see snow high above you as you walk through forests. Little ethnic villages provide drinks and supplies.
May is a good month for hiking in Tiger Leaping Gorge before it gets stormy in the summer. In the gorge you can experience "four seasons in a single day"! So be prepared with good shoes with good traction and rain gear and dress in layers. We can help you arrange and guide you on a wonderful hike. See below.
Explore the Lijiang Ancient Town
Lijiang Old Town: If you don't want to experience the outdoors, May is a good time to appreciate the charming spring scenery of Lijiang when the vegetation is fresh and green. Tourists visit the restaurants, shops, and entertainment places in the famed Lijiang Ancient Town UNESCO heritage site.
Visit the Black Dragon Pool: This park is only a kilometer north of Square Street in Dayan Old City. Black Dragon Pool is in Jade Spring Park. The park is noted for a beautiful view of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain over the pond. The small hill near it in the picture above is where people can climb up to see the scenery all around.
Touring Lijiang in May
High Travel Season
Chinese tourists flood in during the first week of May. They crowd the city's attractions and hotels during the May 1 Labor Day holiday period. Then in the middle of May, the crowds depart until the middle of July. The middle of May is a good time to go before precipitation increases substantially at the end of May. The spring scenery and warm weather makes it a good time for outdoor activities.
The rates for hotel rooms and the prices for plane/train tickets are relatively high in May except towards the end of the month. Let us help you book accommodations and tickets.
Recommended Tour Packages
The 5-day Enjoying Lijiang and Hiking Tiger Leaping Gorge Tour: First acclimate in town and see the local sights on a guided tour with our guide and driver. You'll ascend Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and see the Baisha Murals. Then go on an enjoyable two day hike in Tiger Leaping Gorge with our guide.
The 10-day Romantic China Tour: This tour is designed for couples, but anybody can enjoy it. First, your guide will take you to Shanghai's highlights. Then, take a cruise westwards on the Yangtze River and walk at the huge Three Gorges Dam. See Wu Gorge and disembark at Fengdu Ghost City, and then see some of Chongqing's highlights such as the pandas at the zoo. Then tour the highlights in Lijiang.