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The Top 10 Places to Visit in China in May 2024/2025

Written by Chris Quan Updated Mar. 4, 2024

May is the end of China's spring, which is full of vitality. Many natural scenic areas are transformed by oceans of flowers and mountains are covered with exuberant trees and plants.

May is neither too hot nor too cold, making it an ideal season to travel around China. We have listed the best 10 places to visit in May: 1) Shangri-La, 2) Tibet, 3) Guilin, 4) Chengdu, 5) Zhongwei, 6) Yangtze River Cruise, 7) the Silk Road, 8) Zhangjiajie, 9) Chaozhou, and 10) Jingdezhen.

1. Shangri-La — a Colorful Palette to Feast the Eyes

Located at the border between Yunnan Province and Tibet, the fabulous natural scenery in Shangri-La makes you think of heaven.

Shangri-La in spring is light green and in summer it's awash with color. Snowy mountains, dense forests, green grasslands and pastoral villages make it a peaceful and tranquil place.

In addition to its amazing natural scenery, its ethnic culture is a major reason to visit Shangri-La. The main ethnic group there is the Tibetans, who still maintain their traditional lifestyle and culture.

Songzanlin Monastery in Shangri-LaShangri-La

There you could:

  • Experience a Tibetan ceremony of blessing behind Songzanlin Monastery, which is not seen by ordinary tourists.
  • Visit a non-public dormitory of Songzanlin Monastery.
  • Stay in a tent on a mountain pasture where local Tibetan people live and learn about their lifestyle.

If you look for a place to escape crowds in Yunnan during Labor Day, we recommend a Baoshan Stone Village's hiking in Lijiang — a good place to get close to nature and feel the vitality of spring.

Houses in the village are all made of natural stones by its Naxi inhabitants. May is its most beautiful season. If you are interested in it, contact us.

2. Tibet — Untainted Land and Mysterious Culture

Yamdrok Lake, TibetTibet

Tibet is a place of mystery, tranquility, and rich national heritage. It's a place for slowing down and soaking up the natural charm all around.

The breathtaking beauty of nature in Tibet will capture your imagination. Yamdrok Lake glows turquoise when the sun is shining.

Tibet is overflowing with characteristic Tibetan landmarks, vast Tibetan plateau, herds of cattle and sheep, blue skies, clear water, and fresh air.

There you could:

  • Visit Jokhang Temple, the most holy temple for Tibetan Buddhists, where a lot of devoted pilgrims prostrate themselves near the front gate.
  • Explore Ani Tsankhung Nunnery, a quiet but active convent where females study Buddhism.
  • Take photos with a yak or Tibetan mastiff by the Yamdrok lakeside.

Recommended Tours

All our tours can be customized. The itinerary can be adjusted according to your group size, time, budget, interests, and other requirements. Just contact us.

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3. Guilin — Enjoy Various Outdoor Activities

Kayaking in GuilinGuilin

The Li River is more charming under the warm sunshine of May. May is a golden time for bamboo rafting on the Yulong River and cycling in the countryside of Yangshuo.

May is also the time for irrigating the Longji Terraced Fields. Seen from the mountainside viewpoints, the fields look like layer upon layer of exquisite mirrors.

There you could:

  • Go kayaking to enjoy the cool water and appreciate the karst scenery along the Li River.
  • Explore a "mysterious" limestone cave with magnificent stalactites and stalagmites that has never been touched by ordinary tourists.
  • Hike among the Longji Terraced Fields, enjoy a lunch with a Yao family, and try some freshly-fried oil tea.

4. Chengdu — Have a Spring Date with Cute Pandas

A cute panda, ChengduA Cute Panda

May is a pleasant time to visit Chengdu with refreshing spring colors around you. Meeting the cute pandas and having a hotpot feast and other local snacks in Chengdu are must-do things.

Chengduers go out to relax in the warm spring sunshine in Renmin Park. They sip cups of tea, play mahjong, enjoy a traditional teahouse ear massage, etc.

There you could:

  • Meet the cuddly pandas in the Panda Breeding and Research Center.
  • Visit the last farmers' market in Chengdu, learn how to how to bargain like a local, and try some local snacks.
  • Enjoy a panda afternoon tea and a bird's-eye view of Tianfu Square.

Recommended Tours

Contact us to create a trip for your spring break according to your group size, time, budget, interests, and other requirements.

5. Zhongwei — Feel the Charm of the Desert

two cars driving in the desert in ZhongweiZhongwei

In spring, when everyone goes to admire the flowers, a trip to the desert stands out as discerning for more than hay fever sufferers.

Its advantageous and strategic location has endowed Zhongwei with the features of vast deserts and green hills, the Yellow River and an oasis. At the same time, you are able to enjoy various entertaining activities there, such as sand slides and camel rides.

There you could:

  • Experience dune bashing, sand sledding, camel trekking, and sheepskin rafting in Shapotou.
  • Experience sheepskin navigation on the Yellow River.
  • Enjoy wine tasting and an organic lunch in peace with a view of the vineyard.

Recommended Tour

6. The Yangtze River Cruise — Cozy and Relaxing

Yangtze River CruiseThe Yangtze River Cruise

The Yangtze River is one of the best options to escape crowds in May Day, where you can enjoy a relatively quiet and relaxing time. The plants on the mountains and high cliffs along the Yangtze River are verdant.

There you could:

  • Appreciate the marvelous gorge scenery from the deck
  • Have a cup of coffee or glass of wine bathed in the breeze
  • Have a wonderful welcome banquet and talk with people from all over the world

Contact us if you want to book a Yangtze River Cruise.

7. The Silk Road — Rich Culture Experience

Kashgar Old CityKashgar Old City

Along the Silk Road, from Xi'an to Kashgar, you will find intriguing scenery, together with the historic sites and cultural places.

There you could:

See 12 Best Silk Road Destinations with Recommended Things to Do .

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8. Zhangjiajie — Vigorous Forests and Seas of Clouds

Bungee jumping in ZhangjiajieZhangjiajie

The mountainous scenery in Zhangjiajie is unique and fabulous and is even more charming and poetic under the misty rain and fog or early summer.

It is more relaxing during this season, with fewer people around. If you want to escape the hustle and bustle, this may be the best season for you.

  • Escape the crowds entirely and enjoy the scenery on an off-the-beaten track route.
  • Bike around the beautiful and non-touristy side of Tianmen Mountain.
  • Experience via ferrata (cable-safe cliff challenges) at Hongyanling (Red Rock Ridge).
  • Try bungee jumping on the Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge

Recommended Tours

5-Day Zhangjiajie Hiking and Biking Tour for Any Level

4-Day Zhangjiajie Essence Tour

9. Chaozhou — Go on a Date with Delicacies

delicious food in ChaozhouChaoshan Food

Chaozhou has inherited a food culture dating back to the Qin (2,200 years ago) and Song (1,000 years ago) dynasties.

It is a paradise for a food hunter — from its delicious Teochew beef hot pot to fresh fish dumplings, and from its crispy spring rolls to novel fermented bean curd cake.

In addition to its food culture, there is much more to explore: brilliant history, distinctive folk customs…

There you could:

  • Enjoy amazing Chaozhou cuisine in Paifang Street.
  • Taste Chaozhou kung fu tea and watch Chaozhou opera in a teahouse in Chaozhou Old Town.
  • Explore Guangji Bridge, one of the greatest creations in China's history of bridge construction, while you take in Chaozhou's history.

Recommend Tour

All our tours can be customized. The itinerary can be adjusted according to your group size, time, budget, interests, and other requirements. Just contact us.

10. Jingdezhen — Best Place to Appreciate Chinese Porcelain


In the south of China, there is a thousand-year-old town named after the Jingde emperor's reign in Song Dynasty. It produces a beautiful and precious product whose English name is synonymous with China, even its namesake. Welcome to Jingdezhen.

Porcelain (also called china) is the soul and life of Jingdezhen. A trip to Jingdezhen is a must for china lovers and porcelain enthusiasts.

There you could:

  • Visit the Museum of Porcelain, which will take you through China's porcelain history.
  • Create some porcelain of your own under the guidance of a master.
  • Visit Yaoli Ancient Town and find the secret ingredients of porcelain.

Recommended Tour

Our Most Popular May Tours

If you are planning a trip in China in May, consider the following choice tours for inspiration:

All our tours can be customized. If you are not interested in the above destinations or tours, you can contact us to tailor-make a May tour for you.


Where to Escape the Crowds in China Around Labor Day

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