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May is the beginning of China's summer, 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.
It's perhaps better, however, to avoid travelling around China during the International Labor Day holiday, the first week of May; especially May 1st to May 3rd, some of the dates to avoid traveling in China.
May is a good time to hike along the Great Wall because the temperature is not too high. The Great Wall is like an ancient and huge Chinese dragon stretching itself out imperiously over the sinuous mountain ridges.
The Great Wall is the pride of ancient Chinese workmanship, having been built by thousands of laborers. The most popular parts of the Great Wall include Mutianyu, Badaling and Jinshanling, where you can see countless parapet platforms and watch towers.
Mutianyu is most recommended, as it is less crowded and amenable to kids and senior people with its excellent facilities, such as cable cars and cart track. If you are a hiking lover, Jinshanling and Jiankou hiking tours will not disappoint you. Get inspiration from our One-Day Jinshanling Great Wall Hiking Tour.
If you want to have a special experience, you can take our exclusive tour of Simatai to appreciate the stunning night views of the artistically-lit Great Wall.
See our insider’s guide for how to choose the right section for you.
The Li River is more charming under the warm sunshine in May. You can survey the natural scenery along the river from the top level of a cruise ship. May is the golden time for bamboo rafting on the Yulong River and cycling in the countryside in Yangshuo.
Strolling around the Two Rivers and Four Lakes in the soft breeze at night is also recommended.
May is the time for irrigating the Longji Terraced Fields. Seen from the tops of the mountains, the fields look like layer upon layer of exquisite mirrors.
Recommended tours: 3-Day Essence of Guilin and Li River Tour
The Yellow Mountains (Huangshan), located in east China, near Hangzhou and Shanghai, feature magnificent peaks, oceans of clouds, various strangely-shaped pine trees, and fabulous sunrises. Cable cars from the foot of the mountain can save your energy as you appreciate the scenery.
May is the best time to climb the Yellow Mountains, when the plants are most verdant. The weather is relatively cool, so you shouldn't feel very tired during by your climb. But remember to bring a light coat if you plan to stay on the mountains (hotels are available), because it is cold at night. Camping in the "Back Mountains" is also great.
With a 2-day tour of the Yellow Mountains you can have a great opportunity to see one of the highlights: the beautiful sunrise. Remember to bring your camera to record this unforgettable moment!
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 is awash with color. Snowy mountains, dense forests, green grasslands and pastoral villages make it a peaceful and tranquil place. May — especially the end of May — is the best time to appreciate flower blossoms in Shangri-La.
In addition to its amazing natural scenery, its hosting of ethnic culture is a major reason to visit Shangri-La. The main ethnic group there is Tibetan, mainly living in Zhongdian. Still today, the Tibetan people in the area maintain their traditional lifestyle and culture.
Recommended tour: 8-Day Shangri-La Exploration Tour
Blessed with its untouched pure, natural scenery, centuries-old traditions, and mysterious religion, Tibet is a dreamland for every traveler.
In May, expect bright sunshine and dry, cool or warm, sunny weather across most of Tibet. It is a great time to travel to Mt. Everest, when you are more likely to see the peak clearly and it is suitable for camping.
Namtso Lake, the highest saltwater lake in the world, looks breathtaking just after the ice melts. A day trip is recommended as the weather at night can still be harsh and cold in May.
Recommended tour: 8-Day Lhasa to Everest Base Camp Tour
Getting inspired from the above ideas? Here are some sample tours which are popular in May, for your reference:
If you cannot find a satisfactory ready-made tour on our website, you can contact us and we’ll happily tailor-make a May tour for you.