TIP! Try to time your travels for just before or after 1-3 May Labor public holiday in order to avoid large crowds.
Average Temperatures: 14°C–26°C (57°F–79°F)
Even if you have already been to the Great Wall, there are several sections and different options available for further exploration. Badaling is the most popular section with tourists being the closest to Beijing, Mutianyu has the best restored section with several watch towers, Simatai and Jinshanling are popular for hiking, whilst Gubeikou and Jiankou are known for being wild, remote and unrestored. For even more unique experiences consider overnight hiking tours, sidecar touring, helicopter rides or staying overnight at a restored farmhouse close to the wall.
2. Shangri-La, Yunnan Province
Average Temperatures: 1°C–22°C (34°F–72°F)
At the very north of Yunnan Province near the border with Tibet lies the natural scenic landscapes of Shangri-La. Snow-capped mountain peaks, remote pastoral villages, wild meadows and green grasslands are at their peak in spring making it a destination fit for those who love the outdoors. Culture vultures will appreciate the opportunity to see the traditional lifestyles of the main Tibetan ethnic group that reside in the region.
3. Guilin, Guangxi Province
Average Temperatures: 21°C–28°C (69°F–82°F)
Guilin and the surrounding areas are also known for their beautiful natural scenery making spring an excellent time to visit. The warm sunshine and soft breezes of May are ideal weather for cruising down the Li River, bamboo rafting on the Yulong River and cycling amongst the lush rice paddies and karst peaks of Yangshuo. A visit to the terraced rice fields of Longji in May is also when the fields are irrigated creating stunning tiered vistas of reflective mirror-like surfaces.
4. Zhangjiajie, Hunan Province
Average Temperatures: 18°C–29°C (64°F–84°F)
Zhangjiajie is home to the world famous natural heritage site known an Wulingyuan Scenic Area. The unique geological area consists of soaring rock formations, forests and waterfalls that inspired the “floating mountains” scenes in the blockbuster film, Avatar. Spring is a great time to visit, with crisp fresh air and pleasant temperatures for hiking the different parts of the park including Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Suoxiyu Scenic Area, and Tianzi Mountain Nature Reserve.
5. Luoyang, Henan Province
Average Temperatures: 15°C–28°C (59°F–83°F)
The peony is the national flower of China and the Luoyang Peony Festival is the main annual celebration that attracts Chinese locals, flower and photography enthusiasts each spring. This year the festival falls between 1 April and 10 May and is held in Luoyang Wangcheng Park and the National Peony Garden. Gardens awash with colorful flowers from over 400 peony varietals make for picturesque vistas whilst various folk art performances showcasing Luoyang as a destination entertain the thousands of visitors.