Spring blooms all over China

Hasani Arnold
Get those hiking boots on if you want to experience the most colorful displays of blossoms that China has to offer.
Hasani Arnold

As temperatures rise, China is seeing clear signs of spring in many regions, including Shanghai. Together with the warm weather, the full grandeur and vivacity of spring blooms are also on full display.

But without getting your hiking boots on you may never know the beauty of these blooms. Be sure not to waste this amazing time and catch a glimpse of all that nature has to offer.


The Mutianyu section of the Great Wall

In proximity to Beijing

During springtime, cherry and apricot blossoms and other varieties of mountain flowers bloom in concert with one another. This creates a scent that pervades throughout the balmy, cloud-kissed skies and is inundated with the full zest of spring.

Typically, spring in Beijing begins around the end of March or the beginning of April, and in the mountains the spring blooms do not occur until much later. 

Beijing’s Great Wall of Water (shui changcheng 水长城) can be found in Huairou District’s Jiuduhe Town. The three sections of the Great Wall got the name because it is the only part which makes contact with the sea.

Wild peach and apricot blossoms spiral up the ridges to meet each mountainous undulation, encircling the Haoming Lake with a bewitchingly charming beauty, adding to the already mystical nature of the shore.

At Fenghuang Ridge, in Sujiatuo Town of Haidian District, there are brilliant displays of colors among the flowers each year toward the end of March. Plum, magnolia and peach all burst into a splendid dance of blooms. However, what attracts most attention is the apricot blossom that extends into the mountain ranges and bestows a certain beatitude on the crests on which they lie.


At Fenghuang Ridge, different spring flowers present a display of colors.

Out of the tens of thousands of meters of the Great Wall, it is always the Mutianyu section that commands the greatest of praise. The arrival of March brings with it wild peach and apricot blossom. The wall is densely packed with alternating pinks and whites.

Mutianyu has many passageways one can take, among them the Jiankou-Mutianyu route is the steepest, with mountain flowers the most gorgeous.

Pinggu valley is the renowned hometown of peaches. In mid-April, there are upward of 220,000 mu (14,666 hectares) of peach blossoms which all act to create a sea of peaches. Both the white and red varieties are distinctive in their own ways and fortify a pleasant scent throughout the area.

The Pinggu International Trail, Yaji Mountain Pass and other notable roads can all be used to enjoy the Pinggu spring flowers.

Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

A woman takes photos of magnolia at People's Square in Shanghai.


A bird rests among flowers in Jiujiang, Jiangxi Province.

Eastern China

In March and April, temperatures rise in eastern China and sunshine also becomes sufficient to allow the blooming of various sorts of flowers. Here, rapeseed blossom is especially noticeable, including that in Wuyuan (Jiangxi Province) and Shitan (Anhui Province).

The most beautiful rapeseed flowers in Jiangxi are in Jiangling and Huangling of Wuyuan, and there are many routes that can be taken to see these flowers, including the Wuyuan Wuling, Tangku Ancient Trail, Tuochuan-Qinghua and Jueling Ancient Trail.


Rapeseed flowers bloom in Pingxiang, Jiangxi Province.


Shitan Village is in the foothills of Xiakeng Town in Anhui Province. Each March, the village sees awe-inspiring displays of rapeseed blooms. Combined with the colors of other flowers, the season is made to feel warm and convivial.

The Xin’anjiang landscape zone, in Shendu Town, Huangshan City, is about 50 kilometers long. Each year around the Qingming Festival in early April, golden sea flowers dart along the banks of the rivers to create an inspiring multicolored mixture. The scene is as it would be depicted in any great painting.

If you happen to be near the Xin’an River during this time, you are truly in for a treat in experiencing one of the most vibrant springtime bloom events.


A man walks through a sea of wintersweet in Huzhou, Zhejiang Province.

Southern China

The light, sunshine and water resources in southern China are bountiful. Beginning as early as January, spring blossoms begin to take full force. The cherry blossoms in Shaoguan Xinfeng are particularly effusive. 

Moreover, peach and pear blossoms in Lechang bloom at regular intervals. In higher elevations, azaleas are very popular sights in April.

Jiufeng Town is in the mountainous region of northern Guangdong. This area is at an average elevation of 1,000 meters and has great temperature variations between day and night. 

Between late February and March, the seas of peach and pear blossoms converge and snake through the ridges of the mountains, all the while creating a very colorful display.


Peach and plum blossoms in Jiufeng Town of Shaoguan, Guangdong Province

Lechang has long been hailed by hikers as a sacred place as it is the perfect spot from which to admire flowers in southern China. The Shanglang Village-Pingshi Village-Chaliao Village route is one of the classic. Hiking here feels as though one was in a real-life painting, and you can sleep among the flowers and the sea at night for a truly other worldly experience.

Tongtian Candle peak, at the junction of Guangzhou’s Conghua, Qingyuan and Xinfeng counties, is at an elevation of about 1,047 meters. In April, large red rhododendrons are very eye-catching as they produce a rosy, sanguine shade. When looked at from afar, they seem almost like red candles blazing in the sky.

On a one- or two-day excursion to Tongtian, one can truly admire and appreciate the beauty that is the azalea sea.


Azaleas flourish all over the Dawei Mountain.

Central China

In March, central China also enters its blooming period. The majestic Taihang Mountain Range is adorned with the most beautiful forsythia and mountain peach flowers. And high into the mountains, you will find azaleas which bloom near the summit of Dawei Mountain.

Dawei Mountain is at the border of Hunan and Jiangxi provinces. In Qixingling, Honglian Temple and Wuzhi Stone Scenic Area, tens of thousands of acres of azaleas display the full force of spring blooms.

From late April to May, the Dawei Mountain region ushers in an azalea-viewing period. As a result of the undulating nature of the mountain and depending on the location, the flowering period can be up to one month long.

Southern Taihang is mainly distributed in Xinxiang, Jiaozuo, Anyang and Jiyuan in Henan Province. The most widely known trail is the “Taihang Pearl” ─ the Guoliang Cliff Road. In springtime, the Grand Canyon of Linzhou is also very eye-catching.

Every March, the apricot flowers, mountain peach blossom and rapeseed flowers on Taihang Mountains start blooming one after another, and even the forsythia flowers, which are seemingly vapid, display amazing survivability and become the most colorful. 

The spring flowers in the southwest of China are in no way inferior to those in central China. Yunnan, Guizhou, and Sichuan Provinces are all particularly representative of this truth.


Plum flowers are in full bloom in Chongqing.

Southwest China

  • Yunnan Province

In the province where each season feels like spring, the flowers bloom exceptionally early here and the blooming period is longer than most other places.

Luoping County has a golden ocean of flowers and from any mountain you can overlook this golden field.

In the southern part of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, more than 100,000-plus mu of canola flowers bloom from February to March. This display of gold is also connected to the Gaoligong Mountain.

Located in the Wenshan Zhuang and Miao Autonomous Prefecture, Puzhehei has more than 80 lakes, 200 kanas peak forests, caves and ethnic minority villages. In February, the peach blossoms here are in full bloom and reflected on the lake water to create a dance of water and flowers.


Cherry blossoms bloom in Kunming, Yunnan Province.


A young woman, dressed in traditional outfit, poses among flowers in Kunming.

  • Guizhou Province

Guizhou is a mountainous province in southwestern China. The topography in the territory is high in the west and low in the east.

There are very apparent vertical changes in the climate depending on the altitude. Wumeng Mountain in the west is famous for its richly colored azaleas; Xingyi Wanfeng Forest in the southwest is famous for its karst topography and canola flowers.

Wumeng Prairie, in Panzhou City, enjoys an average elevation of 2,500 meters. It is one of the highest grasslands in southwest China and the largest in the area.

From January to April, Wumeng Prairie is transformed into a sea of flowers. The azaleas are in full bloom, and the wild flowers sway about gracefully.

There are official camping sites on the prairie. You can enjoy the fun of the prairie via camping and enjoy the flowers in the process.

Wanfeng Forest, in the southeast of Xingyi City, is one of the three major karst landscapes in southwestern China. It is called the “China Cone Karst Museum.”

From February, it is possible to see rapeseed blossom scattered across the golden peaks in Guizhou.


Rapeseed flowers in full bloom in Liupanshui, Guizhou Province


A bullet train passes by a sea of spring blooms in Kaili, Guizhou Province.

  • Sichuan Province

The Sichuan Basin is warmer in winter and spring comes early here. From February onward, Renshou rapeseed, Jinchuan pear trees, Wujiahou Moutain magnolias, Longquan Mountain peach trees and Qianfo Moutain azaleas bloom in concert.

Each spring in Jinchuan County in the Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, white mussels bloom in the Miao River, and the entire Jinchuan River Valley looks like a snow-capped sea.

In Hanfeng Village, Jiangyou City, about 60,000 magnolia trees are planted on Wujiahou Mountain. In April, magnolia blossoms create a white, pink and violet display to make the whole mountain appear to be shrouded in a colorful haze.


Rapeseed field in Chengdu, Sichuan Province

There are three great viewing spots to appreciate the Wujiahou Mountain magnolias ─ Huamiaozi (colorful temple), Lanfangzi (rotten house) and Jiucaiyuan (leek garden. You can hike from Huamiaozi and experience an earthbound fairytale.

From mid-March to mid-April, 17 million peach trees bloom on Longquan Mountain, which is in the suburbs of Chengdu and easily accessible by bus.

Renshou rapeseed flowers are mainly in Meizhou City and begin to bloom in February. When looking into the distance, 2,000-plus mu of rapeseed flowers extend far beyond the eyes can see, and golden blooms are embedded in the green vegetable fields as well.

Qianfo Mountain Nature Reserve is in Mianyang City. The top of the mountain is 3,053 meters above sea level, and there are nearly 100,000 mu of rhododendron forests on the top. Each year from late April until mid-May, colored azaleas bloom together and make for a spectacular show.


Tourists cycle among rapeseed flowers in Chengdu, Sichuan Province.

  • Tibet Autonomous Region

From March to April, peach blossoms decorate Tibet. And the blooms in Lhasa and Nyingchi are especially attractive.

Peach blossoms in Lhasa spread to all corners and give the city a distinctly springtime vibe.

Nyingchi, known as the “Jiangnan (regions south of the Yangtze River) of Tibet,” has a total area of more than 500 mu of peach trees. Each year from March to April, Nyingchi sees a great showing of peach blossom.

Northwest China

There is an abundance of sunshine in Xinjiang ─ the annual sunshine time is between 2,500-3,500 hours. Although the blooming season is relatively late, the wildflowers in the Tuergen Valley, around the Salim Lake and on the Kalajun Prairie bloom with a robustness that is unlike any other place.

In April, the valley of Tuergen is full of wild apricot forests. The verdant ethos of the valley and the delicateness of the apricot flowers are a match forged in heaven. This is a true haven for hikers and photographers alike.

Salim Lake is in the northern Tianshan Mountains in Bortala. At the end of May each year, nasturtiums and other wildflowers bloom in succession, making spring around the lake a vibrant and colorful world.

Kalajun Prairie is in Tekes County of the Yili River Valley. In springtime, a myriad of wildflowers are strewn on the ground, and they also kiss the peaks and horizons.


In April, the valley of Tuergen is full of wild apricot forests.