Each month, Wendy Perrin recommends the best in-season destinations around the world. For “Where to Go in March”, they featured China – and we couldn’t agree more! March is one of the best times to visit China. It’s when most parts of the country start to wake up. It’s still a bit cold in the north, but Southern China is in full Spring mode. Here’s more on why March is one of our favorite times of the year for China travel and where you should visit to see the best of China’s spring season beauty.
Springtime gardens in Lijiang Old Town
Guizhou’s Rice Terrace Landscapes
Guizhou is a hidden ethnic minority area in Southwest China. It is home to an ethnic group called “Miao”. They live among the mountains and rolling hills of Guizhou province, and have carved out acres of terraced rice fields from the valleys up into the hill sides. March is when fields of rapeseed blossoms (used for producing canola oil) burst into yellow bloom.
Discover the cultural riches of Guizhou on our Hidden Guizhou journey.
The fields of yellow, highlighted against dark green hills in the background make it a photographer’s heaven. Also, along the hill sides the peach blossoms and apple tree blossoms are all blooming, creating a classic Chinese springtime scene.
Lijiang’s Old Streets in Full Bloom
Lijiang is of relatively high elevation at 7000ft, so spring here comes later than other parts of Yunnan. The snow-covered peaks of Jade Dragon Mountain nearby are still covered in snow, but the rhododendrons and cherry blossoms are just starting to bloom.
Stroll through the streets of Lijiang Old Town on our Yunnan: South of the Clouds tour.
Photo courtesy of Amandayan Lijiang
The newly opened Aman Hotel in the middle of Lijiang Old Town boasts a beautiful garden of local plants and flowers. It’s a lovely setting to spend a March afternoon, sitting in a courtyard, drinking tea, and watching the blossom petals fall with the wind.
Hangzhou’s Longjing Tea Plantations
Hangzhou is known for producing one of China’s most famous teas, the Longjing (or Dragon Well) tea. Spring is harvest season for the most expensive leaves. The leaves harvested before China’s Qingming (Tomb Sweeping) festival in April are at their most tender, and the weather is still cold enough that there aren’t yet bugs or worms feeding on the tea leaves, hence no need for pesticides.
Find out what made Hangzhou the favorite get away of old Shanghai’s rich and famous on our Reminiscing Shanghai tour.
Heading to Hangzhou and picking a handful of these natural, spring-green leaves for yourself and then walking back up the hill to steep them in a pot of fresh water is a luxurious China experience. The tea harvesting and of course, the intricate tea ceremonies, make this part of China a most alluring springtime destination.