China Travel in May

China Travel in May will introduce China weather in May, what to pack for China travel in May, best places to visit in May and festivals in May. May is a pleasant month with abundant sunshine and moderate temperatures. Before the hot summer and rainy season, China mainly enjoys a warm and dry weather. May is one of the best months to travel in China, but the first three days of May can be crowded.

China Weather in May

As summer crowds have not yet arrived, and thanks to moderate temperatures and rainfall, May is one of the best times for China to travel. North China and Beijing experience a dry weather with comfortable and mild temperatures in May. However, central and south China may be relatively humid, but still warm. No matter where you plan to go, take your raincoat/umbrella. In south China, May is the early summer. Comfortable weather means that it is a good time for you to travel in China and you don’t have to bring too much luggage.

China Weather in May By Region & What to Pack

The People’s Republic of China is a vast country with different weather conditions in different regions.

North China in May

  • Representative Cities: BeijingXianHarbinChangchunJinanShenyangTianjin
  • Weather Feature: In north China, the best time for spring is in May, when the weather is mild, the trees are green and flowers are in full bloom. Although it is relatively cold at night, the temperature during the daytime is comfortable enough for outdoor activities. The average temperature of Beijing in May is 13-26°C. The weather in Xi’an is similar to that in Beijing. Cities farther north, like Harbin, have lower temperatures, but won’t be that cold in May. 
  • What to Pack: Bring some light clothes, with coat/jacket and pants for cooler evenings. 

East China in May

  • Representative Cities: ShanghaiHuangshanNanjingHangzhou
  • Weather Feature: There is more rain in east China than in north China. Before the summer monsoon season begins in June, although the humidity in east China is relatively high, the weather is warm and pleasant because of small amount of rainfall. The average temperature of Shanghai in May is 16-24°C, which is similar to that in Suzhou and Hangzhou.
  • What to Pack: T-shirts, light trousers and jacket are enough. Remember to bring rain gear like umbrella. 

Central China in May

  • Representative Cities: WuhanChangshaNanchang, Zhangjiajie
  • Weather Feature: The climate in central China is warm and pleasant. May is one of the best months to visit the region. The rainfall in the central region is relatively less than that in the southern region. The average temperature in Changsha and Wuhan in May is about 18-26°C. 
  • What to Pack: T-shirt and shorts are right for the daytime; jacket/coat and trousers are needed for the evenings. Remember to bring an umbrella. 

South China in May

  • Representative Cities: GuilinGuangzhouSanyaHong KongMacauShenzhen
  • Weather Feature: May is the beginning of summer in south China. Cities in the south are very hot during the daytime. Take Guilin as an example, the average temperature range in May is 20-27°C, with more rain. It mainly rains in the morning and at night, so your travel will not be greatly affected.
  • What to Pack: Some locals already wear T-shirts and shorts at this time of year. Remember to bring a coat and an umbrella.

West China in May

  • Representative Cities: ChengduKunmingLhasaChongqing
  • Weather Feature: May is one of the best months to travel in west China because it is relatively warm there and is not affected by high temperatures. It may rain for a while, but it won’t affect your trip. The temperature difference between day and night in western cities is very large. In Lhasa, for example, the average temperature in May ranges from 6°C to 20°C, with 9 days of little rain. The average temperature in May is about 17-26°C in Chengdu. It may be windy and cold in some places, such as Gansu corridor, so take a warm coat.
  • What to Pack: Warm coat, sweater, hat, and gloves are needed when travelling in high altitude areas. Due to large temperature differences between day and night, it is suggested to bring several layers of clothes, like T-shirt, coat/jacket, shorts and pants. Remember to bring rain gear. 

China Weather and Climate in May by Cities

Best Places to Visit in May

May is the beginning of China’s vibrant summer. Many natural scenic spots have been changed by the sea of flowers and the mountains are covered with lush trees and plants. In May, tourists can have a comfortable trip around China. Outdoor activities are the theme of tourism in May. The most popular tourist destinations in China are Guilin, Xi’an, Beijing, Chengdu and other places.


Beijing is one of the most suitable places to visit in May in China. Besides the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Temple of Heaven and other famous scenic spots, Xiangshan Park, Jingshan Park and Beijing Zoo are also worth a visit in May. In this mild and energetic month, it is strongly recommended to ride bicycles through traditional hutongs. Besides, if you want to know more about authentic Chinese food, eating Peking duck is a good choice.

The Great Wall

May is a good time to hike along the Great Wall because the temperature is not too high. When trees and plants turn green, the Great Wall winds through lush vegetation like an ancient and huge Chinese dragon. The Great Wall is the pride of ancient Chinese craftsmanship and was built by thousands of labors. The most popular places on the Great Wall include Mutianyu, Badaling and Jinshanling. Mutianyu is the most recommended because it is less crowded, suitable for children and the elderly, and has good facilities, such as cable cars and trolley tracks. If you are a hiker, hiking at Jinshanling and Jiankou will not disappoint you.

See More: Great Wall Hiking Tours 


This is a good time to visit the Longji rice terraces in Guilin. You will see the strange sight of flooded terraces reflecting the sky, and the ancient minority villages on the mountain are shrouded in mist. The Lijiang River is more charming in the warm sunshine in May. You can overlook the natural scenery along the river from the top of the cruise ship. May is also the golden time for boating on the Yulong River and riding a bike in Yangshuo countryside. Lijiang river cruise ships may be affected by heavy rainfall in May.


Xi’an boasts many historical sites, such as the Big Wild Goose Pagoda and Terra-cotta Warriors. Tang Paradise and Huaqing Pool are good places to appreciate ancient buildings, garden landscape and old trees, as well as to understand historical stories. After the tour, tourists can go to the halal district or Yong Xing Fang to taste Xi’an delicacies, such as Mutton and Bread Pieces in Soup, Chinese hamburger, Liangpi, etc. The comfortable daytime temperature makes cycling to Xi’an ancient city wall a good experience.

Huangshan/Yellow Mountain

Yellow Mountain is located in the east of China, near Hangzhou and Shanghai. It is famous for its majestic mountain peaks, vast sea of clouds, various pine trees and brilliant sunrise. When you enjoy the scenery, taking the cable car from the foot of the mountain can save your energy. May is the best time to climb Mount Huangshan, when the plants are the greenest. The weather is relatively cool, so you won’t feel very too tired when climbing the mountain. But if you plan to stay overnight on the mountain, remember to bring a light coat, because the temperature is lower at night. 


With pleasant weather, Kunming, Dali, Lijiang, Shangri-la and other Yunnan cities are suitable for tourism in May.


Shangri-La is located at the junction of Yunnan Province and Tibet. In May, snowy mountains, dense forests, green grasslands and idyllic villages make it a peaceful place. May, especially at the end of May, is the best time for appreciating flowers in Shanri-la. Besides the amazing natural scenery, ethnic culture is also the main reason why people visit Shangri-La. The main ethnic group in Shangri-la is Tibetan. To this day, many Tibetans still maintain their traditional way of life and culture. May to October is the best time to Shangri-la, at that time, the galsang flowers are blooming and the meadow is evergreen, full of artistic conception.

Keep Reading


Tibet, with its pristine natural scenery, long tradition and mysterious religion, is a dream place for every traveler. In May, most parts of Tibet are sunny and dry. As the temperature rises, cool and mild, May is a good time to visit some remote scenic spots, such as Everest Base Camp, Yamdrok Lake, Namtso Lake, Mount Kailash and Lake Manasarova. Lake Namtso, the world’s highest saltwater lake, looks amazing after the ice melts. It is recommended to travel during the daytime, because in May, it is still cold at night.


The temperature in Chengdu in May is very comfortable. It usually rains at night or early in the morning. So May is a good time for you to extend your trip in Chengdu. Apart from watching giant pandas and tasting local delicacies, you can also visit Leshan Giant Buddha or some famous mountains around Chengdu.

Yangtze River Cruise

The Yangtze River is the longest river in China, flowing from the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau to the Pacific Ocean. When cruise ships run between Yichang and Chongqing, the most amazing thing is the Three Gorges. Along the way, you can see many striking peaks on both sides of the Yangtze River, and you can also see the Three Gorges Dam, the largest water conservancy project in the world.


May is the beginning of the rainy season in Zhangjiajie, giving rise to the hazy scenery of “floating mountains”. Because plants and trees have new green leaves and blooming flowers, forest parks there are especially worth exploring.


Dunhuang is the hub of the Silk Road and is famous for its Mogao Grottoes. The Mogao Grottoes are a blend of cave architecture, colorful sculptures and murals. Tourists can ride camels to visit the Echo Sand Mountain, listen to the bells of camels, and imagine the busy and prosperous years of the ancient Silk Road. In addition, tourists can also go to Yangguan and Yumen Pass, which were important gateways to the Central Plains in ancient China.

China Festivals and Events by Month

In May, main festivals and events in China include International Labor Day, Sanyue Street of Bai Minority, Luoyang Peony Festival, etc. 

Note: Traveling to China in May can help you avoid the peak tourist season and the hot and humid summer. However, it is better to avoid traveling around China during the International Labor Day from May 1 to May 3, because many domestic tourists will travel.