Japan seems to take all the glory when it comes to blossom season or Sakura as they call it. Whilst there are many amazing places to see Sakura in Japan, South Korea and China also boast incredible displays of pink, white and purple blossoms. I took many pictures in the spring whilst we were in Shanghai. I believe I was slightly obsessed with finding blossoms in every location we visited. Well here is a collection of our best shots along with where we found these blossoms and when! Hope this article convinces you to visit China in springtime!
Spring and Autumn are the best times to visit China in my opinion. Autumn offers slightly cooler days and the trees turn orange. Whereas in Spring Shanghai is getting ready to be rid of their winter layers and look forward to longer and warmer days. This season also offers many sighting of blossoms! I did not know much about blossoms or even when the optimum time for blossoms is. Turns out it is incredibly difficult to predict as different varieties come out at different times depending on how warm and sunny it has been. Luckily, you never had to look far to stumble across a vision of pink or white petals.
Early March – People’s Park (Shanghai) & Century Park (Shanghai)
We started to see buds of pink appear on the tree in early March. It was exciting to see these pretty little flowers and feel that spring was on its way. People’s Park and Century Park were the best places to see blossom this early in the year.
Mid-March – Zhongshan Park (Shanghai) & Humble Administrator’s Garden (Suzhou)
By the middle of March more and more blossom was appearing. We went to Zhongshan Park to the blossom garden and they were just starting to grow. Small white buds were appearing on the branches.
More blossoms could be found in nearby Suzhou. Despite the rain, we enjoyed seeing the sweet flowers with water droplets resting on their petals.
Late March – Gucun Park (Shanghai)
By late March it seemed as if the early buds were dying off, yet the April blossoms had not yet appeared. We went to a Blossom festival in Gucun Park and were a bit disappointed. We wandered through the Sakura garden only to find that the branches were bare. After a bit of exploring we did discover a few trees full of delicate blossoms. However, we felt we should have waited a week or so to see the true splendor of Gucun’s blossom festival.
Early April – Changning Park (Shanghai) & West Lake (Hangzhou)
This time of year was the best time for blossom sightings. Without intentionally looking for blossoms in early April we found some beautiful trees covered in pink petals. Alex and I were just cycling through the city and stumbled across a park bursting with pink blossom trees. We locked up our bikes and just lay under the rosy canopy of flowers.
We also went to Hangzhou and walked around the lake. There were lots of blossoms all along the shoreline of West Lake. Cycling in the world’s most beautiful city, according to Marco Polo, is very pleasant in springtime.
Middle of April – Purple Mountain (Nanjing)
There were still some blossoms around in the middle of April and we even saw purple blossoms! We went to Nanjing for the weekend and on Purple Mountain, we saw many blossom trees. Particularly in the He Xiaoling Mausoleum of Ming Dynasty Scenic Area. I had never seen purple blossoms before and thought they were simply beautiful. The Blossom Garden on Purple Mountain was a wonderful end to our springtime blossom hunting.
I believe it was after our morning in Nanjing that I said to Alex “Okay I am good now. I think we have enough photos of blossom.”
Hope this article and these photos have encouraged you to visit China and not just think Japan is the only destination, in Asia, to visit in order to appreciate the beautiful, delicate petals of blossom that appear in springtime.