Asia in Spring

Climate, Festivals, and What to Expect in the Springtime

Asia in the spring
••• The weather in Southeast Asia can change quickly during monsoon season!. Alexander Nicholson / Getty Images

Asia in the spring is marvelous -- depending on where you choose to visit, of course. Numerous festivals celebrate the end of winter and warming days. The weather can be extremely enjoyable before summer heat and humidity take over.

On the other hand, many destinations in Southeast Asia become unbearably hot as the rainy season approaches. Use this guide for choosing the best places in Asia to visit in the spring!

If you’ve already got a specific month in mind for visiting Asia, check out these guides to Asia month by month for what to expect.

Japan in the Spring

Japan becomes incredibly busy in the spring as hanami (cherry blossom viewing) begins. The short-lived flowers bloom from south to north between March and May. Festivals celebrate the event and flocks of people head to parks for some sake and good-natured fun.

Just as hanami winds down, Golden Week -- Japan’s busiest travel time -- begins on April 29. Several national holidays coincide to produce an insanely busy week. The peak tourist season begins in May, shortly after. Although Golden Week is exciting, you may have problems sorting out accommodation and transportation.

China in Spring

The hustle and bustle of Beijing is far more tolerable in the spring before pollution traps summer heat in the city. Green places such as Yunnan are perfect for fresh air and pleasant temperatures before June.

Lots of spring showers can put a damper on the fun in Guilin and other places in the south, but local residents appreciate the cleaner air!

India in the Spring

Per the Hindu calendar, spring (Vasant Ritu) begins in India in February and ends in April. The monsoon season in India typically begins in early June and lasts until October.

Excessive heat and humidity become suffocating in some places around India. Temperatures can hover around 105 degrees Fahrenheit in April!

Holi, India’s big Festival of Colors, takes place in the spring.

Nepal in the Spring

Spring is the best season for visiting Nepal. As snow melts and trails become accessible again, wildflowers bloom and trekking opportunities abound. Spring usually provides the best views of the tallest peaks in the world before summer humidity limits visibility.

The Holi festival is also observed in parts of Nepal.

Southeast Asia in the Spring

Spring is a transition time in Southeast Asia between monsoon seasons. Temperatures become scorching as the dry-and-busy season winds down in places such as Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia. Air quality in Chiang Mai becomes very poor as agricultural fires burn out of control and produce a haze over the city. On the other hand, destinations in the south such as Bali, the Gili Islands, and the Perhentian Islands, begin to experience less monsoon rain and calmer seas. The visibility for diving typically isn’t that great in the spring until island runoff clears up.

If you don’t mind the potential for sporadic rain, spring can be a great time to sneak into popular places such as Bali before the crowds arrive for the peak summer season.

Technically, Tet, the Vietnamese New year in January or February, along with Chinese New Year are considered the beginning of spring, although temperatures suggest otherwise!

Big Asian Festivals in the Spring

  • Hanami: Japan’s Cherry Blossom Festival begins in the south around March and concludes in the north around May.
  • Golden Week: The biggest holiday period in Japan begins on April 29 with Showa Day and winds down after May 5.
  • Songkran: The Thai New Year celebration, what is dubbed as the largest water fight in the world, officially begins on April 13 each year, but people start celebrating early. The epicenter for Songkran is in Chiang Mai.
  • Holi: The Hindu Festival of Colors in India usually takes place in March each year. The festival is based on the lunisolar calendar, so dates vary. Holi is also celebrated in neighboring Nepal.