Here are 19 magical places that might just make you renounce Japan as your favourite spring destination!
Photo credit: Bridestowe Lavender Estate
Spring is the most magical time of the year to travel around the world. With cool breeze all around (unlike potentially devastating winters), days accompanied by the golden sun and the view of colourful, vibrant flowers in full bloom — what’s not to love?!
But Japan isn’t the only place you can jet off to experience spring (from a perpetually summery Singapore). I mean, the reasons are justified — it’s near enough, has good food, and has beautiful sakura cherry blossoms.
But if that’s done and dusted for you, there are plenty of other destinations around the world to experience cherry blossoms and other flowers (and most of them aren’t as far away as you think)! Plus, you can experience the elements of “spring” at different times of the year depending on where you’re at, so you won’t have to compete with your colleagues to apply for leave 😂.
So here’s our list of 19 bucket list spring destinations besides Japan that will definitely take your breath away!
1) Dali, Yunnan, China — Cherry Valleys
Photo credit: @inviviseyes1027 via Instagram
If you haven’t been to Yunnan before, then you’re in for a treat. It’s nearer to Singapore (just a four-hour flight away), less expensive than Switzerland, but has epic views nonetheless! If you need your sakura viewing fix, Yunnan is home to cherry blossoms too — talk about a cherry on top.
In Dali (a small town in Yunnan), Wuliang Mountain, also known as cherry valley, is where you can witness these beautiful flowers in full bloom — the town’s a three-hour train ride from Kunming.
Best time to visit: End-Nov to Dec
2) Seoul, South Korea — Spring Flower Festival
Photo credit: instiz.net
In South Korea’s capital, an annual Yeouido Spring Flower Festival is hosted featuring 2,000 Korean cherry trees! This is arguably the most popular spot to get that dose of cherry blossoms in Korea. So grab a yeppeun namja (cute boy) off the streets, head down to Han River and get your perfect couple shot under those pink beauties.
Best time to visit: First or second week of April. Check here for exact dates closer to April.
3) Bangkok, Thailand — Sunflower Fields
Well-known for its magnificent sunflower fields, the fields in Saraburi stretch well over 10,000 acres with sunflowers as far as the eye can see. There are several spots in Saraburi that are perfect for your sunflower fantasies — Amphoe Phra Phuttha Bat, Kaeng Khoi, Nong Don, Nong Khae, Muak Lek, and the most in Wang Muang
Read also: 4D3N Khao Yai Itinerary
4) Ha Giang, Vietnam — Buckwheat Wonderland
Photo credit: Guide To Vietnam
Ha Giang is considered the most beautiful place in Northern Vietnam, famous for its forested limestones, granite mountains, caves and stunning rivers. Ha Giang is extra special because it is home to the buckwheat flower! These flowers change colour with every season, from white to pink to purple and finally, in full bloom, dark red.
Ma Pi Leng Pass is a buckwheat field located in between two mountain ranges, and is the best spot to marvel at these stunning flowers.
5) Taipei, Taiwan — Cherry Blossom Hikes
Photo credit: @foreignersintw via Instagram
Taipei is an ideal vacation spot because it doubles as a city getaway and nature adventure all at once! One of the famous nature spots in Taipei, and all of Taiwan, is Yangshiman National Park, known for its sulphur crystals and hot springs.
During springtime, take a hike up Xiaoyoukeng to get to the park’s highest peak and appreciate the scenic view of beautiful cherry blossoms.
Best time to visit: Feb to Mar
6) Qujing, Yunnan, China — Golden Sea of Canolas
Photo credit: @hopsticksontheloose via Instagram
One of the more famous canola fields in the world is located in Luoping County, a quaint little town in Quijing. If you’d like to throw yourself into the golden sea, head down to the Luositian field. But if you’d rather work for your views, take a hike up Jinji Peak instead to get a panoramic view of the sprawling blanket of yellow.
Best time to visit: Feb to Mar
7) Chiang Mai, Thailand — Sakura Season
Photo credit: @infinity_108 via Instagram
Tailored for the more adventurous souls, Khun Mae Ya is a national park best known for camping under the stars! It’s also famous for its cherry blossoms during springtime, when the hills of Khun Mae Ya get covered in pink.
Best time to visit: Dec to Mid-Feb
8) Jeju, South Korea — Endless Canolas
Photo credit: Jejutourism.wordpress.com
Straight out of a famous Korean drama, these canola fields are a dreamy escape from the hustle and bustle! Just five minutes away from Jeju International Airport, stroll along the coast of Jeju Island and admire the canola flowers covering Seoubong Hill.
You could also wander down Noksan-ro Road lined with yellow canolas and pink cherry blossoms. Perfect spot to take those Instagram-worthy shots!
Best time to visit: End-Mar
9) Beijing, China — Blue Dreamland of Lavender Fields
Photo credit: Stories Of Beijing via Twitter
Lavender flowers in China are associated with romance because the fragrance is known to be an aphrodisiac. Capitalising on this phenomenon, Blue Dreamland theme park planted 20 hectares of these fragrant plants, and it’s now become a must-see destination for young couples everywhere!
Even if you’re neither young nor in a couple, the beauty of the enchanting purple flowers extending for miles and miles will definitely tug on your heart strings. 😉
Best time to visit: Aug
10) Duong River, Hanoi, Vietnam — A Field of Yellow
Photo credit: Vietnam Tourism
Another vibrant field to brighten up your day (literally) lies along Hanoi’s Duong River, in the Gia Lam District. Sandwiched between the river and a yellow sea of flowers, it’s the perfect place to wind down after a long day of exploring the city. Many young locals flock to the fields during this time of year for picnics and strolls along the river.
Best time to visit: Nov to Dec
11) Taean, South Korea — Tulip Town
Photo credit: Trazy
The Taean Tulip Festival was crowned one of the top five tulip festivals in the world, with over one million tulips of over 300 different species! The festival theme changes every year, alongside the flower displays — one year featured a mural of the Mona Lisa made entirely with flowers. Cool or what?
Best time to visit: Apr to May
12) Dalat, Vietnam — Disneyland for Flowers
Photo credit: Dalattrip.com
The biennial Da Lat Flower Festival is a renowned and celebrated event across Vietnam. Tourists have even named Da Lat the city of flowers! Running for four to five days each time, the festival includes parades, flower exhibitions designed by artists, a flower car march, flower carnivals and performances. It’s literally like a Disneyland for flowers.
Best time to visit: Check here for festival dates
13) Tasmania, Australia — Biggest Lavender Fields in Australia
Photo credit: Bridestowe Lavender Estate
Bridestowe Lavender Estate is one of Tasmania’s must-see destinations, famous for its stunning view of seemingly endless fields of lavender flowers. Once you’re done taking in the surroundings, head down to the farm’s shop to purchase fresh lavender products — soaps, oils, and even cooking ingredients!
Best time to visit: Dec to Jan
14) Jerte Valley, Spain — Where Everything is White
Photo credit: @madridlowcost via Instagram
Jerte Valley, located south-west of Madrid, is one of Spain’s best hidden gems. During spring, locals and tourist flock to Jerte Valley to see the entire area turn white with over a million white cherry trees blooming at the same time! It’s like enjoying winter views with spring weather.
Best time to visit: Mid-Mar
15) Halle, Belgium — The Blue Forest
Photo credit: @alexanderdecoster via Instagram
The entire forest floor is carpeted with dense, indigo-coloured bluebells alongside slender trees rising from its tapestry. Talk about a scene straight out of a fairytale! The blooming period can be rather unpredictable so if you’re planning to make a trip there, be sure to check the website for blooming updates!
Best time to visit: Mid-Apr
16) Cape Town, South Africa — Cape of Floral Kingdom
Photo credit: tablemountain.net
The world is divided into six floral kingdoms and Cape Town is home to one of them. 30% of the plant genera found in South Africa are not found anywhere else in the world, making it the most unique floral kingdom!
There are many beautiful places to enjoy the wonderful flora and fauna of South Africa but the two notable ones are at Table Mountain National Park, which is also the new seventh wonder of nature in the world, and Cape Point!
Best time to visit: Sep to Oct
17) Umbria, Italy — Carpet of Orange Poppies
Photo credit: @wildernesshoot via Instagram
There’s a small village in Umbria, Italy called Castelluccio that sits atop a hill overlooking the flat carpet of orange poppies that blossom during springtime!
Best time to visit: Mid-Jun to Mid-Jul
18) Marrakech, Morocco — The Land of the Red
Photo credit: @serendipitydelhi via Instagram
Also known as Vallée des Roses, Morroco has become famous for its flowers. The valley produces between 3,000 and 4,000 tonnes of wild roses annually, and these flowers are especially famous because of their sweet aroma with hints of honey and treacle!
Once the festival begins, there are rows upon rows of stalls selling rose-related products, performances on the main square and even a parade.
Best time to visit: May
19) New York City, USA — The Big Red Apple
Photo credit: @a_nannymatch via Instagram
New York City is a dream destination for many people, but not many may know that the city gets decorated in cherry blossoms every spring! The best spots to see them are at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden — where an annual Sakura Matsuri Festival is held. Other places include Randall’s Island, Riverside Park, Queens Botanical Garden, and New York Botanical Garden.
Best time to visit: Mid Mar to Apr
Live Life in Full Bloom
Photo credit: jejutourism.wordpress.com
As much as we are all attached to Japan and its cherry blossoms, there are so many other beautiful places in the world just waiting to be explored! From cherry blossoms in Taiwan to canolas in China and buckwheat flowers in Vietnam, the opportunities for new springtime experiences are endless!
Featured image credit: @wildernesshoot via Instagram
We hope this was useful as inspiration for your next springtime adventure! Let us know in the comments if we missed anything.