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Discover where to holiday in May, from Uzbekistan and the Himalayan foothills to Cannes and Moscow. In Uzbekistan, May sees rainfall at its lowest and temperatures at their mildest, making it a lovely time to explore souks and visit the beautiful cities of Samarkand and Bukhara. Meanwhile, in the Himalayan foothills, the temperature is no longer so cold and tea pickers come out in force on the hillsides of Darjeeling, as do vivid wildflowers and rhododendrons, ensuring beautiful mountain views alive with colour. In Europe, the Cannes Film Festival is in full swing, Victory Day in Moscow offers an impressive parade through the iconic Red Square and Prague hosts its International Music Festival, a showcase of classical pieces for all to enjoy.
As the temperature in summer can reach 40C, the best months to visit are between mid-April and early June. Temperatures during this time are mid to high 20s and there is still a cool breeze. In the Tien Shan mountains, the wild flowers of Uzbekistan are in bloom, predominantly red poppies and tulips. In Bukhara, the Silk and Spices Festival is held in May. The weekend is dedicated to cultural heritage and supports local arts and crafts, from gold embroiders and hand weavers to wood carvers, carpet weavers and fine art. Before the summer heat begins, you can also stay the night in a yurt in the Kyzylkum desert.
In May the weather tends to be clear, sunny and warm with little rain. However, southern China is humid and tends to have heavy monsoon rainfall. Across the countryside, the surroundings are verdant and wildflowers are in bloom, making it the perfect time to visit natural attractions such as The Great Wall of China, Tiger Leaping Gorge, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and the Shilin Stone Forest before the crowds arrive. The weather also makes it pleasant to roam the streets of Lijiang, whose old town has been declared a Unesco world heritage site. Over in Hong Kong, the Dragon Boat Festival is held at the end of May, a colourful traditional event where paddlers race in long narrow boats.
Luckily, the Galapagos Islands are a year-round destination as the weather is temperate. In May, the skies are at their bluest and the seas are calm. Wildlife activities are rife: the eggs of marine iguanas and sea turtles begin to hatch and many birds begin their courtship rituals, including the unmistakable blue-footed boobies. Flowers are now in bloom and the water is warm, making snorkelling a delight. Plus, as the peak season only begins in June, you will be able to experience the Galapagos with fewer tourists.
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