Going wild on flowers: Asia’s best wildflower locations
MOST travellers would not equate Asia with being a good place to see wildflowers, but thanks to some high altitude plateaus and its dramatic change of seasons, there are numerous locations to see profusions of wildflowers. Here are some of these places.
Valley of Flowers, Uttarkhand, India
The Valley of Flowers, an aptly named national park in India’s West Himalayas, is renowned for its meadows of alpine flowers and other flora. The park is located between 3352-3658 metres above sea level in mountain wilderness and is 8km long and 2km wide. The valley is reached by a 14km trek from Govindghat to Ghangaria where its possible to see fields of perfumed wild flowers. The best time to visit is August and September just after the monsoon.
Most people think of Australia’s western state as dry, heavy and red but when the rains come the landscape bursts with colour with 12000 species of wildflowers, 60 percent of which are endemic. These can be found across the state in the Midlaands area north of Perth, coastal national parks such as Fitzerald River and Kalbarri, the Stirling Range National Park and the Pilbara. The best time to visit is from June to November.
Japan’s northern most prefecture is famous for its snow falls and skiing, but it’s also a fantastic place to hike amongst wildflowers, particularly on the islands on its northern tip, Rishiri and Rebun; both part of the Rishiri-Rebun-Sarobetsu National Park. The slopes of Rebun are filled with wildflowers and well maintained hiking trails provide excellent viewing opportunities to see these. The best time to visit is between spring and fall. Other good places to see flowers in Hokkaido include the lavender fields in Furano and tulips in Doto area.
Lake Baikal, Russia
Lake Baikal, Eurasia’s largest lake, and the world’s deepest, needs little introduction although its winter reputation is probably more widely known when the lake freezes over with thick ice. However during summer the temperate shores are incredibly beautiful with rolling grasslands ablaze with brilliant seasonal wildflowers. Summer is the perfect time for hiking and exploring around the crystalline blue lake taking in the scent of the flowers and visiting charming local villages.
Yunnan and Sichuan, China
Thanks to numerous high alpine valleys and meadows, both Sichuan and its neighbour Yunnan afford numerous wildflower viewing opportunities. So numerous are the places to go its considered a biodiversity hotspot. In Yunnan Tiger Leaping Gorge and Mt Baima are just some of the famous wildflower locations. In Sichuan it is Yading, Mt Balang and Mt Jiajin. Getting to these locations usually affords other amazing opportunities as well such as hiking glacier lakes or fabulous valleys, enjoying local Tibetan culture and taking in fine alpine scenery.
Main image via Shutterstock