Its late April and the blossoms still cling to the fruit trees, birds are frolicking, and kites are again soaring in the sky. In Beijing, that can only mean one thing – the arrival of summer.
Many visitors to the capital hold on to the common belief that summertime begins in June, but those who have passed a set of seasons in the ‘Jing know that summer weather comes early here – annoyingly early. Beijingers hardly have time to put away their winter coats and enjoy their lightweight jackets before it is suddenly time to break out the shorts and hike up their t-shirts over their bellies.
Spring is a fabulous time to explore Beijing. Unfortunately, it is also fleeting. Still, summer has its charms. The warmer air often results in a pleasing haze of PM2.5 to obscure unsightly construction sites from view. The still waters of Beijing’s rivers emit a unique bouquet that pairs quite nicely with the odors wafting from the sewer drains. Best of all, the swarthy men of Beijing take on a unique mating ritual where they expose their bellies to see who can wear the look the best.
Yes, summer in Beijing is truly a season for all the senses. No need to rush, it will hang around until early October were it will be followed by a short fall and a long pleasing winter.
Photo: Lorne Thorne (Flickr)