From cooler climes to sunny days, November offers plenty of reasons to use up those annual leave days before the hectic festive season begins. Plus, we’re all for great travel deals and less crowded attractions (bring out those selfie sticks!).
The country is alive with lights and colours as Hindus celebrate Diwali this month. With the weather cooler and dryer, it’s the perfect month to explore the country and enjoy the festivities. In the small desert town of Pushkar in Rajasthan, the Pushkar Camel Fair sees as many as 50,000 camels groomed, dressed up and paraded in various contests, while the International Balloon Festival quite literally fills the sky with colour. For yogis, the International Yoga and Music Festival takes place in the northern state Rishikesh with free classes conducted by Ayurvedic doctors, professional yoga teachers, Indian classical musicians, and philosophers.
With Autumn in full swing, it’s a great time to explore Japan’s many parks and gardens as the country bursts into Autumn colour. The vibrant red and scarlet leaves contrasts brilliantly with deep blue skies making it a great month to explore famous gardens such as Shinjuku Gyoen and the Imperial Palace Gardens. In Shibuya, the historic Meiji Shrine hosts its Annual Autumn Festival which will see three days of Japanese cultural demonstrations and performances ranging from Yabusame horseback archery to a Sumo ring entering ceremony. Design and art enthusiasts will enjoy the Design Festival — Asia’s single largest art festival that sees more than 10,000 artists converge and display their talent.
While it gets cold in the northern hemisphere with the arrival of winter, it’s the exact opposite down south (and we’re always in favour of bikini weather!). The pristine white sandy beaches of Mui Ne beckons you to relax and bask under clear blue skies, but if you’re looking for seaside fun and action, the coastal resort town is also famous for kite and wind surfing — and November is the perfect time to do catch the bigger, better waves. There are plenty of places to take lessons for the newly initiated too, with the more popular ones being Surfpoint, C2Sky Kite Surfing and Sailing Club Kite School.
It’s nothing but sunshine and blue skies as the rainy season comes to an end and Bangkok revels in festivities starting with the Royal Barge Procession. The royal barges are a rare sight, and this year, 52 boats will sail up the Chao Phraya River in celebration of the King’s 85th birthday. It’s best to nab the seats along the river as early as possible so you don’t miss out on the royal fan fare and a possible sighting of the royal family. Witness the splendour of hundreds and thousands of candles and lanterns lighting up the night sky during the Loi Krathong Festival celebrating the Water Goddess, and raise your pints at the Novemberfest, Thailand’s answer to Germany‘s Oktoberfest, where all types of beer are enjoyed al fresco.
#5 Marrakech, Morocco
The beauty of the Sahara desert is beguiling but also infamous for its hostile heat, so if you’ve been wanting to experience a desert adventure, November is the best time for it as the scorching weather subsides — just be sure to pack cold-weather clothing as Morocco is knows as “a cold country with a hot sun”. Besides the temperature, the number of tourists also takes a dip, meaning you’ll be able to enjoy a quieter and more relaxed time. Hop on a camel and trek through the desert or explore by car — this way you’ll not only be able to see Marrakech but other ancient cities like Tangiers, Essaouira and Casablanca.