November 2019

Traditional Celebrations

Loy Kratong (13 November) happens in Thailand and in some neighboring parts of Laos. Loy Kratong is one of the most picturesque festivals to take place in Asia as people release lotus shaped rafts with candles onto the water.

Yi Peng Festival takes place in Thailand and is a traditional performance in Lanna style when floating lanterns are released into the night sky. A spectacular sight to behold with live demonstrations on how to make Yi Peng lanterns.

Shwezigon Pagoda Festival (8-11 November) in Myanmar celebrates with food stalls, shops selling local products, magic shows, puppet shows, theatrical shows, Zat pwe and Anyeints. Locals and foreigners join in the celebrations together on this auspicious occasion.

Cambodia’s Water Festival (10-12 November) is known as "Bon Om Thouk" and marks the end of the monsoon - and the reversal of the flow of the Mekong and Tonle Sap Rivers, a natural phenomenon unique to Cambodia. Hundreds of thousands descend on the capital for three days of partying and festivities along the riverside.

Oc Bom Boc Festival is a celebration of cultural pastimes in Soc Trang, Vietnam. Every year the Khmer community from all over Vietnam and even Cambodia turns out for this festival, with longboat races taking place on the Soc Trang River. Races are held according to the lunar calendar in November (10th lunar month). The races start at noon but things get jumping in Soc Trang the evening before.

Hakone Daimyo Gyoretsu (3 November) is an annual event held on Culture Day (a national holiday) at Yumoto Onsen, Hakone. A procession of a total of 170 people dressed up as samurai warriors and princesses parades over a distance of 6 km in the hot spring town.

Bun Pha That Luang Festival is the largest temple fair to take place in Laos, featuring shows and carnival-type games. Temples are illuminated at night and the festival culminates on the morning of the full moon when several thousand monks receive alms at the 'dak baht' ceremony.

Balloon Festival Taunggyi / InleLake (3-12 November) is the time to witness hot balloon competitions happening day and night. Day balloons are usually in the form of Pagodas and animals such as elephant, dragon or ducks, while the night balloons usually in the shape of huge elongated balls with small lighted multicolored paper lanterns hung around their sides.

The Tazaugdine Festival of Light (10-11 November), also known as the Lighting Festival involves special yellow robe-weaving competitions held outside pagodas. The robes are then offered to the monks. At the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, 9,999 candles are lit to mark this occasion.

International events

Singapore River Festival provides the chance to join the celebration of heritage, people and places that make up the iconic Singapore River. Held along the three quays—Clarke Quay, Boat Quay and Robertson Quay, the festival will bring an exciting line-up of activities that will delight visitors of all ages.

Hong Kong Great November Feast (1-30 November); Enjoy a whole month of indulgences at the Hong Kong Great November Feast! For the whole month the city will welcome food and wine lovers with everything from special tasting menus to world-class wine and spirit expos, and from gourmet carnivals to local gastronomy tours.

Clockenflap is an annual music and arts festival held in Hong Kong and the marquee music event of the year. It incorporates international, regional and local live music, film, art installations and kids' area.

Weather Patterns

As the dry season takes hold in Southeast Asia, the clear weather and sunny days make it one of the best periods to travel here (Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar). Now is the best time to enjoy a cruise between Mandalay and Bagan.

Take advantage of the great weather with trekking in Myanmar (Shan state around Inle Lake, Hsipaw, Kyaing Tong, Putao, Chin State). It’s also a great month to explore Hong Kong and Japan. Northern China is getting cold but the weather in the south is ideal (perfect time to visit Guilin). Enjoy outstanding autumnal colors in Japan and parts of China (national parks in Sichuan).