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Looking to escape the cold, long evenings in November? If so, November is a great time to visit northern India: the monsoon is over, the heat is comfortable, national parks begin to open and some fabulous festivals take place. For first-time visitors, it’s an ideal month for exploring the Golden Triangle of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. In Mexico, the rains have also come to an end and the beginning of the month sees colourful Day of the Dead festivities burst into life – a joyful and life-affirming celebration when people pay respect to their deceased family members. If you’re looking towards south-east Asia, Vietnam is a good choice for November; in the north, conditions are ideal for cruises in the Gulf of Tonkin – consider less-visited Lan Ha as an alternative to Halong Bay – and in the south, the beaches of Phu Quoc are at their most idyllic.
November is one of the best months to visit the north of India. Although it is one of the driest months, it’s not as hot or humid as other months, nor does the temperature plummet at night. In Pushkar, the annual camel fair is held in November and is one of the largest in the world. This fascinating spectacle runs for five days and around 50,000 camels and cattle are brought to trade. Camels are dressed up, raced and entered into beauty pageants, while traders themselves can enter competitions like the ‘longest moustache’. Cricket matches are played between the local club and tourists, while markets sell jewellery and material, adding to the colour and variety of this amazing festival.
November is the transition month between the wet and dry season in Mexico; the rains have stopped and tourists have not yet arrived. It’s an especially good time to combine the coast with central Mexico, while visitors to the highlands may find it chilly. Meanwhile, the Day of the Dead festival takes place on 1-2 November, a celebration where spirits of the dead are believed to return to earth to be reunited with their loved ones. Graveyards become packed with colour and sound as families gather to decorate the graves and musicians play the deceased’s favourite music. Street parties and markets are also held, and sugar skulls are sold and swapped between friends and family. Some of the best places to see the celebrations are in Oaxaca and Lake Patzcuaro.
Although November marks the beginning of winter, it is also the best time to travel in the north and the south of Vietnam as they see the least amount of rain. Hoi An, however, will experience large amounts of rain. Whether you want to walk among the rice terraces in Sapa, see the limestone pillars of Halong Bay or cruise along the Mekong Delta, the land will be lush and days will be cool and clear. The beaches in the south, such as Phu Quoc, Mui Ne and Phan Thiet, tend to have clearer skies and more sunshine in November.