Whether it’s the chance to enjoy one-of-a-kind festivals, uncrowded sightseeing or off-season rates, there are many reasons why November is a great month for travel. It’s the ideal time to visit regions where the weather is at its most comfortable in the fall and to witness the autumn celebrations that are unique to a particular place. The following places to visit in November offer opportunities for memorable travel experiences during or around this autumn month.
1. Dia de los Muertos in Oaxaca
Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a national holiday throughout Mexico, but few communities in the country celebrate the festival with more exuberance than the indigenous people of Oaxaca. During the three-day celebration, families gather at cemeteries to honor their ancestors. Graves of departed loved ones are decorated with flowers and decorative skulls, and the families sing songs, tell stories and share food like Pan de Muerte, a traditional Day of the Dead bread. Colorful sand paintings are created all over Oaxaca to commemorate the occasion. The celebration starts on October 31 at midnight and continues through November 2.
2. Churchill Polar Bears
It may only be a small Canadian town, but Churchill draws huge crowds every year to see its most famous inhabitants, the polar bears. Nicknamed the “Polar Bear Capital of the World,” Churchill is located in the Manitoba province on the Hudson Bay shore. In addition to polar bears, Churchill is also a popular destination for viewing beluga whales, birds and the aurora borealis. The best time to see polar bears in Churchill is October and November when the bears migrate to the shores, hunting for marine food. The tourism industry here provides tours and vehicles called tundra buggies for the safety of both tourists and the bears.
3. Chiang Mai Festivals
November to April is Thailand’s dry season when cooling breezes blow west from China. The pleasant weather is perfect for the coinciding Loi Krathong and Yi Peng festivals held in the northwest province of Chiang Mai. Each year on the full moon of the Thai lunar calendar, usually in November, thousands gather to float handmade baskets ornamented with candles, incense and mementos on the river, decorate ancient temples with hanging lanterns and release Lanna-style lanterns into the air. The city of Chiang Mai is a great place to enjoy the annual spectacle of floating lanterns.