best places to travel to in november

The Best Places To Travel To In November

As September bids us a fond farewell, we have November just around the corner bringing its own unique promise to different parts of the world. For some, it is the gift of a bountiful harvest, of greens turning to swirls of reds and golds, of balmy days giving way to cool crisp air. For others, it is the very opposite.

November is a great off-peak month to travel, with many flight and hotel deals abound. Right before the December holiday season and after the crowds of summer tourists have abated, you are more likely to be able to enjoy a place in relative peace.

Got some free time on your hands and find yourself browsing through travel guides? Well, check out this list of 5 awesome places to travel to in November to boost your wanderlust!

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1. South Korea

The land of Kimchi gets a vibrant makeover in the fall and has one of the most stunning fall foliage in Asia. Nature lovers are in for a visual treat when they take a hike up the mountains, or stroll through the Seoul Forest.

You don’t even have to break a sweat to participate in this feast for the eyes. Just wander down the streets of Seoul, tour the palaces or cycle around Nami Island, the trees will magnanimously bestow their fiery beauty upon you.

Foodies will fall hard for the autumnal specialties here. Blue crabs, jumbo shrimps and Gizzard Shad (a type of fish) are all in season, flavourful and nutritious. For dessert, the vitamin-packed persimmons are abundant in the fall and are enjoyed ripe, dried or in a fruit punch called Sujeonghwa.

November is an exciting time to be in Seoul. On the first Friday of November to the third Sunday of November, the annual Seoul Lantern Festival is held along the Cheonggyecheon Stream, lighting up the night with a rainbow of colours.

What: Seoul Lantern Festival 2016

When: 4 November – 20 November

Where: Cheonggyecheon Stream

Addicts of the fermented national dish Kimchi should make it a point to attend the Seoul Kimchi Festival where one can register to sign up for events such as kimchi making.

What: Seoul Kimchi Festival 2016

When: 4 November – 6 November

Where: Gwanghwamun Square, City Hall (Seoul Plaza) and Sejongno Park, Taepyeongno, Cheonggye Plaza

2. Thailand

While Thailand does not have 4 seasons, November is notably cooler and the peak holiday crowds have not hit yet. Most people probably head to Thailand for the delicious food and amazing shopping. In November, however, Thailand shines a little brighter than usual during the festival of lights.

Celebrated on the evening of the full moon on the 12th month in the Thai lunar calendar, Loi Krathong, which translates to “float a basket,” pays respects to the water spirits. During the festival, the waterways in Bangkok are illuminated with pinpoints of lights, dancing and flickering down the water. The Thais make a wish and float their krathongs made with banana leaves, candles and incense sticks, down the river or canal.

You can easily join in the fun and purchase a krathong from any roadside stall.

Chiang Mai celebrates the festival of lights slightly differently. Coinciding with Loi Krathong, the Yi Peng festival is celebrated there. Instead of floating lights down the water, candlelit sky lanterns are launched into the air, creating an enchanting fairytale spectacle.

What: Loi Krathong / Yi Peng

When: 14 November 2016 / 13 – 15 November 2016

Where: Nationwide / Chiang Mai

3. Tokyo, Japan

Pink cherry blossoms in spring, spiraling powder white snowflakes in winter, dazzling sunshine in summer and reddish gold foliage in autumn – Japan is beautiful through the seasons. Besides April (cherry blossom season), November is one of the best times to visit the land of the rising sun. The weather is lovely, the scenery splendid and the food irresistible (it’s snow-crab season!).

If you’re visiting Tokyo, don’t miss the Tori-No-Ichi, or Day of the Rooster, an annual traditional festival and fair held in shrines around Tokyo. The most famous fair is held at the Temple of Tori in Asakusa. It is held once every 12 days in November.

Experience the unique atmosphere of the fair and fill up on delicious Japanese street food as well. The streets come alive with open-air stalls selling lucky bamboo rakes, or kumade, decorated in items such as gold coins, silver and lucky cats. Kumades are seen as lucky charms for life and business, raking in good fortune and wealth for the owner.

What: Tori-No-Ichi (Day of the Rooster)

When: Nov 11 and Nov 23 2016

4. Australia

Thinking of leaving grey skies behind and spending your November someplace warmer? Australia is as good a place as any, with spring slowly making way for summer. Don’t bother wearing a belt, it’s Good Food Month in Australia, the country’s largest food festival. It is a national celebration of food where a host of food-related events take place.

Don’t miss the signature Night Noodle Market in Sydney and Melbourne where crowd-favourite restaurants take to the streets to form an Asian-style hawker night market. Ditch the wooly jumpers and pack in a good appetite!

What: Good Food Month

When: 1 – 30 Nov 2016

Where: Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra, Perth, Adelaide

5. Italy

Savour the taste of la dolce vita (the sweet life) in Italy, the country who has bestowed the precious gift of its delectable cuisine upon the world. Apart from the usual staples of pasta, pizza and wine, bring your taste buds for a gastronomic adventure this November. Fall in Italy is the season of white truffle, olives and chestnuts.

Foodies visiting Italy in November should make it a point to visit a truffle fair in Northern Italy. The Fiera Internazionale del Tartufo Bianco d’Alba, or International Alba White Truffle Fair, is one of the biggest truffle fairs in Italy is held in Alba, the gourmet capital of the lush Langhe Valley. The aromatic heady scent of truffles will intoxicate you as you stroll around the fair, loading up with free samples of food and wine.

Truffles are expensive but bargains can be found at the fair with the right combination of a keen eye and patience.

What: International Alba White Truffle Fair

When: 8 October – 27 November 2016, Saturdays and Sundays 9am – 8pm

Admission: 3 Euros

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A Travel Blogger's Guide to Having Authentic Experiences Abroad

A Travel Blogger’s Guide to Having Authentic Experiences Abroad

You travel to experience a new culture, correct? Following the crowd of tourists as they go from their hotel room, to a cab, to the “must-see” destinations almost certainly ensures that you won’t experience the culture—you’ll experience a curated version of it. And after saving and spending your hard-earned money, the last thing you want to do is have regrets about what you did or didn’t see.

The best way to make the most of your trip is to have as authentic of an experience as possible. Luckily, it’s possible to see popular tourist spots and enjoy your destination like a local. Use the following tips to do exactly that on your next trip abroad.

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Don’t Bounce Around

Instead of spending just one day in each country or city you plan to visit, dedicate a few days, or even a week if possible. The more time you spend in one spot, the more you learn about the way locals live. This also gives you time to relax, rather than running from one museum to another to fit everything in one day.

My husband and I spent one week in Paris and this is where we had the most authentic experience. We got into our own little routine of living like a local: morning breakfast of chocolate croissants in our rental apartment, a walk to wherever we were off to that day, espresso at a café in the afternoon and either bought food for dinner on the way home or took the metro out to a small, quiet dinner. My memories from our time in Paris are nothing but blissful, and I believe this authentic experience has a lot to do with it.

If you can only squeeze in two days, spend one checking out the popular tourist stops and then spend the next strolling around, enjoying local parks and restaurants. Check a local event calendar to find events that day or music that night; heading to a local event ensures you’ll have a more authentic experience.

Get Hyper Local: Instead of taking a cab, always use public transportation. You’ll be able to observe locals going about their regular day and take cues from what they’re wearing and how they’re acting. I loved emulating the way women dressed in Paris; it was such a wonderful combination of casual and classy.

Learn the Lingo

Learning a whole new language may be out of the question—especially if you’re working full time, planning for the trip, and still trying to enjoy some semblance of social life. However, you don’t need to speak the language fluently before you go, just a few key phrases and slang terms can make it easier for you to blend and have an authentic experience in when you arrive to your destination.

When planning, research which language(s) are common in the area you’re traveling to. While we all know French is spoken in France, you may not know that it’s also spoken in 31 other countries, including many in Africa. It will only take a few minutes to look up the language and start practicing a few words and phrases.

Get Hyper Local: Check out this Conde Nast guide to slang in other countries so you can speak to people like a local. When my husband and I traveled through Europe, we’d always ask servers about the local slang so we could use it as we traveled around. In places like Paris, where locals are hesitant to speak English, even if they know it, this knowledge comes in handy.

Stay With Locals

AirBnB is an easy and safe way to stay with locals when traveling abroad. Instead of getting a hotel room by yourself, find a house with an open room. Many times, hosts offer to show people around if requested, and may even give a list of the restaurants and sites that locals love to frequent.

In Amsterdam, the host’s son happened to have a boat, and he offered to give us a personal canal tour (as opposed to taking one of the large—and packed—tour boats). The experience was exceptional, and one we wouldn’t have had otherwise.

If you don’t want to stay with a local, you can dine with one for a night instead. Use Bonappetour to browse for hosts in the area you’re visiting, book your “home dinner” and enjoy an authentic meal one night during your stay. Few opportunities allow for as authentic of an experience as this.

Get Hyper Local: Ask the person you’re staying with to take you out for a day and show you what they might do on a nice day off. While not all hosts will be interested in this, some will love the opportunity to show you what their hometown has to offer.

Having an authentic experience abroad is not only possible, it’s actually pretty easy. Use these tips to make the most of your trip and live like a local, if only for a few days.

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Walking with Hawks at Ashford Castle, Ireland

Walking with Hawks at Ashford Castle, Ireland

Aztec is looking at me menacingly and I'm already regretting taking him out for a walk. I'm not particularly good with animals (with the exception of horses), and when Aztec lets out a loud scream, I'm ready to abandon the entire exercise. No, Aztec is not a furry, four-legged thing, but a nearly fully-grown Harris Hawk with giant flapping wings, and a razor sharp beak trained to rip small animals into pieces. 
It is a cold, rainy day as I arrive into the sleepy town of Cong in County Mayo, Ireland. After tramping about the remains of the 13th-century Augustinian Cong Abbey, I head further to the sprawling estate of Ashford Castle. 
Ashford Castle stands on the site of the 13th-century Castle of Cong; parts of the old castle still stand, and have been integrated into the current structure. The castle saw various changes of regimes and owners, and was expanded according to the architectural styles of the day. The current castle has soaring turrets, French chateau elements, Georgian windows, Victorian extensions and the like. Still there’s no denying the grandeur, especially when you drive through the estate and see the castle’s towers peeking through the trees, and then having it loom up ahead suddenly. Ashford Castle, now a luxury hotel, stands on the shore of Lough Corrib, and is surrounded by 350 acres of landscaped gardens and woodlands. 
After a quick rest in my room, I head out in the hotel’s vintage saloon car (whose chauffeur is better dressed than I, complete with a top hat). The rain has mercifully stopped. We drive down the long driveway, past the golf course, and arrive at the Falconry School at Ashford Castle, which is the oldest in the country. 
Falconry (the hunting of wild game with a trained bird of prey) has a long history in Ireland. The earliest reference to it has been made in a 7th-century Irish text. Later with the arrival of the Anglo-Normans in the 12th century, falconry became an established sport amongst the nobility. Since then Ireland has had a reputation for having the best hawks, which have always been a valuable commodity, and were also used as a form of rent payment. 
At the school I meet Ed Coulson, one of the hawk minders and my guide for the day. We begin the tour by saying ‘hello’ to the school’s prized possession – Dingle, a European Eagle Owl who arrived as a baby in 1999 when the school started. Dingle is massive, at least a foot tall, with large amber eyes that stare at you disconcertingly. And he is gorgeous – with black and golden markings, and a white collar – he could proudly star in any of the Harry Potter movies! 
Next we proceed to the ‘bird cages’ – the entire periphery wall is lined with a metal fence, giving the birds plenty of room to fly about, without escaping. There are a few peregrine falcons and several Harris Hawks, with charming names such as Sonora, Swift, Milly, Aztec, Summer, Inca and Wilde. 
Coulson explains that the hawks are taken for a ‘walk’ twice a day, either by one of the trainers or by visitors like me. “Their diet is carefully monitored, and we weigh the hawks before and after the walk, to make sure that they are getting the optimum amount of food”, he elaborates. 
Soon I am introduced to Aztec, a three-year-old male Harris Hawk, whom I will be taking for his evening walk. I wear a thick leather glove on my left hand, which reaches halfway up my forearm. Coulson deposits Aztec on my gloved hand. The bird is on a ‘leash’ attached to his feet, and Coulson instructs me on how to hold it correctly. I expected Aztec to be heavier, but his weight hardly registers. Up close, he is a beautiful bird, with a brownish-black body, chestnut colouring on his ‘shoulders’, and a long dark brown tail, ending in white tips. He is already pecking away at my glove with his large, yellow beak. Then suddenly he lets out a shrill screech and starts flapping his wings – he’s raring to go for his walk. 
We head into the woodland, with Coulson explaining to me how to release Aztec. “Extend your arm fully and sweep it across your body”, he says. He then releases Aztec’s leash, I swing my arm as instructed, and away goes Aztec. It’s a thrill watching him spread out his wings and fly away into the treetops. Coulson opens the little leather bag he’s carrying, picks a small piece of raw chicken and places it in my gloved palm. “Hold your arm straight down by your side and close your fist”, he says as we see Aztec following us in great swoops up amongst the trees. Then I give the signal by raising my arm out front while facing Aztec. He dives down elegantly and comes to rest on my arm, tucking into the chicken in my palm. 
For the next 45 minutes or so, Coulson and I walk further into the woods releasing Aztec periodically and then calling him back for his meal. My earlier apprehension has given way to excitement and a measure of fondness for the bird. My heart leaps with joy every time I hear the now familiar swoosh as Aztec lands on my arm. 
Hands down, the best experience of my trip to Ireland! 

Getting there

Etihad Airways flies from Mumbai and Delhi to Dublin, via Abu Dhabi. The drive from Dublin to Ashford Castle (240 km) can be done in 3 hours. Alternatively, take a train to Galway and then a local bus service to Ashford Castle. 

Where to stay

The rooms at Ashford Castle are sumptuously done up and many of them give sweeping views over the lake.  Alternatively, you can stay at The Lodge at Ashford Castle, a 19th-century country house annexe to the castle, offering a more intimate ambience (and lower prices). 

A 60-minute hawk walk is priced at €80 per person; discounts available for groups. Details at


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5 Travel Bloggers Tell Us About Their Favourite Destinations

5 Travel Bloggers Tell Us About Their Favourite Destinations

If you didn't know already, BonAppetour love to travel, but these travel bloggers have committed themselves to documenting their globetrotting adventures on wonderfully well-thought-out blogs. "Been there done that" is not just an expression for them- it's an exciting reality.  We wanted to ask the ultimate question to these intrepid travellers: Of all the places you have been to, what has been your number one destination? And these were their responses: 

Jo from Wander With Jo – Cape Town

Jo is an adrenaline junkie and an avid globetrotter. She loves to write and started putting pen to paper at a very early age by jotting letters to her penpals. Now, she writes on her blog and shares her travel tales with adventurists across the globe.

Cape Town, South Africa, is definitely one of my top travel destinations.  This lively place offers something for all kinds of tourists. Be it adventurists or peace seekers, spiritual travelers or party goers – The mother city happily accommodates everyone in its humble abode. 

There are a lot of fun activities which can be undertaken individually, with your loved one or even as a family. Climb or take a cable car to the top of Table mountain or enjoy the adorable African penguins in their natural habitat, you will not be running out of places to see or things to do anytime soon. 

Around one week in Cape Town is sufficient to see the top attractions but if you have time and want to slow travel or enjoy at your pace, I would recommend spending a month, at least.

Read more about Jo's travels on her site here, or get social with her on Facebook l Twitter l Instagram l Pinterest 

Eboni from Eboni + Ivory- Amsterdam

Eboni is based in London and blogs about a mix of Lifestyle and Travel topics over on her site Eboni + Ivory

 I am half Dutch. My mum and dad met in Amsterdam, but seen as my father passed away when I was very, very young, I have never felt the strong connection to Holland. That was until I went to Amsterdam.

I felt instantly at home in Amsterdam. This small, watery city is like no other place in the world. Like my blog name, this city truly encapsulates everything about an Eboni/Ivory personality; beautiful tulipsbikes with baskets and glistening canals make up Amsterdam’s sunny day. On the other hand, it’s no secret that Amsterdam is very well known for its seedy underbelly with a prominent cannabis culture and world-famous Red Light District, Amsterdam surely is a game of two halves! This all just entices me further and promises for an interesting visit!

It is completely possible to get to most places by foot. Pick a cental-ish location for your accommodation and explore by walking. I have never hired a bike, but I would leave that to the locals unless you’re wanting a quiet cycle through Vondelpark- it can get pretty dangerous if you're not a usual city-cycler. Trams can be fun, but the cost can add up after a while, and if the weather is nice, a walk along the canals is just so much better!

My must-do activity in Amsterdam is a ride on a tour boat. I love cities that have boat tours and Amsterdam is no different. Make sure you find a good deal online.

Read more about Eboni's travels on her site here, or get social with her on Facebook l Twitter l Instagram l YouTube

Jessica from The Travelista – Tuscany

Jessica has honed in on luxury travel blogging over on The Travelista. Check out her award-winning blog for posts about her luxurious adventures around the world. 

Of all the destinations around the world, Tuscany has a special place in my heart. It’s a place to discover a rustic slice of Italy without the hectic tourist crowds – and if you love Italian food, you’d be in the right place. The vineyards, romantic hillsides and breathtaking landscapes are enough to melt the coldest of hearts. Tuscany is rural escapism at its most fabulous.

I have fond memories of Tuscany as it’s the place me and my boyfriend had our first holiday, which we decided to name ‘The Tuscan Road Trip’. We flew in to Pisa and picked up our hire car. After checking out the famous Leaning Tower, we drove over to our rural base of Castello di Casole, a converted castle near to Casole d’Elsa. From here we took day trips to Siena and San Gimignano, before driving to Florence for the last few days of our trip. In the space of a week we squeezed in 5 incredible Tuscan cities, each one different from the next. It felt like a mini adventure and having our own car gave us a great sense of freedom.

Read more about Jessica's travels on her site here, or get social with her on Facebook l Twitter l Instagram 

Millie from Millie Goes – India

Female travel blogger Millie has set foot on 5 of the 7 continents and writes about her escapades on the blog Millie Goes.

India – the land of colour, festivals and spice! From its rich history to less than organised culture, there's a certain magic here that you can escape. This diverse country has quickly become one of my favourites; you really can have it all here! I've found that India has a little bit of everything, with peaceful Himalayan mountains full of yoga retreats, the hustle and bustle of the city, quite beachside towns and let's not forget the vast desert!

I guess the hardest part for me is to narrow it down to what I loved the most here. There's simply too much to list all in one place but I have to say one of Delhi’s hidden charms is that you can be in the busiest section of town, yet step into the nearest temple and within its walls is a beautiful silence. They've perfected the balance of respecting traditions of the past with the chaos of the present, something us Brits can't seem to get a handle on. Of course, we all know I’d be foolish not to mention their incredible food too!

Find out more about India from my Two Minute Guide to the country.  

Read more about Millie's travels on her site here, or get social with her on Facebook l Twitter l Instagram

Julie and Drew from Drive on the Left-  Ljubljana, Slovenia

Julie and Drew are American expats who currently call London their home. They write for all travellers, armchair explorers, wanderlusters, and those whose travel itch needs a little scratching on their blog Drive on the Left

Our favorite travel destination has to be Ljubljana, Slovenia. It is small and compact, with an adorable historic center, divided by the Ljubljanica River. Coffee shops, bars and restaurants line the river, making it the ideal spot for a coffee in the morning, or a glass of wine in the evening. We had a wonderful meal at Špajza, situated in an old, rustic home, and enjoyed a delicious burger and Slovenian craft beer at Pop’s Place. The Ljubljana market was phenomenal, packed with perfect produce, including lots of truffle-related products. For a little exercise, we walked up to Ljubljana Castle, with expansive views of Ljubljana, the surrounding lush countryside, and the Julian Alps in the distance.

Ljubljana is certainly not high on tourists’ radar, which adds to the appeal. It is large enough to offer plenty of activities for a long weekend, but small enough to explore thoroughly. With a combination of great food, friendly locals, dazzling buildings, and the natural beauty of the Alps, it is hard to go wrong in Ljubljana. 

Read more about Julie and Drew's travels on their site here, or get social with them on Facebook l Twitter l Instagram l Pinterest l YouTube

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