Vietnam Newsletter – October 2019
Time for festivities
There’s no better time than Autumn (Fall) to appreciate the turn of season. In the northern hemisphere, scorching summer and rainy days start transforming into a slightly cooler clime giving way to chill and frost. And the time that connects the two is October – the time when nature puts on a spectacle of colours through the leaves on the trees before they all fall to ground.
In almost all parts of the world, this time of the year is marked by many festivities. Why do so many festivals happen together at this time? This is the time when harvest is in the houses. People are getting ready for a season of shorter days and colder temperatures and the festivities are a way of paying homage to sun and making maximum of the last direct rays of sun. That’s why many festivals at this time have an element of lighting up lanterns and candles.
When you plan your travels, keep the natural phenomenon and events and festivals in mind to find the most perfect vacation destination for you and your family. That’s why we bring Vietnam in this issue – which is not only at its best season in October, but is also a quick getaway to coincide with festival holidays, should you want to go on a trip.
Soul Trip: The beauty of Fall
Our planet takes one year to complete its trip around the Sun. And as it moves from one point to another, the whole planet undergoes a transformation. The new leaves that come out in Spring go through their lifecycle of flowering, fruiting and ultimately falling to ground in Autumn, to come back to life in Spring again with a new vigour. This is the constant cycle of regeneration that Nature shows us.
Similarly, all of us need a time of rejuvenation. As we go through our daily lives at home and work, it is these periods of vacation that fills new energy. A trip is not just an annual thing to do, it can serve a much greater purpose. Your vacation can be a time when you reconnect with yourself, your family and with nature. Such vacations can uplift spirits and make you ready for the next phase of work that we all need to commit ourselves to, both at work and home. Allow your vacation time to heal you. Autumn is a beautiful season when the trees change their colours in to gold, red and yellow and they look magnificent. Such is the effect of taking time off.
Discover Your World
To get a sample itinerary for Vietnam, click here
When we hear the word Vietnam, the first visual that comes to mind is the conical hat and a person wearing that conical hat working in the rice field. Yes, Vietnam indeed presents a vista of endless paddy fields, but Vietnam is also about soaring mountains and fascinating ethnic groups of people in the north to vibrant waterways of Mekong Delta in the south, with more than 3,000 kilometres of coastline in between.
Vietnam is one of Southeast Asia’s most beautiful countries, attracting travellers to its lush mountains, bustling cities and golden sand beaches. While cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh give a vibe of modern cosmopolitan cities, time-honoured traditions remain intact amongst the locals. There are numerous ancient landmarks and colonial structures that have survived throughout the bumps and scrapes of history. Buddhist shrines can be found next to towering skyscrapers, where you can experience vibrant festivals and ceremonies dating back hundreds of years. Long, sandy beaches are home to luxurious resorts and fine-dining venues, making them ideal romantic getaways, while expansive rice terraces on the hills make for excellent hiking excursions.
October can be considered to be one of the best seasons to visit Vietnam. In the North, the weather is typically autumn, which is the temperature for the most part and leaves are changing colours to yellow. The temperature is mild and the air is dry. In the Central part of Vietnam such as Hue, Da Nang and Hoi An, the rain becomes the norm, but it does not dilute the beauty of this region. In the South, the temperature remains steady, ranging from 24 to 31-degree centigrade with significantly less rain compared with previous summer months. October offers one of the best balances between heat and cold, dry and wet.
The Mekong Delta is a cycling heaven, with flat plains stretching up till the horizon. The inland trunk road Highway 14 offers stunning scenery. Halong Bay is Vietnam’s big natural wonder: 3,000 incredible islands rising from emerald waters. Paddling among the karsts here is a popular activity and of course clicking pictures and instagramming. The main diving area is Nha Trang with 25 dive sites. There are underwater caves, colourful corals and lots of reef fish. Remember not to touch or break the corals while diving. You can also do Surfing at the Mui Ne beach.
One of the most beloved quaint towns is Hoi An. It is a Unesco World heritage site because of its preserved old town. Here on the full moon night every month, the lights of the town are dimmed and the whole tow is lit up with Lanterns. It is a beautiful sight to behold. There’s something about the historic shophouses with their clay-tiled roofs and ochre-coloured walls that remain timeless. For a better experience, try visiting in the early morning when the market is populated mainly with locals, or in the cool of the evening, when the town takes on a lantern-lit glow.
In October, Hoi An Full Moon Lantern Festival is on Oct 12. A well planned trip will take you to this land of magical charm on one of your most unforgettable holidays.
Safety tips while travelling abroad
There are a few steps that you can take to have a safe and happy holiday.
- Before going, read up on the country’s report on typical tourist complaints. A search can throw up results if many tourists have reported similar incidences at a certain location. Forewarned is forearmed.
- Some tourist spots are notorious for thefts and mugging. Like Paris, Rome and some spots in South East Asia. Take extra care of your belongings in such places.
- Scan all your important documents and save a copy in your mail account so you can access it from anywhere and at any time.
- Know your transport options. Overcharging scams are fairly common in South East Asia. Prior knowledge about typical taxi fares, etc. will help you bargain better.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Specially during late nights and in deserted streets. Violent crimes may be less common but snatch-and-run, pickpocketing can happen anywhere.
- Do not carry a lot of cash or valuables on your person. If an assaulter confronts you, let go of your valuables that they demand – most of the times they will take that and flee.
- Keep the numbers of Indian embassy in that country stored in your mail account in case you need quick access to it.
- Above all, stay vigilant at all times.
Events and updates
Safety tips while travelling abroad
Events and festivals from around the world in October
- <Oct 07> - <Oct 13>: <Nuuk Nordisk Kulturfestival, Greenland>.
- <Oct 31> – <Nov 02>: <Dia de los muertos, Mexico>.
- <Oct 31> – <Nov 01>: <Samhain – Celtic New Year, Ireland and Scotland>.
- <Oct 21>: <Simchat Torah, Israel>.
- <Oct 18> – <Oct 28>: Lord of the Miracles: Lima, Peru.
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