October

Celebration Time

Mid-Autumn festival is celebrated in China, HK, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam to signal the new harvest and worship the moon on the role it plays. Celebrations include eating moon cakes, carrying bright lanterns and watching lively dragon dances.

Another major event in Asia in October is Deepavali (also known as Diwali). It’s an ancient Hindu festival celebrated in autumn every year in Malaysia, Singapore and Myanmar. The festival signifies the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance and good over despair. Fairs take place in many towns and villages with numerous performances.

The Phuket Vegetarian festival is a time when people of Chinese descent will, for nine days, adhere to a strict vegetarian diet and suspend numerous activities. This ceremony is not so much about vegetarianism as it is about welcoming good spirits and warding off bad ones with mind blowing facial piercings.

Golden Week in China is one of the peak periods for domestic travel in the country.

Fire Boat Festival in Laos sees Luang Prabang and the Mekong River come to life with flamboyant candle lit boats made from strips of bamboo, tissue paper and candles. This month the Naga Rocket Festival is also celebrated in Laos.

International events

It’s time to set adrenalin racing with the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Suzuka (Japan) or the more eco-friendly Formula E in Hong Kong and Osaka (Japan). Alternatively, get the blood pumping with a marathon in the UNESCO Heritage City of Luang Prabang in Laos.

The legendary Ubud Writers & Readers Festival is a spectacular event where artists, performers and musicians from across the globe share their knowledge and creative talents over a period of five days in Ubud, Bali.

Don’t miss the eccentric Red Dress Run in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia! Extreme fitness fanatics can try the 30th Mt Kinabalu International Climbathon, a challenging 23km run on Malaysia's highest mountain.

Are you a budding photographer? Make sure you are in the picture at Cambodia’s largest photo competition. It’s a free-to-enter photo competition spanning ten countries, including, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, India, Thailand, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Brunei. The competition is held in the capital Phnom Penh and is based on three different topics or themes.

Weather Patterns

October brings great weather to Japan, China, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam (especially Halong Bay) and Lombok / Gili islands (Indonesia). The dry season is imminent in Southeast Asia and it’s a good time to explore north and central Thailand. Check local conditions in Myanmar as the rainy season usually finishes around mid-October.

Late October is an excellent time to embark on a cruise between Mandalay and Bagan in Myanmar. It is also the only period when you can sail up the Chindwin River and northern tip of the Irrawaddy to see villages lost in time from the teak trade era. The weather at this time of year provides ideal conditions for trekking in Myanmar (Shan state around Inle Lake, Hsipaw, Kyaing Tong, Putao, Chin State).