Halong Bay is 170 km from Hanoi and you must have heard about the majestic landscapes, the must-see attraction, etc. So what is the best time to visit Halong Bay? I got you covered in this article.
A quick summary about Halong Bay weather
Have a quick look at the weather could save you from a rainy trip. Above graph demonstrates of the monthly temperature and rainfall of Halong Bay.
From December to February is the winter and early spring. You might see the temperature is not too low, however it is very humid here, so it’s colder than it seems. In these three months, not many people could actually enjoy swimming in the bay. Yes, I can do it, but I’m not so sure about you.
From March until May and from September until November are the best weather for almost all of us. The weather is cool, sunny enough for sunbathing or swimming, and not rainy, as well. Check below for scenery and activities in this time.
From June until August it is very hot or to be more accurate: hot like hell. High temperature along with humidity create an unpleasant feeling for activities like trekking. On a cruise in the bay, the wind might cool down our head. And at night they have AC in most of the rooms on the cruise so you still can sleep well. I myself had worked on a cruise for 4 months from May until September, 2017. The sunny bay, the cool swimming every afternoon or the starry night, all well compensate for the hot weather. Beside the high temp, from June to August in Halong bay is also the stormy season. There are not too many, maybe 1 or 2 or 3, or zero of storm. But when there is one, all cruises would be banned from the bay for 1-3 days. So it’s better to check the weather before booking a Halong Bay tour to avoid cancellation. You could visit other attractions in the north of Vietnam for 2-3 days until the storm goes away.
Seasonal Halong Bay scenery and activities
The scenery of Halong Bay or any other attractions is depended on the season or the time you visit. Each season has its own distinctive landscapes, check out below for details.
Winter in Halong Bay (November to January)
In winter, Halong Bay has its quiet time. It is not the peak season so you might get a better price for a nice cozy room with hot jacuzzi on a traditional wooden junk. You might have a chance to see the bay under early morning mist. Thousands of islands would turn dark blue along with the water. This is perfect time for a leisure trip, do some trekking, riding a seaplane or enjoying the hot tub while admiring the mysterious bay.
Spring in Halong Bay (February to April)
Spring is a litter warmer, the scenery turn greener. Waking up early to witness the sun breaking a foggy layer covering the bay is a must do experience. In recent years, the spring weather is much shorter than before. The cool feeling only lasts until middle of March, after that, it is hot like in the summer. Beside some winter activities that I recommended, in spring we start swimming and kayaking. It is also the squid fishing season, get on a small boat with some locals, go deeply into the dark bay and in some hours you might get your best dinner ever with fresh seafood. April is also one of the best months for Halong Bay. The price would higher a little bit, maybe 5 or 10%, but believe me, it’s worth it.
Summer in Halong Bay (May to August)
It is hot and many does not recommend this season for Halong Bay. Apart from the weather, it is the holiday season in Vietnam also. Students get their off semester, parents bring them to the bay for some relaxing days. The prices would be in between the high season and the low season, however you should choose a cruise rated from 3* and up. If you go lower, you might find yourself in a crowded boat. In this time you should completely avoid Cat Ba island, high price, crowded, especially in weekends.
The landscape in this time is the best. It is sunny, islands are green, the water is blue and the night is clearly starry. Enjoying sunbathing, swimming, kayaking and fishing is recommended. Rock climbing would be hot and tiring.
Autumn in Halong Bay (September to October)
Yes the fall in Halong Bay is also short as the spring. But it is also the best time to visit. You will have the scenery of the summer with a cooler weather. This is also the high season for foreign tourists in Halong Bay. You should book the tour/cruise in advance for this time of the year. We can do all activities in this season. Climbing up the Ti Top island, discovering the Surprising Cave, kayaking through the bay before swimming in the cool crystal water.
I recommend you book a Halong Bay tour with an agency instead of direct booking. You might get a better price and services. They usually offer weather, itinerary advice and more flexible cancellation policy.
Contact my friend Tweely for best care of your trip: