Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, is a must-see attraction for every avid traveler when visiting Vietnam. In case you are wondering about the best time to visit Halong Bay, explore and experience this tourist hotspot, this may be the best post you’ll read today!
“When is the best time to visit Halong Bay?” This is actually a common question, and the answer is a little complicated. It all depends on your concept of a perfect trip. It depends on whether you’re after the best deal or the best time to come when the weather is at its finest.
Want to know what to do? Here are the best things to do in Halong Bay!
Best Time To Visit Halong Bay In a Nutshell
Let’s break it down into bits. If you are concerned about the weather, schedule your visit from September to November or from March to May. These periods are perfect for a memorable trip to Halong Bay. The pleasant temperature and dry weather will allow you to take in all the sights and sounds while enjoying all the amenities and activities on board the ship.
Smart travelers will look for last-minute vacation deals while keeping an eye on the weather forecast at the same time. If you are traveling on a budget and wish to get the best possible deal, then book your trip from May to September. This period is the off-peak season for traveling in Ha Long Bay so most cruise companies offer huge discounts on cabin accommodation. You can save up to 50 percent on your cruise when compared to other times of the year.
Halong Bay Rain
Halong Bay Sunshine
Halong Bay Temperature
Choose Your Bay
Though Halong Bay is by far the most well-known and popular option for an overnight cruise, Lan Ha Bay in the northeast, Bai Tu Long Bay in the east, and Cat Ba island in the south are three options well worth considering.
Need help picking the right bay? Learn about the 3 bays in Halong Bay!
Winter in Halong Bay (January to February)
The weather is normally cold and foggy with relatively low visibility. There’s ample sunlight during the day but in the morning and late in the afternoon expect some drizzle and fog. During this time you’ll see a somewhat ‘mystical’ Halong Bay because the limestone mountains are partly covered by fog. The advantage of visiting during this season is that the bay is less crowded and you’ll get to experience Tet or Lunar New Year – the most important holiday in Vietnam. Hence, you can admire both the beauty of Halong Bay and the festive mood everywhere you go.
Please bear in mind that certain activities like swimming or diving may not be permitted if the weather becomes too cold.
Halong Bay in Spring (March-April-May)
The average temperature during this period is 24°C, although there’s high chance of rain, particularly during March. Humidity is just starting to rise so the weather is generally pleasant, with clear blue skies. It’s therefore perfect for outdoor cruise activities like rock climbing, swimming, snorkeling and kayaking. The warm weather and the clear skies make Halong Bay more vivid compared to other months of the year. Spring is also Halong’s squid season, so you’ll get to spend an evening catching squid with the local fishermen.
TIP: Try to avoid the last week of April because it coincides with the national holiday of Vietnam. It’s likely that there will be lots of domestic tourists and price may slightly increase.
Summer Time in Halong Bay (June-July-August-September)
The weather can be clear and sunny, but for Westerners it can be extremely hot. If you wish to enjoy an unobstructed view of the landscape, particularly from a seaplane, this is the best season to do so. There’s also more time for water activities than in fall and winter. The temperature ranges from 29 to 32°C so you can soak in the sun as much as you like.
In general, the month of August is the hottest time of the year. Ironically though, it can also be the wettest. The showers come often but they don’t last long so you can just relax at the hotel and continue your activities the following day with a bright blue sky.
June to early September is the summer vacation in Vietnam so Halong Bay sees a high volume of domestic tourists. This also coincides with the rainy season with a higher chance of typhoons. Your trip or cruise can either be canceled or delayed, but almost all cruise companies offer refunds or they will reschedule your itinerary in such case.
TIPS: If you plan to visit Halong Bay during the summer months you’ll have to bring sunglasses, sunblock, swimwear, insect repellent, flip-flops/waterproof shoes, a cap or wide-brimmed sun hat, and a sweater for cold mornings and evenings. In addition, summer is the most active time for jellyfish, so ask your guide for advice before going for a swim.
Halong Bay in Fall (October-November-December)
This is an excellent time if you plan to visit Halong Bay because the weather is perfect for cruising. The humidity level drops significantly and the average temperature is around 13-21°C. The sky is crystal clear, the wind is gentle, and there is less rainfall. The local tourist season is also over.
You can enjoy more sunshine, which isn’t as harsh as in summer. These months are also the best ones for squid fishing and there are more deals and special promos.
TOP TIPS: Take advantage of the fine weather and see to it that you visit popular attractions of Halong Bay like Co To Island, Tuan Chau Island, Luon Cave, the Vung Vieng Floating Fishing Village, among others.
If you want a more comprehensive take about the weather on a monthly basis, kindly check the list below. You’ll get to learn what to expect in terms of temperature, sunlight, humidity, and rainfall. You’ll also know the pros and cons of visiting Halong Bay on any given month.
Click on the links to jump directly to the topic you wish to read.
- Halong Bay Weather in January
- Halong Bay Weather in February
- Halong Bay Weather in March
- Halong Bay Weather in April
- Halong Bay Weather in May
- Halong Bay Weather in June
- Halong Bay Weather in July
- Halong Bay Weather in August
- Halong Bay Weather in September
- Halong Bay Weather in October
- Halong Bay Weather in November
- Halong Bay Weather in December
Cancellation policy in cases of bad weather
What To Do If Your Ha Long Bay Tour Gets Cancelled Due To Bad Weather?
The Halong Bay Management Board oversees and regulates the cruise operations in the bay. They determine the cruise operation allowance for both overnight and day cruises every day.
Trip cancellations are typically caused by severe weather conditions such as typhoons, storms, or dense fog. All cruises in Ha Long Bay and Lan Ha Bay that want to stop overnight in the Bay must be licensed in order to manage the Bay and provide safe service.
In the event of severe weather conditions, the Halong Bay Management Board reserves the right to cancel the cruise. The cruise cancellation decision is made till 3:00 pm on the day of bad weather.
The local government also has the right to cancel the journey at any moment in order to ensure the greatest degree of passenger safety.
Please see the cancellation policy for individual cruises to better understand their refund procedure.
The Best Time Is Now
There is no right or wrong answer as to when is the best time to visit Halong Bay. It is all up to you, your preferences, schedule, and budget. Perhaps it would be best to let your heart decide! During the warm months, you can take advantage of water activities, while in the cooler months you will be able to enjoy Halong Bay like no other.
Just imagine having a steamy, sumptuous meal by the caves in one of the world’s most majestic natural wonders – it’s really about the experience and the memories that will last a lifetime!
Ready to book? Find a Halong Bay cruise!