Are you planning a trip to Vietnam and want to know when is the best time to visit Halong Bay? Well you are in the right place. This post will give you everything you need to know, season by season, what to expect on a Halong Bay cruise and also, things you may want to avoid. But let me warn you, the best time to visit Ha Long Bay is not a simple month or date. It is going to depend on whether you want to get the most bang for your buck and travel with prices are lowest or whether having the perfect weather is more important for your travels.
Ha Long Bay, one of Vietnam’s precious UNESCO sites, is a must-visit on any Vietnam Itinerary. Ha Long Bay has over 1900 islands, most of which jut out from the sea in a stunning, steep fashion. It is known as a karst landscape, which essentially means land masses comprised of limestone peaks.
The climate of Ha Long Bay
Ha Long Bay lies in Northern Vietnam and has basically two different seasons, hot and moist in the summer months, and dry and cold in the winter months. the climate is tropical with average temperatures staying between 15C and 25C. Ha Long Bay gets over 2 meters of rainfall on average, per year.
Why Spring is the Best Time to go to HaLong Bay
March to May is going to offer pleasant spring weather as the cool winter months have ended. It should offer dry weather and spectacular viewing ability. Watch out for early march bookings, where the weather could still be wet.
The spring offers pleasant temperatures around 24C and, it is warm enough for snorkelling and swimming, as well as other water activities. Take a chance at squid fishing if you have the opportunity in the spring months.
Why Fall is the Best Time to Visit Halong Bay
October to December offers the best weather for cruising in Ha Long Bay. Fall offers pleasant temperatures, averaging between 14C to 21C and bright blue skies. The domestic tourists have gone home and the international ones have arrived! But with 1900 islands to explore, there is plenty of space in Ha Long Bay.
It is also the perfect time of year for swimming and sunbathing, as well as water activities. The water is warm, as is the air and the hot summer sun has passed. That does not mean you don’t need sunscreen however. Make sure you have it available all year round!
Why Summer is the Best Time to Visit Halong Bay
Late May to September offers travelers to Ha Long Bay the best deals. You can save up to 50% compared to other times of the year. As mentioned above, the weather will be very hot and can be wet.
Typhoons can force cancellations of cruises during the summer months, so try and pack some flexibility into your itinerary. You do not want to miss out on Ha Long Bay because of weather.
Because of the tropical weather, there is plenty of time for water activities like snorkeling, swimming, kayaking and bathing in the sun. Make sure you have your bathing suit, plenty of sunscreen, insect repellent and a hat! Frequent showers can send sunbathers indoors but they do not last long.
Summer months also sees an influx of domestic tourists on holidays in Vietnam
Visiting Ha Long Bay in the Winter
Winter is not one of the best times to visit Ha Long Bay. The weather can be foggy and there will be plenty of drizzle. If you are looking for a misty, otherworldly experience, then consider a January or February trip. There are chances of blue skies however so pack your sunglasses just in case.
The average temperature in Ha Long Bay in January is about 17C. Ensure you pack a light waterproof jacket and a light sweater for the cool evening weather.
When is the Best time to Visit Ha Long Bay?
Overall there is no wrong answer as to when to visit Ha Long Bay. Price wise, the lowest prices are seen in the summer months, but you are going to have hot and wet days. The most pleasant temperatures are in the spring and fall, where you are likely to have more people and will need to book ahead. The Winter months can sometimes be too cold to enjoy the water, but that does not mean you will not enjoy the cruise.
Overall you need to weigh what is more important for your trip.
Best Time of the Year to Visit Vietnam
This is a hard question to answer because it really depends on where you plan on going. As I mentioned in the intro, the best time to visit also depends on whether you are going for the best time to get a deal, or the best weather.
It is impossible to hit the “prime” time for the whole country, as the wet season in the north is not the same as the wet season in the south. With that being said, when it comes months, Jan, Feb and March are the most pleasant in MOST of the country.
Best Time to visit the North: December – April
Best Time to visit Central Vietnam: February – May
Best Time to visit the South: November – March
More Vietnam Planning Resources
Our trip to Vietnam was organized by Signatures of Asia, who, with just a few emails and Whats App messages, had put together an itinerary and customized it to exactly when I wanted to arrive. They took care of airport transfers, hotels, guides, drivers and put together an itinerary based on my requests! If you are looking for a hassel free experience, reach out to Tommy from Signatures of Asia.
Packing Essentials You Probably Did Not Think Of
A Grayl Water Bottle is something I recommend for every traveler, not just those going to Vietnam. Some people say the water is safe to drink from the tap, others say it is not; it is not something I am going to chance. Vietnam does an amazing job of reducing its plastic waste, we filtered our water into a water bottle each morning, and avoided plastic bottles our whole trip!
With a Grayl, you can filter any tap water (or actually any water source) and have clean drinking water in seconds. Since most people travel with water bottles already, consider one like this with a filter so that you are not just pouring from big water bottles to small. It might sound expensive, but when you compare it to spending a few dollars per day on water while you travel (and do not forget how expensive the water is inside airports), you will pay for this very quickly.
An inexpensive Universal Travel Adapter is another travel essential for Vietnam. You will find mostly 2 pin 220V plugs. With a handy USB input, you do not need to bring your plugs from home.
Lindsay Nieminen hails from Vancouver, Canada and shares her love of travel on this website. She is passionate about showing others that they should not put off traveling the world just because they have young children or are single parents. She aims to encourage them to seek out adventure, whether it is at home or abroad by providing information on how just about everywhere can be a destination to explore as a family.