Between October and December (Autumn) is considered the best time to visit Halong Bay because of its mild weather and lesser chances of rain. However, anticipate larger crowds during this window. But with the right strategy, you can embark on a memorable journey to Halong Bay without breaking the bank. This article outlines the pros and cons of each season, ensuring you pick the best time to visit Halong Bay that complements both your budget and travel aspirations.

An Overview of Halong Bay

Overview of Halong bay
Overview of Halong bay

Located in Quang Ninh province in the North East of Vietnam, Halong Bay is about 170km away from the capital city of Hanoi. While Southern Vietnam experiences just two seasons (wet and dry), Halong boasts all four seasons. The journey takes approximately 2 hours via the highway or 3.5 hours using road 5. The name ‘Halong’ translates to ‘Descending Dragon’, derived from various legends.

When in Halong Bay, travelers can indulge in a plethora of activities. They can marvel at the myriad of large and petite limestone islands and islets scattered across the bay. Additionally, there are numerous water sports available, including kayaking, swimming, rock climbing, and scuba diving. For those who choose to stay overnight, the experience is enriched with cave visits, exploration of floating villages, witnessing the bay’s sunrise and sunset, participating in cooking classes, and even squid fishing. There’s never a dull moment in Halong Bay.

Halong Bay Weather Overview

Halong Bay boasts a tropical coastal climate, typically characterized by two main seasons: hot and humid summer, and cool and dry winter. The months from May to September are marked by summer’s heat combined with the southwest monsoons, resulting in warm waters and frequent rain showers. Conversely, winter from October to April is drier and cooler, thanks to the northeast monsoons.

Each season has its own beauty
Each season has its own beauty

Analyzing Monthly Weather Patterns and Tourist Influx

Halong Bay showcases its beauty uniquely in every season. Summer visitors can revel in comfortable bay swims under a clear blue sky. In contrast, those visiting during winter can experience the bay’s mystical, mist-covered ambiance. The bay’s climate mirrors the North’s four distinct seasons, marked by warm, humid summers and cool, chilly winters.

Spring (March to May)

In spring, temperatures in Halong Bay hover between 19 and 29 degrees Celsius. Occasionally, the bay is enveloped in mist and light rain, offering visitors a chance to witness its enigmatic beauty.

Summer (June to August)

Starting from mid-May, the sky adopts a vivid blue hue, with daytime temperatures averaging around 34 to 35 degrees Celsius. This weather is perfect for outdoor activities like swimming, beach relaxation, and kayaking. It’s also the period when many locals take their summer breaks. However, summer can bring heavy rains and storms that might impact travel plans.

Autumn (September to November)

This period is the prime time to explore Halong Bay. Temperatures average around 27 degrees Celsius, providing cool and delightful weather. With abundant sunshine, it’s an ideal time for visitors to relish their Halong Bay journey and capture stunning photographs. It’s also a popular time for international travelers.

Winter (December to February)

The season’s climate is notably brisk, with temperatures ranging between 8 and 20 degrees Celsius. It’s a period that draws a significant number of international travelers, especially during the Christmas and New Year celebrations.

Below is an overview of Halong Bay’s climate for 2023: 

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Maximum temp (ºC) 22 24 28 29 37 36 32 31 30 29 27 24
Minimum temp (ºC) 10 12 15 18 24 23 23 23 22 21 20 17
Average Temperature 14 -20 15-21 18-23 19-26 25-34 25-33 24-30 25-32 24-29 22-28 21-26 19-23

The best time to visit Halong Bay Vietnam

While both summer and winter see a surge in local and international visitors, the most optimal times to explore Halong Bay are during spring and autumn, specifically from March to April and September to October.

The weather during these months is agreeably dry with fewer typhoons, ensuring a safer journey.

Additionally, early bookings might offer promotional deals or even a complimentary room upgrade if fortune favors.

Tourists enjoy kayaking on the bay
Tourists enjoy kayaking on the bay

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The high-demand periods in Halong Bay

Peak Season
Peak Season

The high-demand period for local visitors in Halong Bay

Summer months, from June to September, mark the prime travel time for Vietnamese locals to visit Halong Bay. It aligns with the summer break for numerous students and the intense heat in Hanoi, prompting many families to escape to coastal areas, especially Halong Bay.

During this time, the bay bustles with activities like swimming and kayaking. However, it’s worth noting that this period coincides with the monsoon season, where tropical disturbances might influence travel plans.

The high-demand period for international visitors in Halong Bay

Between October and April, particularly from November to January, Halong Bay sees a surge of international tourists, many of whom are on winter breaks. The climate during these months is agreeable, and the bay’s cloudy and misty ambiance offers a fresh, mysterious landscape for visitors to explore.

How to travel to Halong Bay?

From Hanoi, transportation options to Halong Bay include buses, private cars, limousines, and even seaplanes, with prices ranging from US$ 15 to US$ 150 based on your choice of service. The seaplane, while pricier, offers a unique experience.

However, we believe that the most comprehensive way to explore Halong Bay is by booking a cruise package from Hanoi. Such packages typically cover round-trip transportation, entrance fees, meals, and accommodations. This means all you need to do is pack your bags and enjoy the trip. Booking only the transportation would still require you to arrange a separate cruise at the harbor to truly experience Halong Bay.

Tips for Your Halong Bay Journey

  • Luggage: It’s advisable to pack lightly, if possible. You can store excess luggage at your hotel or with the travel agent who arranged your tour. Most boats provide amenities similar to hotels, such as towels, soap, and shampoo.
  • Dietary Preferences: If you have food allergies or follow a vegetarian diet, be sure to inform the travel agent who organized your tour in advance.
  • On the Bus: Your tour guide will temporarily hold your passport to facilitate the check-in process on the boat and return it to you later. Therefore, it’s important to keep your passport in a secure and easily accessible place. Don’t forget to communicate any special requirements, such as dietary preferences, to your guide, as they will assist you throughout the tour.
  • Boat Cabin: Some boats have one or two machines on board. While you might not notice their noise during the day, it could affect your sleep at night. It’s advisable to discuss this with your travel agent when booking. If possible, book your service well in advance to secure a cabin away from the machines. Stay in touch with your travel agent, as you might be fortunate enough to receive a complimentary upgrade to a superior room.
  • Water: Since 2018, Ha Long Bay’s management board has prohibited the use of plastic bottles in the bay to protect the environment and ecosystem. Therefore, it’s important not to bring plastic bottles with you during your trip.

Where and how to Book Halong Bay Cruise?

Booking a Halong Bay tour offers various options. You can either make reservations online or do so upon your arrival. Each method has its own advantages and drawbacks.

However, opting for online booking can save you time and often results in better pricing. To streamline the process, you can get in touch with established local travel agencies like San Travel. San Travel is recognized as one of the top travel agencies in Hanoi, offering a range of Halong Bay tours at competitive prices and ensuring quality service in the heart of Hanoi’s Old Quarter.

What should you do in case your Halong Bay tour gets canceled?

Here is our advice:

In the event of complete cancellations of Halong Bay cruises due to adverse weather conditions, a full refund will be provided. Partial refunds or credits are granted when a cruise is abbreviated due to unfavorable weather.

San Travel has provided you with insights on the optimal timing for your Halong Bay visit. If you require further assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us via email at or our hotline at +84 91 297 22 22. We stand by our commitment to quality and competitive pricing. Your satisfaction is guaranteed, and we offer a full refund if our services do not meet your expectations.

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