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Ha Long Bay has a four-season weather pattern; each season has its special attractiveness to cruisers. It is crucial to pick up the right time for a lifetime trip like the trip to Ha Long Bay. To many of us, choosing a suitable time for travel depends largely on your work schedule, your kids’ school time; or whether you can have a colleague who is willing to back up your work while you are away. However, knowing about the destination’s weather beforehand is as useful as reading product instruction. What happens, if you love swimming in lukewarm water during summer but end up booking a cruise in the end of spring when the weather is a bit cold and foggy? This article is for you, after reading this you should be able to know when to book your next cruise trip.

Ha Long Bay weather complete guide

Ha Long Bay in Spring (February – April)

For the first half of spring, it is quite cold and drizzles with the average temperature of 18oC. Moving forward to April, the temperature rises to 23oC, that temperature is pleasant for most travelers.

Ha Long Bay Spring

Since the water is cold during spring, I do not recommend you to swim in the bay except on bright sunny days. In this time, it is perfect for kayaking for long hours and relaxing on the beach or on the sun deck without the risk of heat stroke. If you are worried that the bay will be too foggy to take a picture, and then you should know that once the sun raises up, it lifts the fog and shed light everywhere in Ha Long Bay. This special time offers you the opportunity to join with local people for Lunar New Year Festival, which usually fall in the end of January and February.

Time: from February to April
Average temperature: 20
oC

What to bring

  • Remember to bring your hat, sun cream and sunglasses with you for outdoor activities
  • All prescription and over-the-counter medications and a first-aid kit, insect repellent in a sealable plastic storage bag.
  • For beach days, pack two swimsuits, one beach cover-up or large T-shirt, 2 rash guards, 1 baseball hat or wide-brimmed sun hat and flip-flops or waterproof sandals per traveler.
  • Pack a sweatshirt or sweater cold weather, and a lightweight nylon jacket if there is a probability of rain in the forecast.

How visitors enjoyed the spring cruise

 “ We came to Halong Bay on spring, the first day was foggy, which is common for this time of the year. But we woke up to beautiful weather – a little misty and then the sun came out. We were happy we did not miss getting to see the beautiful scenery”Janelle H reviewed on TripAdvisor Mar 14.

 “…We had a fantastic Bai Tu Long Trip, although the weather was a little cold (best time to visit is April/May apparently). The whole area is a Photographers paradise, we kayaked through caves, moored in quiet Bai Tu Long coves, spent time on deserted beach, met local fishing families and ate like kings and queens.”Michael reviewed on TripAdvisor Feb 12.

“…The scenery was amazing and despite the cold weather we had an amazing experience and would definitely recommend it to others.” – Aidan M reviewed on TripAdvisor Feb 11.

Ha Long Bay in Summer

Starting from May, the temperature of Ha Long rises from the average of 20oC to more than 35oC. The hot and moist summer is ideal for outdoor activities, especially swimming. The sunshine from the early morning to the afternoon allows you enjoy many outdoor activities and have a relaxing time on the wild sandy seashore. Kayaking during this time gives you a clear image of how beautiful the bay is. If you are a photo hunter, who want to take some good photos in a good light condition, then summer is for you. Bring all your kit and be ready to rock the nature.

Ha Long Bay Summer

When you do an overnight cruise on Ha Long, there are more things to do such as visiting caves, rowing to visit a floating village, fishing with locals, biking and trekking on Cat Ba Island, and having a BBQ lunch on the beach. All the activities are so interesting in this sunny time of the year. 

Not all the best things are in summer, July and August are the rainy seasons.  The highest average monthly rainfall of the year is at 265mm falling over an average of 16 days.  Also, if you travel to Ha Long Bay in August, there may be infrequent typhoons (normally from the early to the middle of the month), which may render cancellation or delay of your trip. 

Time: from May to August
Average temperature: 30
oC

What to bring

  • Remember to bring your hat, sun cream and sunglasses with you for outdoor activities
  • All prescription and over-the-counter medications and a first-aid kit, insect repellent in a sealable plastic storage bag.
  • For beach days, pack two swimsuits, one beach cover-up or large T-shirt, two rash guards, one baseball hat or wide-brimmed sun hat and flip-flops or waterproof sandals per traveler.
  • Packa light sweatshirt or sweater for chilly mornings and evenings, and a lightweight nylon jacket if there is a probability of rain in the forecast.

How visitors enjoyed the summer cruise

“…This is a must-do visit for anyone visiting Hanoi. The weather and scenery were perfect. The kids enjoyed exploring a cave, kayaking and swimming off the boat.”usand3crazykids reviewed on TripAdvisor Jun 22.

“…It is the summertime that we traveled to Halong Bay for our Wedding Anniversary Halong Bay is stunning! The weather that we had the whole time was absolute perfect with clear blue skies and warm sunshine.” – pinkwindsor2015 reviewed on TripAdvisor Jun 2.

“…The scenery is perfect, we had great weather, we swam and kayaked, had a beach all to ourselves, it was a wonderful finish to our two week holiday in Vietnam.” – Melbourne5 reviewed on TripAdvisor Jul 23.

Halong Bay in Autumn

Autumn is the best season in northern Vietnam, starts from September to October, the temperature falls to a pleasant level of about 27oC on average.  When you travel to Ha Long in early September, be aware that at the early of the month, there might be some small and infrequent storms but the rate of cancellation is relatively small. Toward the end of the autumn the weather becomes more pleasant, the sunshine covers the whole bay with a brilliant and warm glow.

Halong Bay Autumn

During the autumn, all activities are equally enjoyable. The water is warm for swimming, and the sky is clear for photography. Kayaking is the top-notch activity in Ha Long Bay, and you can do it all year round. You will want to get up early for the sunrise and then participate the Tai Chi section.

Usually, the BBQ on the beach during the summertime is hot even the wind blow all day, and occasionally, you have to move because of sudden rain. Nevertheless, the autumn weather wipes out all those harsh factors. You will wish to spend all the meals outdoor instead of on the boat.

Time: from September and October
Average temperature: 27
oC

What to bring

  • Remember to bring your hat, sun cream and sunglasses with you for outdoor activities
  • All prescription and over-the-counter medications and a first-aid kit, insect repellent in a sealable plastic storage bag.
  • For beach days, pack two swimsuits, one beach cover-up or large T-shirt, two rash guards, one baseball hat or wide-brimmed sun hat and flip-flops or waterproof sandals per traveler.
  • Pack a light sweatshirt or sweater for chilly mornings and evenings, and a lightweight nylon jacket if there is a probability of rain in the forecast.

How visitors enjoyed the autumn cruise

“…We had a great time on the Halong Bay on October. The weather wasn’t good. Very windy and raining hard but the boat moves very stable and calm.”Xavier J reviewed on Tripadvisor Oct 11.

“…We’ve been extremely lucky with the weather as we spend or 3 days in a gap between bad weather and then the typhoon (which made us end the cruise 2h earlier on the last day). Basically, we’ve had blue sky during the entire journey and the night before the typhoon, we’ve had an amazing colorful sky (from orange to pink).Adalbert J reviewed on Tripadvisor Sep 16.

“… The scenery is actually unreal. Ha long bay impressed us beyond belief. It was really the highlight of our Vietnam trip. You can’t believe your eyes!”Ricotravels29 reviewed on Tripadvisor Oct 17.

Ha Long Bay in Winter ( November – January)

Some people don’t think winter is a good time for visiting Ha Long Bay; it isn’t wrong. The average temperature during the wintertime is about 18oC; the lowest temperature can be as low as 7oC in some area. However, comparing to the minus temperature in some northern countries, the temperature in Ha Long is quite likable. Surprisingly, winter is peak season for tourists. During this time, the level of rain and humid is low; the sun is no longer as harsh as in summer. Another reason for traveling to Ha Long in winter is a long holiday from Christmas to New Year. During the winter swimming and kayaking are no longer the top enjoyable activities, the BBQ on the beach would be the best activities during this time. After spending time visiting cave, village, you will enjoy a private party, the cool temperature or a little bit cold make it more comfortable to savor delicious grilled food.

Ha Long Bay Winter

Time: from November to January
Average temperature: 18
oC

What to bring

  • All prescription and over-the-counter medications and a first-aid kit, insect repellent in a sealable plastic storage bag.
  • For beach days, pack two swimsuits, one beach cover-up or large T-shirt, two rash guards, one baseball hat or wide-brimmed sun hat and flip-flops or waterproof sandals per traveler.
  • You might want to bring a waterproof bag for your phone or camera.
  • Pack light windbreaker coat and sweater for the cold day.

How visitors enjoyed the winter cruise

“… Being winter the weather was cold and misty but it gave the karst formations a lovely ethereal quality and did not stop us doing all the activities, including kayaking, a beach BBQ and even a dive off the boat into the water,a bit chilly! Matthew D reviewed on Tripadvisor Nov 16.

“…Although we didn’t see sunshine & blue skies, the misty weather just added to the mystical atmosphere of this special place. 1000 ‘karsts’ emerge from the water and surround you as you sail through the bay.” – John W reviewed on TripAdvisor Jan 29.

“…Had a wonderful time on board despite the cold weather and the early fog. Surprisingly, the fog cleared as we went deeper into the water.” – RCRoy21 reviewed on TripAdvisor Jan 14.

Best time to visit Ha Long Bay

The best time to visit Ha Long Bay is after the monsoon season, especially in the Autumn (from September to November) and in the Spring (from March to May). For those months, the temperature is pleasing, and the sky is clear with soft sunshine. Therefore, you will not sweat too much while kayaking and hiking.

Best time visit Ha Long Bay

However, summer might be best for you if you are students when you can take advantage of summer holiday, and you can get some good deals from tour operators for the low season. However, summer is the rainy season with the high frequency of the storm. The infrequent storms come unexpectedly and your trip might be canceled just a day before your trip, you will get the refund, or the company will rearrange your trip. Heavy raining in the bay also makes your trip less enjoyable because you have to spend most of your time on the boat.

The reason why winter is not a good time for you is its misty sky, and it can affect your mood because you expect some hot sunny holiday and end up in a foggy bay. Occasionally, there are days when it is colder, heavy fog that you hardly see what is behind your ship. For that day, you might not allow joining outdoor activities; you should have extra attention and follow the instruction of the crew for your safety.

To sum up the answer for the best time to go to Ha Long question, it is up to you. “As long as you enjoy your trip and you have a lot, a lot of unforgettable memories with you, it is the best time.”

Weather and cruise cancellation

The cruise cancellation frequently happens in July, August, and early September, during monsoon season. The travel agents or tour operator will inform you about the cancellation one day before the trip or on the date of departure. Unlike the common thought that tour operator companies know when the cruises are canceled, the Ha Long Bay authority makes that decision. Some other reasons for cruise cancellation include foggy weather, tropical monsoon, cyclone, and strong wind in the winter.

Halong Bay Weather cruise cancellation

For more information about cruise cancellation and refund policy, please refer to our cancellation policy page.

How to check the weather forecast

Here are some websites allow you to check the weather far in advance:

Halong Bay weather forecast

Besides, the weather forecast apps on your smartphone are handy as well. For Ha Long Bay, in particular, the weather might be the biggest factor affecting your enjoyment of this lifetime experience. Therefore, knowing the weather and be prepared is what you can do to ensure a comfortable holiday.

You are also recommended to check weather condition with cruise operators or travel agents before you go. They should give you the right information and what could be happen when weather is not good.

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