There is no right or wrong time to travel to Halong Bay as it depends on the experience you expect to get. The beauty of Halong varies in seasons, yet it can still easily leave you in awe.
Similar to other tourist attractions in Northeast Vietnam, Halong Bay experiences distinct winter and summer seasons. The cool but mostly dry winter lasts from November to April with the average temperature of 17-22°C. The coldest months are between January and March when it is too freezing to swim with the coldest months being January – March.
Between May and October can be called summer in Halong Bay when it is hot and humid and the region experiences its highest volume of rain. There might expect to be some severe weather conditions, which would prevent sailing and kayaking.
The detailed weather conditions of each period in Halong Bay are as follows:
January – March
Tet Holiday in the first lunar month
These are the driest months in a year in the North in general and Halong Bay in particular. Whilst you can expect plenty of sunshine and clear blue skies, the temperature will remain quite cool with the average temperature of 18 °C. Regardless of the light spring drizzle sometimes, rainfall is at its lowest between January and March although a misty haze is not unusual here. Spring is the festival time in Vietnam, thus additional to having an enjoyable Halong Bay Cruise trip, tourists will also be able to get a deeper approach to Vietnamese culture by attending some significant events like Tet Holiday (Lunar New Year), Yen Tu Festival, and Cua Ong Temple Festival.
April – May
April comes, the North heads towards the hot, wet summer season. Temperature is rising along with the chance of rain although dry days are still prevalent, with the average temperature of 29°C. The not-too-hot and humid weather and little chances of storms make this period a relatively good time to travel to Halong Bay.
Especially, between late April and early May is when Halong Bay Carnival takes place. It is a big and fascinating cultural and entertaining event that tourists should not miss when taking Halong Bay tours.
June – September
Summer is the perfect time for kayaking
Halong Bay is firmly in the middle of its summer between June and July, meaning you might expect a lot of sunshine and clear skies, which are just perfect for swimming and kayaking. It remains hot yet Halong Bay is prone to heavy showers at this time of year, as well as at times storms. The temperature starts to drop a little and there is less rainfall toward the end of September.
October – December
Halong Bay is at its best between October and December
It is when the number of travelers booking a Halong Bay cruise reaches its peak. The temperature continues to drop, as does the rainfall. The weather is extraordinarily pleasant: it is cool, dry, and the visibility is high, too. With such this perfect condition, between late October and early December is considered the best time to visit Halong Bay. Toward the end of December is Christmas and New Year’s Eve, when there will be fascinating events and parties on cruises for visitors to enjoy.