Halong Bay- Natural World Heritage is one of Vietnam’s major attractions. Visiting Halong’s thousands of cliff islands is a must for any visitor to Vietnam. But when is the best time to go to Halong Bay? Sometimes it is complex to answer. It depends on your preference: best time according to weather, tourist season or best time to get the best deal for the trip…
Best time to travel in Halong according to weather
Halong Bay is located in the north of Vietnam where has 4 different seasons: spring, summer, autumn and winter. Temperature as well as the scenery change following each season.
Each season, each month in Halong Bay has its own advantage or disadvantage.
- January – February (spring): It is cold and foggy in January – February in Halong with low visibility.
- March – April: during this period, the weather in Halong is pleasant, delightful with clear and blue sky, sometimes it rains lightly so it is considered as the best time to visit.
- May (summer): May is early summer so temperature rises a bit but not so high and sometimes have light rain.
- June – August (summer): summer in the north of Vietnam. It is sunny and extremely hot. There is high chance of unpredictable typhoon. August is the hottest month of the year. You will need to bring sunglasses, sun screen, insect repellent, swim-suit, flip-flops/waterproof sandals, and a light sweatshirt/sweater for chilly mornings and evenings.
- September – October (autumn and winter): clear sky, gentle wind and temperature is moderate – the most beautiful weather of the year. It is the best time to visit Halong. Domestic tourist season is over.
- November – December (winter): in winter, the weather is cold, dry and cloudy but still possible to see lovely sunny and clear sky. You need to bring warm clothing and waterproof jacket because it may rain.
So, from March till May or September, October are definitely the best time to visit Halong if you would like to travel with fine weather. Not so hot, not so cold and no crowded. Activities in Halong are doing outdoor so it is ideal if travelling with dry climate and pleasant temperature.
However, travelling in winter is not so bad choice. Winter is a bit uncomfortable to travel in Halong. Cold, heavy fog, icy rain falls all day but for someone, it may be the best time because Halong looks more like a dreamy, fanciful land. In fact, activities in Halong such as kayaking, climbing or swimming are not much effected by winter’s cold weather.
Best time to get the best deal for travelling in Halong
The answer is from May to September. Many cruises offer great discounts, may be 15-20% lower than the one in high season. You are a budget traveler, it is time for you, especially May. In May, summer is just beginning and it is the low season of international travelers to Vietnam while season for domestic travelers has not started. It is reason why you have many chance to get a great deal on cruise.
However there is disadvantage when you travel on this period because from June to early September, there is a high volume of domestic tourists because of summer vacation of Vietnamese; tourist spots are crammed with people, especially beaches like Halong. So travelling in these months is not comfortable. Besides that, summer in the north of Vietnam is extremely hot. Shower and typhoon are frequent. Your itinerary may change due to the weather condition.
Visit Halong according to the tourist season/ festival season
Low season for international travelers is from May to September, high season from October to April. And Tet holiday (usually in Jan or February) is very peak period.
In low season, you have chance to get discounts for travelling service but in high season price is increased, especially in Tet holiday.
And you should avoid national holiday such as Labour day (1 May), Liberation Day (30 April), Independence Day (2 Sep) because surcharge fee will be applied.
If you wish to join festival in Halong, you should have plan to travel in April and May.
Halong Carnival happens in the last week of April or the first week of May. Colorful costumes, sounds, music, fireworks displays are featured for Halong city at this time. This is chance for you to explore one of the most special display of local cultures and traditions.
– Yen Tu festival: happens on January 10 to the end of March in lunar year. Yen Tu pagoda is located on a high mountain. The complex is considered as the center of Buddhism during feudal period and the origin of the Truc Lam Zen.
– Tra Co festival: Tra Co festival happens from 30 May to 6 June. Tra Co beach attracts many visitors because of its beauty. You have chance to either enjoy festival or visit Tra Co Communal house which was built 600 years ago by Tra Co people to worship gods and Heros of the ancient village.
Which month/ season is the best to visit Halong is really depending on you. One person’s best time can be another’s worst.
The best time to travel is when you have a lot of fun, a lot of unforgettable memories and you have the best moment to enjoy your trip.