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When to cruise Halong Bay

Halong-Bay

One of the questions I hear the most when people are inquiring about an adventure to Vietnam and more specifically Halong Bay, is "When is the best time to go?" You can really go anytime but each have their own charms and downsides. It really depends on what you are looking for in a Halong Bay cruise. 

Located just over a hundred miles from Hanoi in Northern Vietnam, Halong Bay has four seasons with its own weather patterns, while the rest of the Vietnam really only has two season (rainy and dry seasons). 

Halong Bay Weather by Season

Spring March, April, May

Overall: Warm, clear skies

Details:

  • Spring temperatures average around 74F (23C), with March having some of the coolest temperatures at 68F (20C), and May some of the highest at 82F (28C).
  • March and April are generally very dry with infrequent rains, while May often marks the start of summer storms.
  • Each month brings approximately 8 hours of daily sunshine, which is the highest levels of the year.
  • Expect a moderate amount of humidity in these spring months, with averages of 75-80% and increasing as the summer months draw near.

Pro-tip:

  • The spring months are perhaps the best times to visit Halong Bay, because you avoid the peak season, but the weather is still pretty good and there's tons to see and do. Below is a video from my recent trip to Ha Long Bay in April - a good example of spring weather.

Summer June, July, August

Overall: Hot, humid, frequent storms

Details:

  • Average summer temperatures are 88F (31C) with high sometimes spiking into the high 90Fs (35C).
  • This is considered to be rainy season in Ha Long Bay, as these three months account for 80-85% of Halong's entire annual rainfall. August tends to be the wettest month, with an average of 14-16 days.
  • The summer months bring an average of 7 hours of full sunlight each day (August is the lowest of the year at 6 hours).
  • Due to the stormy weather and frequent rains, the summer months are the most humid of the year with highs of 90%.

Pro-tip:

  • If you don't mind the hot weather, the summer months are a great time to visit as they are considered to be 'green/low season', although there is an increased possibilities of storms in the summer months. 

AutumnSeptember, October, November

Overall: Warm, dwindling sporadic storms

Details:

  • Temperature averages in the high 70Fs (25C), with September is the warmest at 82F (28C) and November the coolest at 72F (22C).
  • Rain starts to dry up as the summer season moves on. Although September can still be quite shower-prone, October and November are considerably drier.
  • A seasonal average of 7.25 hours of sunlight each day. November is the highest with a 8 full hours.
  • Humidity levels drop significantly as you move away from summer and shift into winter mode, averaging around 75%.
Pro-tip:
  • This time marks end of low season (Oct) and the lead up to high season (December)
  • Squid fishing season in Halong Bay runs from April until December, so some of the the biggest catches usually come between September and December. You'll have the chance to get in on the action with one of the squid fishing workshops in the evenings on the boat.

Winter December, January, February

Overall: Cooler than rest of the year, but still relatively warm, with clear skies

Details:

  • Temperatures average around 64-65F (18C), with the warmest month being December at 66F (19C) degrees and the coolest in January at 63F (17C).
  • The winter months tend to be the driest months of the year, which is one of the main reasons it is considered to be "high season".
  • Average of 7.3 hours of sunlight, with December at the highest at 8 full hours.
  • Humidity levels are at their lowest in the winter months thanks to the infrequent rains and plentiful sunshine. Averages linger from 65-70%.

Pro-tip:

  • Halong Bay's peak season falls in December and January, mostly due to the favorable Halong Bay weather at this time of year.
  • January is the best time of the year to enjoy swimming in Halong Bay thanks to the high average sea temperatures (84F/29C).

Are you ready to go? Any questions? Give me a call at 800-345-4453 or check out our trips to the Vietnam!

Keeping it wild,

Laura Cahill

The Best Experiences in Vietnam | Saigon by Scoote...
Dining Out in Lima: Maido

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