The different charm of Halong Bay in winter and summer

While Halong Bay is often known by its sunny and sparkling image of a summer destination, the scenery of this UNESCO World Heritage Site in winter contains a totally different charm that stole the heart of many tourists around the world. This is the reason why Halong Bay attracts tourists year-round, no matter what season and weather it is.

Halong Bay in summerWhen researching to plan a Halong Bay trip, it is common that you are advised to travel in warm season to relish the scenery to the fullest. Halong Bay sparkles in the summer, with an intimate view of lush greenery and an ethereal yet unique charm created by nature. The destination will bring you such a typical summer vacation: sunshine, sea, sandy beach, cocktail on sundeck, tanning under the sun. But Halong Bay wouldn’t allow you to be that lazy. It’s summer time, it’s time for sport! Go out of the cruise for a kayak tour on water, or prepare yourself to be an explorer for a biking in Cat Ba Island. While enjoying the scene, sunbathing on a cruise’s sundeck and swimming in the water is something you will not want to miss. The World Heritage presents its most stunning view to you, which provides such a sweet escape from the winter on the other side of the Earth at the same time.

Sometimes it rains in the summer, but don’t worry because it usually doesn’t last long. After 15 minutes, weather will give you back the sun and the fun.

Bhaya Classic Cruises in Halong BayMeanwhile, other travelers who are seeking a more unique experience in Vietnam might find it interesting to visit the Bay in winter. Most of the time, the extreme heat and humidity of Vietnam North in the summer tire out Western tourists on their visit to Halong Bay as they are often exposed to the sun and do a lot of physical activities. Winter may provide a totally different experience as the chilling weather keep you away from sweat and sticky clothes. Most Western tourists find it more comfortable traveling in winter.

Worry about the gloomy sea may let you down? You will have to change your mind when floating on a lightly foggy sea among enormous limestone and karsts, which gives off a fairytale-like feeling. Halong Bay turns into a mystical princess once the winter comes. “It feels like being lost in the enormousness of nature, which put you in another world separated from your daily life. Such a breath-taking experience!” – said one tourist, who just finished his cocktail on the cruise’s sundeck.

Even in winter, never leave Halong without immersing yourself on a luxury cruises. The legendary sunset and sunrise of the bay is covered in a mystery background that proves why it ranks among the top destination in Asia. Usually, the Bay is less crowded in this season. You will have the nature for yourself (well, other tourists on your cruise as well), revel in it, and live it to the fullest.

Bhaya Classic Cruises sundeck in Halong BayIf you’re visiting Halong in winter, don’t ever miss some trademark activity of the area like kayaking and biking in Cat Ba Island. Remember to bring some extra warm clothes as the weather outside will get chill and moisture cream to fight against the dryness. Kayaking in Halong Bay is safe in general, but you should still take double cautious in foggy weather and ensure to have all the safety equipment with you.

Another pleasure you may only find in winter is to enjoy a cup of hot coffee or tea on the cruise’s sundeck. Let the flow warm you up inside in a relaxing afternoon after a long day of exciting activities on water.

If you are planning a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Halong Bay in winter after reading this entry, I’m glad you have made the right decision. There are 2 months left until the summer heat visits the water of Halong Bay. Don’t waste your time!


A trip to Halong Bay can be done in one day. However, many Halong Bay cruises are available, offering several different kinds of activities (exploring islands, visiting floating fishing villages, discovering grottoes, kayaking…), and it definitely requires more than one day to get the whole experience.

To go on Halong tours, the drive takes about 4 hours from Hanoi (depending on your driver!). Most travel agencies will offer 1-day Halong Bay tours, but it is highlyrecommended that you stay longer to truly enjoy the experience.

Many hotels can get pretty good deals to go on Halong cruise tours, so don’t hesitate to ask them directly!

Here is a list of the 5 best Hotels in Halong Bay, according to trip advisors’ reviews.

1 – Novotel Halong Bay

80% of the reviewers found the Hotel Very Good or Excellent. Location is said to be good as the beach is very near with beautiful views from the windows.

Novotel Halong Hotel

Novotel Halong Hotel

2 – Royal Lotus Hotel Halong

74% ranked the hotel as Very Good or Excellent. A great rooftop bar and spa are available!

Royal Lotus Halong hotel

Royal Lotus Halong hotel

3 – Halong Paradise Suites Hotel

100% of Excellent reviews (only 5). This hotel is located on the beautiful Tuan Chau Island…

Halong Paradises Suites Hotel

Halong Paradises Suites Hotel

4 – Halong Plaza Hotel

66%. Breakfast and dinner are“must-taste” according to some reviews.

Halong Plaza Hotel

Halong Plaza Hotel

5 – Royal International Hotel & Villas

57%. Reviewers noted the spacious and clean rooms.

Royal Halong Hotel

Royal Halong Hotel

For people affected by seasickness, you should travel to Halong bay anyway, and try to go onboard the Halong Bay junks if possible.