As a year-round tourist attraction, Halong Bay is favorited by international tourists in almost every time period of the year. Some prefer to travel in chilling season as the Bay is less crowded and present a unique beauty different from summer.
Although being a tropical country, Northern Vietnam surprisingly has 4 seasons a year, in which winter may get extremely cold. Mountainous city like Sapa might saw snow and freeze in a couple of weeks. If you plan to travel to Halong Bay from December to March, be prepared to dip in the cold weather and pack your clothes smartly to have a comfortable and warm trip in the bay.
1. Must-bring to Halong Bay
For footwear, you will need at least 1 pair of sneakers and 1 pair of flip flops. Sneakers are the best accompany when it comes to sport activities like kayaking in Vung Vieng area, biking in Cat Ba Island, or visiting caves. Meanwhile, the flip flops keep you comfortable in daily routine on the cruise. You wouldn’t want to put on sneakers every time when you’re relaxing on the cruise sundeck or a beach, or just go around for meals and drink in the corridor.
Although the weather can be a little chill, it is common that a tropical winter can’t be compared with those in temperate countries. Many Western tourists still find it possible to dip into the emerald water of Halong Bay in cold weather. Bring your swimsuit! That’s a must! You will regret not swimming in one of the most beautiful bay in the world.
2. Packing light for the winter
A trip to Halong Bay usually lasts only for 2 or 3 days, therefore, even when you have to dress warmer for the winter, don’t over pack! Bring some basic items that can be used for various purposes is the secret for packing light in winter.
You will need a lightweight jacket that is often easy to match with other clothes. The jacket does not only keep you warm, but also keep you dry when it rains and humid, which is a common in Vietnam winter. A nice sweater will also be needed, especially at night when the atmosphere gets chiller, especially outdoor. Don’t skip evening activities because you’re not dressed warm enough. When will you get the opportunity to go squid fishing or relaxing on cruise sundeck again? On top of that, a scarf would be strongly recommend since it’s multi-functional, it either keeps you away from cold or be a cute accessory to your outfit.
Vietnamese winter is humid when it rains, but most of the time the weather is dry. Bring a mini pack of moisture cream and body lotion to prevent dry skin. And don’t forget to drink water often to keep yourself away from being dehydrated.
3. Don’t forget your long-term trip
Most of the time, travelers stop off in Halong Bay for only 2-3 days during their long trip in Vietnam or even around South East Asia. Be aware that most areas in this region are still in sunny weather. Don’t focus too much on packing for winter as you may regret bringing a lot of unnecessary stuffs while dragging your suitcase along through the countries. Pack some summer clothes too, and bring just enough to have a fashionable and light trip regardless of weather.
I would recommend a couple of basic T-shirts that go well with almost everything, some shorts, sweat pants for comfortable travelling would be a smart choice for a long trip through different regions. Yet don’t forget to style yourself with some fancy accessories such as sunglasses, bracelets, colorful scarf,… just to have a brand new look every day. Take just enough bulk of clothes because you wouldn’t want to drag an oversized suitcase along every time.