Best Time To Visit Northern Vietnam


From countless street food stalls, millions of rushing motorbikes and French-colonial buildings to high mountainous regions, overlapping paddy fields, and amazing landscapes, Northern Vietnam is surely one of the country’s top destinations in terms of tourism and cultural immersion. Places such as Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, Sapa, Tam Dao and Dien Bien Phu are just some of the cities you may want to see here.


Tam Dao – National Park

So when exactly is the best time to visit Northern Vietnam?


The Traditional Highlands: Sa Pa

Generally, the best time to visit this region is from October to December (Autumn-Early Winter Season). This season is the golden time for the region as the sky is clear and the wind is gentle. The temperature between these seasons usually plays around 20 degrees on average. And as December approaches, the temperature drops rapidly for the start of winter.


Ha Long Bay

Managing your time well while travelling across the northern region during this season shouldn’t be that hard as the touristy season ends in August. Booking trips from one place to another should be easier as well as there are only a few people traveling at this time of the year.


A trip to The Floating Villages of Halong Bay

Ha Long Bay is one of Vietnam’s most prized destinations in the country. Since 1994, it has been recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and has been voted as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature just last November 11, 2011 in Zurich, Switzerland.

This popular tourist destination is also home of the ancient Vietnamese people living above the water on floating houses. These people have been here for hundreds of years and have been surviving mainly from fishing and aquaculture.

Experiencing bamboo boat to discover local floating village

Experiencing bamboo boat to discover local floating village

There are four major floating villages in the area: Cua Van, Ba Hang, Cong Tau, and Vong Vieng in Hung Thang Commune, Ha Long City. Cua Van is the largest among the four villages, with about 185 households in total. On the other hand, Vong Vieng is the less crowded and less touristy one.

Both villages can be visited by tourists by joining any major Ha Long Bay Cruises in the area. Each cruise will give its guests some opportunities to visit these villages either by rowing boats or by kayaking. Tourists who are visiting the villages will have a bigger picture of how the people live and survive in such small and secluded communities. Some may even have a chance to participate in village events and celebrations depending on the season.

Paying a visit to the floating fishing villages is definitely one of the Ha Long Bay Tours that everybody should do once they get the opportunity. It will help not only the villagers who live in the area, but also the preservation and protection of Ha Long Bay and its surroundings.

See more information about Halong Cruises at:


On a trip to Halong Bay, one of the most popular activity is the visit of a floating village. It’s a “must see” on any Halong Bay junks. That is why most of the Halong tour operators will include this visit in their package.

Vung Vieng Floating Village

Vung Vieng Floating Village

There are 4 villages accessible on a Halong Bay cruise, gathering a total population of around 250 residents, with nearly 30% of children. Fishing is their main source of income, men goes to the mainland to sell the big catches while keeping the little ones, to feed them until they get bigger and sell them later on.

School in Vung Vieng Village

School in Vung Vieng Village

The visit of the village is organized on a sampan, driven by a woman as men are fishing. This very charming tour to Halong Bay usually includes the visit of the local school and the community floating home. Tourists are welcome to bring some scholar furniture and will definitely a very warm smile in return.

Don’t forget to tip your driver as well, and try out to drive the basket boat yourself, it is way more difficult than it seems and will be great fun for your partners. Halong Bay cruises actually became an important source of income as well.

Villagers in Vung Vieng Fishing Village

Villagers in Vung Vieng Fishing Village

Unfortunately, those villages tend to disappear as the local authority wants to relocate them on the land, to ensure their security during the violent summer storms, and also to limit their rapid expansion and the environment risk linked to it.

According to travelers’ opinion, meeting the local population of these villages is one of the best moments of their travel to Halong Bay during their cruise tour.