Quiet Season in Halong Bay

Quiet Season in Halong Bay

For many passengers, Halong Bay is all about its contemplative atmosphere. The entire seascape contains a serene aura through isolated limestone spires, placid jade-colour waters and empty beaches where golden sand stretches uninhabited for miles. Well, that’s really only the Halong Bay scene for a few months in the year; the rest is partially characterised by its crowds of tourists and queues for attractions. The quiet season in Halong Bay is one much preferred by many passengers as it means a meditative experience free of human distractions, even if it also means a big compromise in weather conditions. At the Escape Sails blog, we like the quiet season and the uninhibited beauty that goes with it; so we’re here to answer the question, ‘when is the quiet season in Halong Bay?’

The Quietest Season in Halong Bay – May and June

Two of the most attractive months in the West comprise two of the most haphazard in Vietnam. May and June are regularly the months with the fewest visitors to Halong Bay.


Well, strangely enough, if its true peace that you’re after in Halong Bay, you might find it in the middle of a rainstorm. May and June are not quite the wettest seasons in Halong Bay, but they certainly like to throw down, and pretty hard as well. May is the start of the wet season in northern Vietnam and duly sees about triple the amount of rain than the previous month, with the risk of tropical typhoons increased because of the sharp increase in temperature. This all adds up to a hotter, wetter, but crucially, quieter season in Halong Bay, where the weather can lash down at any given moment. If this doesn’t sound like the peace that you are looking for, bear in mind that such tumultuous weather often departs as quickly as it begins, leaving you to enjoy pleasant weather with a hint of blue sky for most of your trip. 

In addition to the weather, May and June comprise the low season in Halong Bay because of their timing. Summer holidays have not yet begun in the West, meaning that most families remain at home until they are over, giving free range to those contemplative passengers who just want to unwind on a wooden deck with a book. 

The Quieter Season in Halong Bay – July and August

It is the eternal lament of Western parents, with a few weeks of summer holidays to enjoy with their kids, that their trip to Halong Bay is marred with extreme weather conditions. July and August are the second quietest months in Halong Bay.


Mainly because July and August coincide with the heart of the wet season, which unleashes all of its torrents over northern Vietnam before calming down in September. The threat of monsoons and typhoons can cancel trips, but the vast majority go ahead throughout July and August, as beautiful weather is no rarity during this time. Like in May and June, rain in July and August creates the perfect excuse to retire to your cabin and listen to the magical soundtrack of the sea rippling with rainwater, all while cruising beneath a canopy of green trees hanging off sodden limestone rocks. Rainstorms bring the temperature crashing down and are capable, in an instant, of turning a blistering 30°C (86°F) into a placid 24°C (75°F), which usually lasts for a few hours following the storm.

With the summer holidays beginning in mid-July for most Western parents, as well as some Asian parents in countries like Japan and India, foreign tourism to Halong bay sees a small improvement compared to the two months prior. The off-peak season in Halong Bay officially lasts from May to September, but can be more accurately segmented into when the kids are still in school and when they are out.

Why go to Halong Bay in the Quiet Season?

Of course, Halong Bay’s low season is not for everyone, but there are plenty of reasons as to why potential passengers might prefer a cruise during this time of the year.

The Peace – It’s an undeniable fact that worse weather attracts fewer tourists. More withdrawn and reserved passengers can find a host of enticing pulls during Halong Bay’s off-peak season, all stemming from the fact that there are fewer people on board and at attractions. The bay usually feels more open, especially if cruising around its neighbour to the south, Lan Ha Bay, where hours can go past without view of another cruise ship.

Boat Safety – Passengers can take comfort in the fact that no matter how bad the weather gets, cruise ships are always capable of dealing with adverse conditions. Safety features of cruise ships have vastly improved in recent years, with fire extinguishers, life jackets and life buoys abounding around steel-hulled ships. If the weather looks too dangerous beforehand, cruises will cancel their ships at the command of the Halong Bay authorities.

Cheaper Prices – As you might expect from the quiet season in Halong Bay, cruise companies offer a discount for customers looking to book into a quiet cabin for one or two nights. Anywhere between 10% and 20% off the full price can be expected during the annual dip in demand, with some companies ready to slash prices further to fill up on otherwise wasted cabin space.

Unique Experience – Halong Bay is not an attraction just for the activity or the weather. Much of its appeal, all for some people, is in the quiet and secluded atmosphere that it so effectively gives off during its low season. May to the end of August is the most relaxing time in Halong Bay, characterised by experiences that many others don’t get by opting for the peak season: reading a book to the soft sound of rainfall, watching limestone mountains emerging from the mist as you cruise or listening to a tropical rainstorm outside from the safety and beauty of a cave.

The Escape Sails offers luxury day tour from Hanoi to Halong Bay throughout any month. Our quieter route through Lan Ha Bay gives you many of the benefits of the quiet season while still retaining a gorgeous air of isolation at any time of the year.