Halong Bay Weather in October and November

Comprising the autumn in Halong Bay, October and November feature very similar weather behavior before the cold mist of winter rolls in across the limestone peaks. Between the searing heat of August and the mild cold of December, Halong Bay weather in October and November is often considered one of the best times to go in the year, with an amiable harmony found between the temperature, rainfall, and sunshine hours over this period. Here’s our breakdown of Halong Bay’s weather in October and November.

Overview of Halong Bay

1. Temperature

As the last of the summer monsoons washes away the heat and humidity, Halong Bay breathes again. Average temperatures fall from around 30°C to 25°C (76°F) in the October transition period and again to about 22° (72°F) in November, offering ideal sailing temperatures and island excursions that aren’t uncomfortably sticky. The lowest temperature that November drops to is a pretty tranquil 18°C (65°F), meaning nights out on the deck can still go on indefinitely.

Sea temperatures remain at around 26 to 28°C (78-82°F), which is not dissimilar from the same temperatures during summer. Halong Bay’s autumn weather provides ideal conditions for swimming and many people like to take advantage, meaning areas of swimming such as Cua Van Fishing Village and Titop Island can get a bit crowded in the water.

2. Sunshine Hours

A sunny day is great for kayaking in Halong Bay

As long as you avoid the cold and misty winter, sunshine hours remain at about 6 or 7 per day throughout autumn in Halong Bay. The sun takes its first tentative steps out from behind the cloud during September and is usually fully out, loud, and proud by October. Towards the end of November, the sun regains its shyness and ducks behind a two-month cover of cloud, so you should really soak up the autumn rays while you can.

Obviously, this will be the view of most other people on your cruise, leaving sundeck space at a bit of a premium; make sure you get out there early in the day and get back quickly after excursions. Incredible Asia Journeys suggests you join activities like kayaking can be especially pleasant in this kind of weather, so take your time on these and appreciate the long, dramatic mountain shadows cast across the bay by the enthusiastic sun.

3. Rainfall

Fruit boat in Halong Bay

As the transition between April and May sees almost double the rainfall, the precipitation is more than halved in the transition from September to October, giving you much more time outside to enjoy the delights of Halong Bay. From 258mm in September to 102mm the following month and onto 72mm after that, the Halong Bay weather in October and November is preparing itself for the dryness of winter.

While this is much better, it still pales in comparison to the 22mm trickle that teases Halong Bay in January. Rainy days are still a threat if you are unlucky, but refuge can always be sought in your cabin or even in a cave for the few hours that the clouds take over.

4. Peak Season vs Off-Season

With so many pros to traveling to Halong Bay in October and November, it would be a miracle if there were no cons. Unfortunately, though, there are. Peak season is in full flow across Halong Bay during October and November, meaning prices are jacked up and destinations are not as serene as they could be. Tour operators raise prices by about 10-20% after September to deal with the rise in demand. At this price, cruises still sell out fast, so if you’re the impulsive sort of person who likes to book big things the day before leaving, you might want to change your strategy.

Halong Bay has a unique atmosphere year-round, but it’s sometimes harder to feel it amongst the rush of people and tour boats during October and November. Trips to caves can feel a little claustrophobic at times, and relaxing on one of the beaches feels a lot harder when you’re sharing it with a hundred other tourists, but excursions can be skipped if you feel like you’re not going to enjoy it, then you can have the entire sundeck to yourself.

5. What to bring

The pretty drastic change in weather between summer and autumn can catch a lot of people out when they come to Halong Bay in October or November; bringing a few simple items can make a world of difference.

Things to bring when visiting Halong Bay

5.1. Safety

- Sun cream should be in every standard travel bag for Halong Bay year-round and it is especially important during these sunny months.

- Mosquito repellent for those persistent mozzies who are hanging around at the end of the humid summer.

5.2. Clothes

- Predominantly light and airy clothes would be best, but for those November nights that drop to around 17°C (63°F) on the deck, a thin coat would be a welcome addition.

- Walking shoes for the caves would certainly help, but flip-flops are the most relaxing and heat-appropriate footwear to wear for most of the time.

5.3. Essentials

- It’s likely that you’re going to be wanting to take pictures of Halong Bay in all of its glorious sunshine, so make sure to bring a camera.

- With all the lounging on the sundeck, you’re going to want to bring enough spare cash for cocktails and beers at the regular sunset parties held on cruises.

6. What to do in Halong Bay in October and November

While beach visits might be called off during winter, and kayaking during the torrential rain of the summer, there are no restrictions on the activities you can do during the year's later months. Here are some best Halong Bay tours with a lot of interesting outdoor activities: Halong Bay Day Trip, Halong Bay 1 night cruise, Halong Bay Tour 3 days 2 nights.

6.1. The Beach

Visits to Titop Island may become a bit more cramped but some beaches remain quiet all year round. If you can find a cruise that goes to the beaches at Van Boi or Soi Sim, you should be able to enjoy the weather in some peace.

6.2. Kayaking

The fishing villages are some of the most popular places to kayak, but narrower areas like Luon Cave and Thien Canh Son should be able to provide a bit of shade for when the paddling gets too much.

Kayaking in Halong Bay

6.3. Swimming

The water reaches the perfect temperature in the Halong Bay autumn so many cruises feature longer swimming hours. This can be done in the open water or around some of the beached islands.

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