The weather in Halong Bay in May

There is a tendency from tourists to assume that Vietnam is one perennial summer, punctuated by rain but not by any snaps of cold. Days here can be stifling, and nights a sweaty struggle to find the aircon remote in the mass of crumpled bedding. The South in particular deals with higher temperatures and less variety than the North because of its proximity to the equator. However, this is not true of all of the country.

Halong Bay could almost not be further away than Ho Chi Minh City, which flirts quite relentlessly with the sort of danger that living close to the equator can bring. As a result, the Northern weather is a lot more placid, meaning Halong Bay in May is, overall, a great time to go. Here, we look at a breakdown of the May weather in Halong Bay.

May is the best time to experience kayaking on Halong Bay Cruise

1. The temperature in Halong Bay in May

The big question on everyone’s lips when coming to Southeast Asia is; "how many degrees hotter will it be there?" Well, you may be glad to know that the May temperature in Halong Bay hovers around an acceptable 28°C (82°F), meaning trips to the UNESCO World Heritage site won’t be marred by family arguments over the rotation speed of the fan.

This is roughly 5°C hotter than in April and roughly around the same as in June, making the temperature in Halong Bay in May one of the hottest year-round. That being said, it is in no way an oppressive heat, and passengers on its cruises won’t feel the need to shelter inside for most of the trip.

The water offers a much better alternative. The water temperature in Halong Bay is about 27°C (80°F) in May, meaning that entire days can be spent swimming around the beautiful caves and islands with no burning desire (excuse the pun) to get out.

2. Sunshine Hours in Halong Bay in May

The fog that descends on Halong Bay during the winter months creates its ethereal beauty. By the time May comes around, however, this fog is largely gone, replaced with blue skies and a beaming sun for an average of eight hours a day. The bay truly sparkles at this time of the year, and the places to be are either the sundeck or the water around you.

The visibility here at this time is some of the best all year. With no mist around, views from the boat can stretch to the horizon. Some places like Titop Island, Coconut Island, and Me Cung Cave provide Instagram-perfect photo opportunities of junk boats in front of Halong Bay’s amazing limestone cliff scenery.

Sunshine in Ha Long Bay in May

3. Rain in Halong Bay in May

Teetering on the edge of the wet season like an excited child about to cannonball into a waterfall, May in Halong Bay tends to be a little wetter than previous months, but a lot drier than the official summer months of June, July, and August. The difference is slight, resulting in the tail end of the month copping quite a bit more rain than the start.

However, as with most countries that feature a wet season, rains are usually very sudden and dramatic before swiftly moving on. Any rain that does make an appearance tends to be a flash-in-the-pan situation and nothing to be concerned about before booking. You will still have a lot of the day for business as usual in Halong Bay, with maybe just an hour of refuge required from your cabin.

4. Halong Bay in May: Peak-Season vs Off-Season

Again, May likes to straddle the line a bit when it comes to the question of when to travel. Officially, May is the beginning of the off-season, with fewer tourists coming to Vietnam to avoid the deluge of rain. However, this is a small window of opportunity for anyone traveling to Halong Bay in May, as companies tend to offer off-season to compensate for the lack of foreign tourism. Shopping around for the right deal at this time might produce some very attractive results.

It should be noted that while foreign tourism falls, domestic tourism rises. The end of the Vietnamese school year in May brings lots of families to the Northeast of the country, but time is usually a constraint and customers tend to opt mostly for day trip cruises in Halong Bay. Foreign tourists can still grab a good deal on the overnight cruises or the Halong Bay 3-day 2-night tours.

5. Best Cruises in Halong Bay in May

5.1. V'spirit Cruise

V'spirit Cruise is one of the best 3-star cruises in Halong Bay and always offers the best deals. V'spirit Cruise gives you a wide range of experiences such as cave visits, Tai Chi exercises, swimming, squid fishing at night, and kayaking. You will be very pleased with the good services, clean accommodation, and your memories in the legendary Halong Bay with V'spirit Cruise. The cruise is a good choice for solo travelers, a family, a couple, or a business. Contact Incredible Asia Journeys to book this Halong Bay cruise with premium offers and hot deals!

V'spirit Cruise

5.2. Aphrodite Cruise

Launched in 2012, Aphrodite Cruise offers tourists the best 5-star services with 17 cabins in 4 different classes. The Aphrodite Cruise will make your trip to Halong Bay more interesting with many outdoor activities on both a 3-day 2-night cruise and a 2-day 1-night cruise.

Aphrodite Cruise

5.3. Paradise Luxury Cruise

Exactly like its name, Paradise Luxury Cruise is a 5-star luxury cruise offering tourists the best chances to discover the beauty and fresh atmosphere of Halong Bay.  The cruise is fully equipped with modern facilities. Also, you will have a chance to enjoy Vietnamese foods as well as many interesting activities including Tai Chi exercise in the early morning, swimming, and kayaking to discover the hidden beauty of Halong Bay.

Paradise Luxury Cruise's Room

5.4. Jasmine Cruise

Jasmine Cruise (belongs to Heritage Line) provides a comfortable place for your relaxation with good facilities like a bar, pub, jacuzzi, spa... and a variety of watersports. Jasmine Cruise will lead you to discover mysterious caves, floating markets, and beautiful islands in Halong Bay including Sung Sot Cave, Tien Ong Cave, Cua Van Floating Market, and Titop Island.

Jasmine Cruise

5.5. LaFairy Cruise

LaFairy Cruise not only helps you to discover the well-known limestone karsts, caves, and beaches of Halong Bay tours but also takes you to the less accessible areas like Ngoc Trai Area with a sandy beach, and tranquil warm water. The cruise prepares you with yummy Vietnamese dishes and the most comfortable and fully-furnished cabins.

LaFairy Cruise

5.6. Hera Cruise

Hera Cruise is the only 6-star cruise in Halong Bay. With 11 spacious cabins, Hera Cruises gives you the best services and the most interesting and remarkable experiences in the beautiful Halong Bay with 2-day 1-night cruises.

Hera Cruise

6. Halong Bay in May - What to Bring

All those sunshine hours and that high temperature is going to require some serious protection. The sundeck is likely to be a very popular spot on the cruises around Halong Bay in May, so load up on sun cream and get out there as early as possible. 

Light, airy clothes would be the best to pack, as well as both flip-flops and comfortable walking shoes, should you choose to hike up Titop Island or Me Cung Cave for that great view. Swimming suits are another essential as water temperatures are very inviting, and don’t forget sunglasses for the piercing Vietnamese sunshine.

Titop Island

7. What to do in Halong Bay in May

May weather in Halong Bay is often very hot for Vietnamese passengers, but foreign tourists like the differences in temperature from their home country, meaning they’re usually a lot more active on Halong Day boat trips. As mentioned before, Titop Island and Coconut Island offer perfect views of the limestone karst scenery, but passengers will want to get to the water, either in it or on it. Swimming is a pleasantly languid pastime in May and kayaking will require intermittent shade breaks to avoid overheating.

Anyone indeed suffering from the higher temperatures could always spend more time in the cooler caves, or opt for a sampan boat ride from a local as opposed to a self-rowed kayak. Even spending time in the boat is not a bad idea, as fans and aircon are persistent sights on tour boats nowadays.

Kayaking in Ha Long Bay

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