The Best time to Visit Sapa and Halong Bay
Sapa and Halong Bay are two notable travel destinations in North Vietnam and Asia in general. Both of these places are beautiful all year round with distinctive seasonal features. For tourists who want to get the most out of their vacation, this article will help you choose the best time to visit Sapa and Halong Bay.
Sapa is a popular travel spot, especially during crop season when golden rice terraces make a magnificent sight to see. It is the perfect place for nature photographers, often featured in world photography contests as a highlight of Northern Vietnam. Moreover, Sapa is home to the authentic village lifestyle of Vietnamese ethnic people. It is also an unmatched experience, a refreshing and intimate insight into the charm of traditional life as a part of your eye-opening vacation.
Sapa is known as the "City of the mist" by locals for the beautiful scenery hidden behind the shimmering haze
Meanwhile, Halong Bay is appealing in its own way. This destination boasts incredible mountainous scenery and emerald seascape with thousands of limestone islands, hidden caves and lagoons, and calm currents suitable for many water-related activities. There is no doubt that this UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most, if not the most famous attraction in Vietnam, of its world-renowned status.
Halong Bay is unlike any other holiday destination in Vietnam, with limestone mountains that took thousands of years to form
Sapa and Halong Bay are located in Northern Vietnam, making it convenient for travelers to visit both during a long day trip. However, the two destinations slightly differ in temperature and weather conditions. Let's discover the weather features with us below.
Weather in Sapa and Halong Bay
Overall, Sapa and Halong Bay both have four distinct seasons.
Sapa belongs to the subtropical climate, being located high above sea level. Visitors who have come to Sapa will be used to the changing weather each day, often called 'four seasons in a day'. In the morning, there is a drizzle and high humidity compared to the rest of the day. Noon sees sunlight that characterizes the summer season, and the temperature drops lower towards the end of the day.
Like other highlands such as Moc Chau and Cao Bang, Sapa's average temperature is lower than in the cities regardless of the month. The distinctive seasonal condition calls for a unique blooming season of many different types of flowers, so you will be surprised even when visiting Sapa for the second or third time.
For more information, check out the Sapa weather overview
Meanwhile, Halong Bay has a tropical climate. It bears a resemblance to Hanoi weather, so there are certain times when traveling is more pleasant and ideal. Although a cool breeze and greenery surround this site, Halong Bay is still exposed to the heat. Spring in Halong Bay begins in March and ends in May. June marks a rise in rainfall and temperature as it enters summer. September to November is autumn — the peak season for tourists and winter from December to February is when it is the foggiest and mystical.
You might know more about the Halong Bay weather overview
Best Time to Visit Sapa and Halong Bay for Nice Weather
The best time to visit Sapa and Halong Bay for great weather
For those planning a trip with both of these spots in their travel itinerary, Sapa and Halong Bay's weather is the most suitable in early September, the autumn season.
During this time, the rice terrace fields in Sapa are ripe, turning the vast area yellow, combining with green mountain slopes, making it a captivating sight to see. At the same time, Halong Bay welcomes a lot of domestic and foreign tourists to go cruising, kayaking, and other entertainment activities. The pleasant weather condition makes the sunny weather bearable, and the cool breeze in Halong Bay is a welcome relief to previous summer months.
You can also consider March to April, which is rice planting season, and when the various flowers are blooming in Sapa, making it the perfect time to go trekking. Halong Bay welcomes the spring season with a variety of overnight cruises to choose from. North Vietnam in this period is blessed with delightful weather and low domestic tourism.
Discover Halong Bay's beauty with an overnight cruise - the number one traveler's choice
Though, for the independent traveler who wants to visit one of the two spots, it is also essential to choose a great time to travel for favorable weather conditions and the availability of tourism services.
Read on to find out what time of the year you should visit Sapa or Halong Bay.
Best time to visit Halong Bay
The best time to visit Halong Bay in terms of weather is the spring and autumn season. During these two seasons, the weather is pleasant and suitable for almost every Halong Bay activity, from cruising, and kayaking to trekking in the mountains.
Spring season - March to the first half of May
Halong Bay in spring enjoys clear blue skies and calm water currents, surrounded by beautiful natural scenery and lush greenery. Rainfall usually does not increase until May, so this is a great season to take a day excursion around Halong Bay and discover its beauty through sightseeing.
Note: You might want to avoid visiting Halong Bay on Reunification Day (April 30th) and Labor Day (May 1st) as they are public holidays in Vietnam, drawing in a lot of domestic tourists.
Halong Bay attracts many tourists, regardless of the time of the year (Source: Vinh Dao)
Autumn season - September to October
The Autumn season is the ideal time for couples, small families, and international tourists in general. Autumn brings about a romantic atmosphere in Northern Vietnam without a freezing breeze. Similar to the spring season, the autumn temperature is excellent, with glorious sunshine that makes any activity possible. There is a low chance of rain during the two months, and tourists almost do not have to worry about unexpected bad weather.
Keep in mind that perfect weather attracts a lot of international tourists during this time, so you might not find the best Halong Bay cruise and flight deals.
Read more about Halong Bay Weather & Temperature: Ultimate Guide
Best time to visit Sapa
Spring Season - April and May
April and May is a great time to visit Sapa as it enjoys a warm and fresh springtime with glorious sunshine and dry weather. Though tourists do not get the chance to see ripe terraces in their glory, the blooming season in Sapa is rewarding for flower lovers. The magnificent sights of Sapa flowers painting the valleys and hills with various colors that are easy on the eye can leave anyone captivated. Travelers should not miss admiring peach blossom flowers at this time of the year.
Aside from rice paddy fields, different kinds of flowers bloom in Sapa throughout the year. Source: AoshiVn
Rice Terraces Season - August and September
Ripening rice makes September the best month to visit Sapa. When the autumn season approaches, there is prosperity with mesmerizing green-yellow terrace fields ready to harvest and an incredible mountainside landscape. The paddy fields are a breathtaking sight to see at least once in your lifetime.
Sapa temperatures from mid-August to early September hover at around 23 to 25 degrees Celsius with little rainfall. At night, the weather might get cooler, and tourists are advised to bring a jacket while traveling during this time. Regardless, the two months are great for any sightseeing activity, such as trekking in the mountains and exploring the local villages blooming with ethnic life.
Sapa's extraordinary natural beauty is rewarding even for the pickiest tourist
Local Tips to Visit Halong and Sapa
Though summer is the time for vacation, it is a low international tourist season in Halong and Sapa. This period lasts from May to the end of August in Vietnam. During this time, the weather is sunny, and visitors are exposed to excessive sunshine, which can be harmful. On less sunny days, the areas, especially Halong, might come across unexpected downpours. For that reason, Halong Bay cruises are subject to cancellation, along with other plans.
As mentioned above, May to August is when the rice in Sapa is not fully ripe, so not a lot of tourists choose this time to visit the destination. Terrace fields are often the reason that Sapa is attractive to visitors from all over the world, so you will be rewarded with a much more beautiful sight if you come back another time. However, the positive side is that the prices are more reasonable - from the accommodation, and restaurants to service costs. Many agencies and companies will offer discounts of up to 40 percent that are great for budget travelers. Additionally, lesser crowds mean that you get a better opportunity to see the attractions.
Note: You might want to avoid the weekends when traveling to Sapa and Halong Bay at any time of the year, as Vietnamese people flock to these destinations for a weekend getaway not far from big cities. There is often an additional surcharge for Saturdays and Sundays as well.
All in all, we hope this article has provided information for you to consider the best time to visit Sapa and Halong Bay. With more than ten years of experience and five years awarded “Traveller Choice” of TripAdvisor, tourists definitely should mark BestPrice Travel as the top priority travel agent with no hesitation. We are happy to accommodate you with any questions regarding booking plane tickets, hotels, and Halong Bay - Sapa tour packages.
For those who want to discover, here is the Best Hanoi Sapa Halong Bay Vietnam Itinerary 6 days
(Image source: Internet)