Winter is a really good time to visit Halong Bay. From December through to late February every year, the temperatures drop to around 16 – 18ºC. The bay is calmer, quieter than in the summer and little windy, travelers can expect excellent conditions for cruising. However, sometimes, the temperature may drop dramatically which make the bay extremely cold. Mountainous areas like Sapa, there might be light snow in few days. If you plan to travel to Halong Bay from December to February, then you should read this article for some useful tips for packing you may want to pick up.
1. Pack lightly and essentially
A trip to Halong Bay usually lasts only for 2 or 3 days, therefore, even when you have to dress warmer for the winter, don’t over pack! Bring some basic items that can be used for various purposes is the secret for packing in winter.
You will need at least one pair of sneakers and 1 pair of flip flops. Sneakers are the best when it comes to sport activities like kayaking, hiking or visiting caves… Meanwhile, the flip flop would keep you comfortable in daily routine on the cruise. You wouldn’t want to put on sneakers even when you’re relaxing on the cruise sundeck or at the beach. Some cruises also have slippers inside the cabins but we suggest that you should be well prepared.
Winter in Vietnam is not just cold but also very dry. So moisturizing cream and lip balm are also indispensable, just like sunscreen in the summer. One more thing to prevent dry skin during winter: water. Drink lots of water to keep you from being dehydrated.
A light jacket for windy days in Halong. The jacket does not only keep you warm, but it also keeps you dry during rainy days. Don’t forget, almost every cruises offer evening activities. Don’t let the cold get you down! A lovely sweater is the perfect answer to keep you toasty during those activities. On top of that, a scarf would be strongly recommend since it’s multi-functional, it either keeps you away from cold or be a cute accessory to your outfit.
Although the weather can be a little chill, a tropical winter can’t be compared with those in temperate countries. In winter, there are still some days in Halong bay, the sun shines brilliantly, the temperature may rise above 20°C. You will regret not swimming in one of the most beautiful bay in the world during those days. So remember to bring you swimsuit, you’ll never know when such opportunities comes.
2. Pack not just for Halong trip
For most western travelers, Halong bay is only one of many destinations in their long trip. Please note that if you are planning to also visit Southern Vietnam or other neighbor country like: Laos, Cambodia …, most areas in this region are still in sunny weather. There is rarely cold winter in these regions. So you do not want to open your luggage and find only winter clothing while it is 25-30 degrees outside. Pack some summer clothes too, and bring just enough to have a fashionable and light trip.
Here are a couple things that should get a place in your luggage: some t-shirts that go well with almost everything, some shorts and some sweat pants for comfortable travelling. Yet don’t forget to style yourself with some fancy accessories such as sunglasses, bracelets, colorful scarf,… just to have a brand new look every day.
Be a smart “packer” as you may regret bringing a lot of unnecessary stuffs while dragging your suitcase along through the countries.