What to Pack for Halong Bay in Spring

Packing for weather in Spring can be tricky; you’ll have to be frugal whilst also being prepared for different weather conditions. While temperatures can be on the lower end for Vietnam’s standards, you can expect a pleasant average temperature of 17 degrees Celsius, still warm enough to enjoy a day out. Temperatures can range from lows of 14 degrees Celsius and highs of 20 degrees Celsius. It’s easy to bring too much, but as long as you keep it simple, packing for a trip to Halong Bay should be a breeze.

A jumper or sweater

Though it’s not always easy to predict what the weather will be like, it’s best to pack a bit of warmth on your trip. Make sure you bring at least one jumper or sweater for the evenings and, likely, daytime.

Swimwear

As contradictory to the previous comment as it sounds, average sea temperatures are an appealing 29 degrees Celsius. You may even want to pack a few different pairs of your chosen swimwear, as you’ll likely want to spend a lot of time in them if Halong Bay isn’t experiencing a cold patch. Halong Bay is also full of exciting and fun water sport activities, an even more encouraging reason to pack something to get wet.

Sandals

Sandals, flip-flops, thongs, whatever you call them, you’re going to want a pair. It’s recommended that you wear something that’s easy to dry for any trip off the boat and onto the water, particularly in precarious vehicles like a kayak.

Walking shoes

Though Halong Bay may be a water bound destination, it contains a few minor hikes to the top of its limestone karsts, where you’ll get the best views of the bay’s stunning vistas. Though these hikes may be simple; it would be preferable to wear something other than sandals if you’re going to undertake them.

Long trousers

You may think of Vietnam as a typically warm country, but as mentioned, there are a few months that can catch you off-guard. Make sure you pack a good pair of trousers or jeans to stay warm if needed.

A hat

Sunburn is not unheard of in the winter months in Halong Bay, so bringing a hat to shade your face is a good idea. Cold ears, however, are also pretty common, so you may want to pack for both occurrences.

A raincoat

While it may be the driest month of the year, a bit of rain is always a possibility in Vietnam. Pack a light, easily stored raincoat for minor explorations.

A warm coat

The evenings in Halong Bay in January can be on the cold side, and depending on your luck, so can the day times. Make sure you bring a warm coat so you’re not caught off-guard.

Sunglasses

While it may be on the chilly side, there’s still the inevitable bit of sun to deal with. You’ll want to pack a good pair of sunglasses for trips out into the bay.

Warm pyjamas

Temperatures in northern Vietnam can drop during the evening, so make sure you pack a warm pair of long pyjamas to avoid that nighttime chill.

>> Check out the best Halong Bay overnight cruise

Getting to Halong Bay from the Airports: Hanoi, Hai Phong, and Quang Ninh

While reaching Halong Bay may have previously been a tiresome venture, new investments from the government and private companies have made the journey considerably faster and easier. You can now access Halong Bay by three airports: make sure you choose the one that is best for you.

Hanoi (Noi Bai International Airport) to Halong Bay

Thanks to the recent government investment into the Hanoi to Halong Bay highway, drives to and from these locations have been cut from four hours to two – usually with a short stop in-between – making Halong Bay an accessible location from the moment you land in Vietnam.

There are many international airlines flying into Noi Bai and direct flights are available. Travelers coming from a growing number of European cities can hop on a Vietnam Airlines flight direct. Flights from the US may take a little longer and usually average around 20 hours with a stop in-between.

Though there are plenty of options available when it comes to travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay, some of them are best avoided. The adventurers of the world might be excited by the idea of train travel, but it’s very crowded and takes five hours to get there. While a public buses are cheap, they don’t provide a comfortable journey, leaving you stuck in a hot and overcrowded bus for hours on end.

Consider hiring a minibus or car with a driver to take you there. To ensure the best service, book through President Cruises to get a private four or seven-seat car. Our drivers can pick you up and drop you off at the airport.

Alternatively, President Cruises operates a fleet of private shuttle transfers daily between Hanoi and Halong Bay. We’ve got a 16-seat shuttle and a 29-seat shuttle, both equipped with on board WiFi, USB chargers, air-conditioning and complimentary bottles of water. This is, without a doubt, the most luxurious way to reach Halong Bay.

Our shuttle transfers leave Hanoi at 8:45am in the Old Quarter and will pick you up, though guests staying outside of the area can head to the central pick-up location at Hanoi Tower. The returning shuttle transfer leaves Halong Bay at 12:15 and drops guests to their hotels back in the Hanoi Old Quarter or at the central drop-off point in Hanoi Tower.

While our limousine service does not go to Noi Bai airport, we do have a service that does – the seaplane. As a part of our special package, we offer the seaplane transfer, which departs from Hanoi airport twice a day. The seaplane can carry up to 8 people with luggage.

 Halong City (Van Don Airport) to Halong Bay

Thanks to the arrival of the Van Don international airport, built by private investors, and the Ha Long to Van Don expressway, travelers are a mere hour from Halong Bay once they land.

Even though the airport has just opened up, there is no list of international flights arriving in Van Don just yet. However, the airport was created for that very purpose, with great stretches of tarmac available for massive international airplanes and state-of-the-art facilities.

Starting at the end of December 2018, flights from Ho Chi Minh City to Van Don will run daily at 2:00pm and 4:45pm for the return. The airport will open a far greater number of domestic and international flights in the future, so be sure to keep an eye out for developing news if you wish to fly into Halong Bay’s closest airport.

Hai Phong (Cat Bi Airport) to Halong Bay

 While Cat Bi airport is an international airport, it mostly sees domestic flights from Ho Chi Minh City and Danang. Daily flights from Ho Chi Minh City to Cat Bi depart at 7:00 11:15, 12:50 and 16:55, while flights from Danang are less consistent.

Unlike Hanoi, the travel options from Cat Bi are few and your best bet would be to get a private transfer, which, if booked online, will cost around $60 and take around two hours.