When is the typhoon season in Halong Bay? How does it affect my journey to Vietnam? As a country with a long coastline, Vietnam sees quite a fair share of storms and typhoons during July and August.
When a typhoon hits, your travel experience can be compromised. However, no reason to raise alarm. In this article, you will learn about how the typhoon season can affect your Vietnam holiday and how we can be of help.
Halong Bay seems like an easy target but fatal damage is quite rare
A typhoon is a fully developed cyclone that occurs in the region between 180° and 100°E, namely the Northwestern Pacific. Given all the possible factors such as warm ocean surface, atmospheric instability and high humidity to create a low pressure center, a tropical cyclone can escalate to a typhoon. This often happens in the summer, late May to September.
Vietnam rims the eastern side of the Indochinese peninsula, and Halong Bay is tucked away in the western corner of the South China Sea, which prevents a typhoon from the wrecking power. The truth be told, a serious landfall threat gets worse when the typhoon turns on a straight track, also known as a straight runner. In that case, the powerful typhoon will strike westward toward the Philippines, southern China, Taiwan, and Vietnam.
Does anybody travel to Halong Bay during the typhoon season at all? As a matter of fact, yes. Late May to July is actually the peak season for cruising in the bay; the climate is crisp and the colors of the scenery vivid. Here is a table for general weather conditions during June to August 2017 in Halong Bay.
||Temperature (in °C)
||Rainfall (in mm)
||Daylight (in hours)
A cruise will be cancelled in case of a typhoon under official announcement
During the typhoon season, the Management Board of Halong Bay will keep a close watch on a daily basis, and every operation is strictly under its instructions. Announcements for annulment for maritime activities will be released 1 to 2 days before the event; in some mild cases, they might be even on the same day.
Once notified, the cruise company will contact us, or you directly, for cancellation. Here is a general cancellation policy for cruise companies, bearing in mind that it can be different for certain companies or specific itineraries:
- Cancellation is made and notification given before you leave for Halong Bay: 100% refund, as no service has yet been used.
- Cancellation is made after you have used some of the services: Only the fees for these used services (such as Hanoi to Halong Bay shuttle bus, meals or hotel in Halong Bay) will be charged.
- For a 3-days-2-nights itinerary, if it is cut down to 2-days-1-night, all the services that have been actually used will be charged.
- If you file a cancellation only because you are concerned about the weather, yet an official announcement hasn’t be released, cancellation follows the standard policy and procedure.
How we can help in case of a typhoon
All the cruise companies that we work with hold a very good customer-centered cancellation policy and their staff is prompt and effective. Our picks for Halong Bay cruises: Jasmine Cruise, Indochina Junks, Bhaya Cruises, Secret Cruises, Orchid Cruises, Au Co Cruises and Paradise Luxury Cruises.
It can be very disappointing when a wonderful trip has to be cancelled under extreme weather conditions. When it happens, Asia Highlights is there to help. As a one-stop provider that is based in Asia, we have the fastest access to latest news, which will be passed on to you on the same day it’s released.
For all our Asia journeys, including Halong Bay cruises, we will (tack along??) come into action once cancellation is made. Here are some key points of how we proceed when we get notified by our local offices in Vietnam: We will…
- explain the situation to you directly or via your tour guide; alternatives will be submitted to you so you can make a decision on the spot;
- help you settle down after the cancellation; for example, arrange an extra night in Hanoi or Halong City for the night that was supposed to be spent in Halong Bay;
- offer alternative tours, such as a 2-day tour to Ninh Binh (100km southwest of Hanoi, 2 hours by car), a 1-day tour to Mai Chau (170km west of Hanoi, 3 hours by car) or just a longer stay in Hanoi;
- gather the proper paperwork for the cancellation, which will be needed for your claim with your travel insurance company (we highly suggest you purchase a full-cover plan before you leave; for more information on travel insurance, please read: How to Choose Travel Insurance for Your Family Trip to Asia
- make sure the next leg of your journey won’t be jeopardized; for example, we will make changes for flights and hotel arrangements if needed;
- provide you with a detailed breakdown of the cost which will include a refund and extra costs that might apply.
Should I be worried about traveling during the typhoon season? The answer is: absolutely not. As a matter of fact, for the time being, we haven’t seen any reports regarding trip cancellations due to a typhoon. Easy to reach 24/7 and 1:1 service means that you can put your mind at ease when you are traveling with us.
Besides, after the wind and rain, you will have a more vividly bright landscape and comfortable weather, so count it as a silver lining. If you are planning a trip to Vietnam with a Halong Bay cruise, check out this travel package: 9-Day Best of Vietnam with Mekong Delta. Or contact us for more interesting ideas for your journey.
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