Tourists, backpackers and travel enthusiasts love to visit Asia for the uniqueness, diversity and exoticism of Eastern culture. They have found a new exciting destination – Negara Brunei Darussalam or Brunei for short, and this tiny Muslim sultanate certainly does not disappoint. Perhaps the only thing Western tourists are not fan about is the scorching Asian sun. Weather in Brunei is hot, humid and rainy.
Located at the northern tip of the huge land mass called Borneo in Asia, Brunei climate is typically Southeast Asian. Tourists who have been to Malaysia, Indonesia or the Philippines but have not been to Brunei know what to expect. These countries are warm and sticky throughout the year and experience occasional rains and thunderstorms. Brunei is not far from the equator.
Unlike the Southeast Asian countries of Indonesia, Taiwan and the Philippines, however, Brunei does not experience typhoons, floods or earthquakes, which is good news for Brunei’s tourism industry. There are also no active volcanoes here. Brunei is basically a flat coastal plain with a few mountains to the east, including Bukit Pagan, the country’s highest elevation at 1,850 meters. The only real threat from nature is the seasonal haze from forest fires, which is largely caused by the illegal clearing of land in nearby Indonesia.
Brunei climate is technically classified as semi-tropical. The hottest month is January, which can burn up to more than 33°C. The average yearly temperature ranges from 22°C to 33°C. The country’s capital city is Bandar Seri Begawan and climate here is classified as sub-tropic. Humidity throughout the year is at about 79 percent, while average rainfall is 320 cm.
The country has two seasons, wet and dry, although there is no marked difference. It can be dry and humid one moment, and wet and humid the next. The wind and rain can bring in a cool breeze during the months of November and December, especially in the evenings.
The best months to visit this wealthy Asian nation are November and December. This is the dry season. Heavy rains usually fall in September and October while the hottest months are May to April; maybe too hot for visitors from cold countries. November and December also mark the end of Ramadan and is the time when the sultan opens its palace doors for local and international visitors. (The palace is the largest residential palace in the world with parts made from pure gold and definitely stunning to behold.)
Other than the sultan’s palace, there are other structures of importance and exquisite beauty. Another truly stunning edifice is the Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque. It is made largely of pure gold and presents quite a glimmering site when lit in the evenings.
Along with the palace and this mosque, the capital city of Bandar Seri Begawan is home to a number of revered landmarks, golden towers, sparkling fountains, lavish adornments and city mosaic tiles, making it one of the most distinct capital cities in the world. These represent the country’s deep respect of the Muslim faith. It also helps that Brunei is an extremely wealthy country.
Oil was discovered here in 1929 and the oil wells are still producing oil today. It seems as though the country has an abundant, almost inexhaustible source of petroleum and natural gas. The sultan of Brunei is one of the wealthiest world leaders in the world, and the citizens don’t mind since they, too, are living comfortable lives.
With its unique culture, lavish city attractions and several nature spots to enjoy, the humid Brunei climate doesn’t seem to hurt the country’s tourism. Weather in Brunei is warm, sticky and uncomfortable to most Western tourists but it seems that more and more visitors are finding their way to this part of the world. Records reveal that millions of international tourists now visit the country every year.