Brunei’s tropical climate ensures steamy, warm weather all year round. With two monsoon seasons, visitors can expect to see some rain during their stay. The relatively dry windows fall between the two monsoons around April and November, making these months popular with travelers. Unfortunately for residents from the northern hemisphere, December and January are typically the wettest and least pleasant months. Islamic holidays such as Ramadan bring much of Brunei’s infrastructure to a grinding halt, so take these events into consideration when planning a trip.
Daily temperatures average in the upper 80s (°F) throughout the year with little variation in temperature. March and April tend to be the hottest months, with the mercury often reaching 95°F, but evenings can cool to the low 80s (°F). Along the coast, sea breezes help temper the ubiquitous humidity, and rain is always a potential threat, so bring a good umbrella or rain jacket.
Brunei is not a major travel destination, so visitors will find the country relatively uncrowded whenever they come. Islamic holidays dominate the calendar, attracting large numbers of Muslim tourists who come for major events such as Ramadan, which spans the entire month of September. Visitors should expect the greatest crowds during these days. However, some Western holiday periods such as Christmas and New Year, and European summer breaks, also attract large numbers of Western tourists.
Following Islamic tradition, many public businesses such as banks, museums and government offices have limited hours on Fridays to allow for Friday prayers. Major Islamic holidays are also a cause for closure, especially during the fasting period of Ramadan in September and October. Expect most businesses, museums and restaurants either to close for the duration or open for only very limited hours during Ramadan.
Museums are usually open Sunday to Thursday from 09:00 to 17:00; on Fridays from 09:00 to 11:30 and 14:30 to 17:00; and on Saturdays from 09:30 to 17:00. During the fasting month, these hours are cut short, with museums often closing by either 12:00 or 15:00 each day. However, most tourist facilities such as hotels and non-Muslim restaurants are allowed to stay open for longer hours during Islamic holidays.
There really is no low season based on the weather in Brunei. The best deals will be found during the months when there’s no Islamic or Western holiday. If there is a major Islamic holiday on the calendar, prices for lodging will peak. The standard Western holiday periods around Christmas and summer break also see room rates increase to their highest levels.