Malaysia is a beautiful country in Southeast Asian that consists of Peninsular Malaysia and part of Borneo. I’ve made two trips to Malaysia and would love to return and explore more of this interesting country.
Known for its multicultural population (Malay, Chinese, Indian, and many other nationalities) as well as for the beautiful beaches, interesting cities, and delicious food, Malaysia is a great destination for all types of travelers.
Malaysia is also a great place for budget travelers, from cheap accommodation to €0.20 nasi lemak, your money can go a long way in Malaysia! Curious about our Malaysia travel budget? Keep reading for all the nitty-gritty details…
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Malaysia travel budget
Malaysia budget travel
This Malaysia travel cost post includes all the expenses during our 12 day trip to Malaysia, as well as a breakdown per category (accommodation, transport, food and activities).
Our total Malaysia trip expenses were 2796MYR / €696 / $804 and our average travel costs per day 233MYR / €58 / $67.
Malaysia daily budget infographic
Malaysia on a budget: important facts and figures
• I traveled to Malaysia with my husband, all expenses are for the two of us together.
• We spent 12 days in Malaysia and I recorded our Malaysia expenses meticulously. We entered the country via Johor Bahru in the South and exited via the Thai-Malaysian border just above Changlung.
• In this Malaysia budget post I quote prices in Malaysian Ringgit (MYR) as well as € and $. Obviously the exchange rate varies from day to day, but when we were visiting in May 2015, €1 was approximately 4MYR and $1 around 3,5MYR. Check the current exchange rates here.
• In total we spent 2796MYR (€696/$804) in the 12 days we were in the Malaysia. This comes down to an average of 233MYR (€58/$67) a day and includes all expenses in Malaysia plus transportation costs to the Thai Border.
Important note: the only costs I did not include in our Malaysia trip budget are the costs for diving at Tioman.
Diving is expensive and including these costs would inflate our Malaysia daily expenses and not give an accurate representation of how much money in Malaysia you need on an average day.
Most people won’t go diving and therefore won’t incur these expenses, which is why I left them out of our budget for Malaysia.
Our Malaysia travel expenses are divided into four categories
1. Accommodation: 39% of our daily travel costs
2. Transportation: 22% of our daily travel costs
3. Food and drinks: 33% of our daily travel costs
4. Paid activities: 6% of our daily travel costs
1. Budget accommodation in Malaysia
We stayed at six different hotels during our 12-day trip, spending 91MYR / €23 / $26 on an average day. This adds up to a total of 1092MYR (€276/$312) spent on accommodation.
In the table below you can find the places I stayed at during our trip (only the ones I recommend and could find online), you can find more details about the accommodation in my 2 week Malaysia itinerary.
|Where||Hotel Name||Price paid per night||Book via||Book via|
|Kuala Lumpur||Lantern Hotel||€25/$28,50||Agoda||Booking|
|Langkawi||NR Langkawi Motel||€25/$28,50||Agoda||Booking|
2. Cost of transport in Malaysia
Traveling in Malaysia was easy and cheap. There is an extensive bus network and you can easily book a ticket online.
Our transportation costs were 51MYR / €12,50 / $14,50 on an average day, bringing the total costs for transport in 12 days to 612MYR (€150/$174).
3. Cost of food and drinks in Malaysia
The food is great in Malaysia and very cheap. Alcohol, on the other hand, is expensive. Also, because over 60% of the population is Muslim alcohol isn’t served in most restaurants.
On an average day, we spent 78RYM / €19,50 / $22,50) on food and drinks. Total costs for food and drinks: 936MYR (€234/$270).
Food is definitely one of the reasons I would love to go back to Malaysia. Because of its history, the cuisine is really varied: you can have Indian paratha for breakfast, Malaysian laksa for lunch and Chinese chicken rice for dinner. There are many options for vegetarians and vegans as well, especially in KL.
4. Activities in Malaysia
We did a lot of sightseeing in Malaysia, both paid activities (such as renting a scooter on Langkawi) as well as free ones (exploring Chinatown in Kuala Lumpur). The average costs per day were 13MYR / €3 / $4 bringing the total costs for activities to a mere 156MYR (€36/$48).
Diving in Malaysia
As mentioned, I excluded the costs for diving in the budget breakdown. For those interested in diving at Tioman: we paid 100MYR per dive per person with B&J divers.
Considering the excellent dive school and dive instructors and the amazing underwater world this was excellent value for money.
How much does it cost to travel to Malaysia: in conclusion
These are the most important costs to take into account when you are traveling in Malaysia. As you can see it’s pretty easy to make a Malaysia budget trip!
Below you can download the budget infographic.
If you have any questions about this post, leave a comment below or send me a message.
This post was updated in June 2020.