If there is one country in Southeast Asia I cannot wait to return to it is Malaysia. Don’t get me wrong, traveling in the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand was amazing! And while there is plenty more to explore in these countries as well, with Malaysia in particular I feel like I just didn’t see enough of the country…
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Malaysia travel budget
I spend 12 days in Malaysia and visited three places: Pulau Tioman, Kuala Lumpur and Langkawi. Each of these places were amazing and very different from each other with regards to culture, people, food and nature. That is why I feel there is bound to be so much more to discover in this interesting and diverse country! No other option than to go back for more…
But let’s get to the point of this budget breakdown post, where I tell you about my total Malaysia trip expenses and the average travel costs per day.
Costs of travel in Malaysia: daily budget
Malaysia on a budget: important facts and figures
• I traveled Malaysia with my husband, all expenses are for the two of us together.
• We spent 12 days in Malaysia, entering the country via Johor Bahru in the South and exiting at the Thai-Malaysian border just above Changlung.
• 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.
• In total we spent 2796MYR (€696/$804) in the 12 days we were in the country. 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.
• The only costs I did not include in the budget breakdown are the costs for diving at Tioman. I feel this would not be a fair representation of the daily costs as not everyone will go diving. I recommend you do by the way, it is amazing!
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&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 (only the ones I recommend and could find online), you can find more details about the accommodation in my 2 week Malaysia itinerary.
|Kuala Lumpur||Lantern Hotel||€25/$28,50||Agoda||Booking|
|Langkawi||NR Langkawi Motel||€25/$28,50||Agoda||Booking|
|Perhentian Kecil||BuBu Resort||€153/$166||Agoda||Booking|
2. Cost of transport in Malaysia
Traveling in Malaysia was easy and cheap. Read all about our itinerary and getting around in Malaysia. 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 (and because over 60% of the population are Muslims it isn’t served at all in many 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
4. Activities in Malaysia
We did a lot of sightseeing in Malaysia, average costs per day were 13MYR / €3 / $4 bringing the total costs for activities to a mere 156MYR (€36/$48).
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 budget trip in Malaysia, I hope I can go back one day to explore more of this gorgeous and diverse country!
Update July 2017: in April 2017 I went back to Malaysia and went to the beautiful Perhentian Islands, you can find my post here.
As mentioned, I excluded the costs for diving in the budget breakdown. For those interested in diving at Tioman: we paid 100RM 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.
If you have questions, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below.