Let’s be honest everyone wants to travel internationally one time in their life. The main problem which restricts them from doing so is money. There is a misconception in many people’s mind, that when you are traveling in another country you need a lot of money. This Malaysia Budget Travel Guide will help you get rid of this misconception.
Yes, you need money but you don’t need a lot of it. You just need to invest your money in the right place. I started this website for the sole reason of helping people to travel around the world in a budget without compromising the luxury of a beautiful trip. So, this article is for all those who think they cannot travel to a foreign country because of the lack of money.
Now, this is going to be a very big article so I suggest you get a cup of coffee/tea for this one.
Let me first tell you the things I did in this Rs.8630 (121$) in Malaysia.
I was in Malaysia for around 7 days, went to Penang Island, stayed there for 3 days. Later, visited Penang National Park, where I visited a very secluded beach, where there were very few people. Afterward explored the area around Batu Ferringhi Beach (which is one of the most happening beaches of Penang).
After Penang island, I went to the capital city Kuala Lumpur for 4 days. I visited the Twin Towers (Petronas Tower), KLCC Park, KL City Gallery. Further, then I went to the Batu Caves which has the tallest Murugan Statue in the world.
Further, I went to Bukit Bintang, a place which is famous for its nightlife and street food and a place called Heli Lounge Bar (this is a place from where you get the most beautiful view of the entire city). Also did some shopping in China Town and Central Market.
This trip which I did is for everyone, for those who like to party a lot, for those who are into skyscrapers and the tall buildings, who love the city life, who love exploring the island.
I have covered almost every aspect which you would love to do when you visit Malaysia.
Now let’s start with the actual blog, for what you guys came here.
Budget Travel Guide
The biggest expense of this trip was the flight tickets.
This is a part where you have to be very careful while booking it. One advice from me is you don’t book your tickets from Mumbai. The tickets price from Mumbai to Kuala Lumpur is around Rs.15000 to Rs.18000 (210$-250$), that’s like Rs.1500 (21$) more than my overall trip expense. Sounds crazy right. So, do yourself a favor and never book your tickets to Malaysia from Mumbai.
You can get cheap return tickets to Malaysia from these following cities –
- Jaipur. (Rs.7500 – Rs.9000) (105$ – 125$)
- Bhubaneshwar. (Rs. 6300 – Rs. 8000) (90$ – 115$)
- Kochi. (Rs.7500 – Rs.8500) (105$ – 120$)
- Kolkata. (Rs.7500 – Rs.9500) (105$ – 135$)
The airlines which gives you these cheap tickets and which you should be using is Air Asia.
Now the question is from where can you book the flight?
There is a website called SKYSCANNER which shows you the cheapest fairs you can get for whichever destination you want. And one most important thing, use this website in Incognito Mode of your browser so that the prices don’t get high when you look for them repeatedly.
It is better you book your flight tickets to Malaysia from any of the four cities above. Trust me, it will save you a lot of money.
And as far going to these cities is concerned, a train ticket should not cost you more than Rs.500 – Rs.650 (7$ – 10$) from Mumbai.
So, your total transport expense from India to Malaysia and back to India will be done in around Rs.7500 + Rs.1200 = Rs. 8700 (122$). I booked the tickets in offer period so I got a discount of Rs.650 on flights and Rs.200 on train tickets so, my total transportation cost was Rs.7850(110$).
Let me give you a breakdown of each day from the day I entered Malaysia to the day I came back to the airport to catch a flight back to Jaipur.
Day 1 –
I boarded a flight at 11:15 p.m. and reached Malaysia around 7:00 a.m. (Malaysian time). The time difference between India and Malaysia is around 2:30 hours. So, the Indian time should be around 4:30 a.m. when I arrived in Malaysia. The flight duration is about 5 – 5.30 hours.
After Reaching Malaysia
The first thing you need when you enter a foreign country is cash. So, find the nearest ATM and withdraw the desired amount of money you need. Don’t exchange your money at the airport, the rates are really damn high. Use the ATM machines, it is a possibility that your bank will only charge around 3 – 5% of the amount you withdraw.
Talking about the currency of Malaysia, it is called Malaysian Ringgit (MYR or RM). The rate around the time I visited was RM 1 = Rs.17.31 or 0.24$. For my week in Malaysia, I made a withdrawal of RM 500 i.e. Rs.8660 (120$).
As I was very hungry after the overnight flight, the first thing I did after getting the cash was, I bought some apples, which cost me around RM 3 (Rs.51/0.72$).
My destination for the day was George Town on Penang Island. For catching a bus to Penang, you have to go to the main city of Kuala Lumpur which is about an hour away from the airport. Terminal Bersepadu Selatan or KL Sentral are the places, where you can get buses to almost anywhere you want to go to Malaysia. The bus ticket to reach these places are RM 11 and RM 12 (Rs.190 and Rs.207/2.3$ and 2.9$) respectively. The ticket for Penang island will cost you RM 30 – RM 35 (Rs.519 – Rs.606/7.2$- 8.5$).
You do get a direct bus from Airport to Penang but it will cost you RM 56 (Rs.969/13.6$). I had to change two buses but I saved some money. And trust me saving this little amount of money ends up to be a very big amount at the end. Now people might say I am miser (Kanjoos), but I call myself a budget traveler. I Save More, I Travel More.
Taking a 5-hour bus ride, I reached Butterworth, at a bus hub called Penang Sentral, the place from you can get a ferry to Penang Island.
The minute later after I arrived at Butterworth, the most important thing I was looking for, was a sim card. Another budget saving tip for you, never buy a sim card at the airport, no matter in which part of the world you travel. The rates are very high at the airport. The sim card price with a week of the internet was RM 35 (Rs.606/8.5$) at the airport and I got the same sim with the same plan at RM 18 (Rs.311/4.3$) at Penang Sentral.
Ferry To Penang
After getting the sim, I had to catch a ferry to Penang Island. One interesting thing about this ferry is that it only cost RM 2.20 (Rs.38/0.53$) and while returning back to Penang Sentral you can ride this ferry for free. Yes, they only charge for one side of the journey. Cool, isn’t it?
Traveling for the whole day with two backpacks on, I finally arrived at my hostel. The hostel in which I stayed was Red Inn Cabana. It was a very good hostel with comfortable beds, free Wi-Fi. Now many people might be thinking about what a hostel is. I’ll explain, hostels are places where they have rooms with bunk beds, where people (solo travelers, couples, even group sometimes) who are traveling the world come and they get accommodation at a very low rate as compared to the hotels. Now, they are cheap doesn’t mean they are not good, these places are really good and have every facility you would need as a traveler. Wi-Fi, lockers, your own charging points, etc.
I stayed at this hostel for 3 nights and it cost me around RM 78 (Rs.1351/19$) for 3 nights. One more tip when booking a hostel is, you always choose those hostels which have breakfast included in the price you pay. The breakfast is decent considering the price. Tea/coffee, bread butter/jam, fruits, juices), but you can save money for one meal of the day. Always worth it.
Evening in Penang
After checking in and resting for a while I went out for dinner. And boy oh boy, the food prices in George Town are very cheap. And you also get every kind of food you want here. I was very tired so I didn’t go far the first day and went to a nearby restaurant where a plate of fried rice cost me RM 8 (Rs.140/2$)
So, my total expense for the first day boils down to 3 + 11 + 35 + 18 + 2.20 + 78 + 8 = RM 155.20 (Rs.2688/37$).
Day 2 –
Next day started very good, had a nice breakfast at the hostel and I was all set to go. The plan for today was to just wander around the streets of George Town and enjoy the street art. After having a good breakfast, I didn’t feel the need of having anything until lunch.
One of my favorite things about Malaysia is the chopped fruits you get around every corner of the streets. I love them and I had them literally every day without fail. It keeps your hunger away and they are also very healthy. Let’s face it, you don’t want to get sick during your trip. The food in Malaysia is all about oily and fried stuff, every day you are going to be eating such type of food so it is good to have some fruits once a day.
Talking about the price, they only cost around RM 1 – RM 3 (Rs.17 – Rs.51/0.24$ – 0.72$). They have all sorts of fruits like mango, watermelons, green apple, pineapple, etc.
For lunch, I went to Kapitan Restoran, one of the most popular restaurants in George Town which is famous for their tandoori naan and clay pot biryani. I ordered a tandoori naan which was more than enough for me, and the price I paid for it was RM 12.50 (Rs.216/3$).
I didn’t spend an extra ringgit for anything while wandering the city. Just walked down the streets seeing the street art and after lunch, I went on to the chew jetty where I witnessed a very beautiful sunset. All this was totally free. This is one of the tips I follow when traveling on a budget, I always choose the things to visit which are mostly free of cost or which cost very little.
Night Street Of Penang
After a long day, I went back to my hotel, got freshen up and went back for dinner. Today I wanted to try some local street food in George Town. There is a street called Chulia Street, this place is a treat for all the food lovers. I did some research and decided to try Wan Tan Mee. There were this mother and son selling Wan Tan Mee, this place was very crowded so I decided to try it here. A full bowl cost me RM 4.50 (Rs.77/1.10$). It was nice to try something different. After that, I had pineapple juice for RM 2.20 (Rs.38/0.53$).
The total cost of this day was 2 + 2 + 12.50 + 4.50 + 2.20 = RM 23.20 (Rs.401/5.6$)
Day 3 –
This day I was very excited because the reason for which I came to Penang was going to happen today. I was going to visit Penang National Park. It was the highlight of my Penang trip. I was very much excited about this day.
Let’s start with the expense now,
I took a bus from George Town to Penang National Park (Teluk Bahang). The price was RM 3.40 (Rs.58/0.82). The bus ride was comfortable. I love the transportation system in Malaysia, they are very reliable and cheap at the same time. One important thing about the bus ticketing system is that you need exact change when you board the bus. There is a box where you put your money, so if your ticket is 2.20 RM and you put 3 RM, then the bus driver won’t give you back the change, so keep change with you every time you board a bus in Malaysia.
At the bus station, I took some snacks and fruits with me as I was going to a very secluded beach where there were no food stalls and I was going to be at that place till evening. The total prices for 2 packets of chips, pineapples, watermelon was around RM 7 (Rs.121/1.70$).
After 45 mins of the bus ride, I reached Penang National Park. As a budget traveler keep one thing in mind, whenever you go to a tourist spot there will be people approaching you offering their services, you should never go to anyone if that person comes approaching you. You will always get a better option for yourself.
Similarly, when I went to the gate of Penang National Park, people approached me for their boat services, which they were quoting for RM 100 (Rs.1730/24$) for single boat ride taking me to 2 beaches and back to the main gate. Obviously, I didn’t take their offer.
Instead, I decided to trek to the first beach which was around 1 and half hour walk from the gate. I love trekking anyways, so I trekked to the beach.
After reaching the beach, the first words I uttered were WOW. It was the most beautiful beach I had seen in my life. The green-blue water, the white sand, only 10 12 people on the whole beach. It was a whole new experience.
After spending an hour on that beach, I wanted to visit another beach on this island. I decided to take a boat ride instead of walking. There was this group of Australian girls, I went there and asked them if I could share a boat ride with them. They were happy to help and it only cost me RM 10 (Rs.173/2.4$). If I would have paid for the boat at the entrance, it would have cost me RM 100 (Rs.1730/24$), but I didn’t and saved around 90% money for the same boat ride.
Be smart about where you spend your money, and definitely, you will save a lot.
For those RM 10 (Rs.173/2.4$) I visited two beaches and came back to the entrance on the same boat. Thanx to those Australian girls. So, if you are a solo traveler then it is smarter to ask people to share their ride and if you are a group then there should be no problem for you to rent an entire boat. Both ways will cost you around RM 10 – RM 20 (Rs.173 – Rs.246/2.4$ – 4.86$).
After visiting the National Park, I went to Batu Ferringhi Beach. This beach was different from the other two beaches I visited. This beach was full of people, there were jet skies all over, people doing para-sailing. The bus ticket from Penang National Park to Batu Ferringhi beach was RM 1.40 (Rs.24/034$).
I spent some time there, afterward, I took a bus back to George Town, which cost me RM 2.70 (Rs.46/0.65$). I went back to the same restaurant I visited the day before, for trying the clay pot biryani. It was around 7 p.m. so it was almost my last meal of the day. The biryani cost me RM 12.20 (Rs.219/3.08$).
After having the meal, I went back to my hostel and on my way back I bought some fruits for the night, all for RM 5 (Rs.86/1.2$).
Total expense for this day was 3.40 + 7 + 10 + 1.40 + 2.70 + 12.20 + 5 = RM 41.70 (Rs.722/10.14$).
Day 4 –
Today I was going back to Kuala Lumpur, so got up early, had a good breakfast (free). Checked out of the hostel and went back to the jetty from where I had to catch a ferry back to Penang Sentral.
FREE ! FREE ! FREE
Remember I mentioned that going back was free, so I didn’t have to spend a penny on going back. Again, it was the same bus ride from Butterworth. However, now I was going to KL Sentral rather than Terminal Bersepadu Selatan. The price was RM 30 (Rs.520/7.3$).
I decided to go to KL Sentral because Kuala Lumpur has free bus service around the city for everyone. KL Sentral was one of the stops of this bus service. The free buses in Kuala Lumpur are called as the GoKL Buses.
I reached Kuala Lumpur at 2.30 p.m. and went straight to my hostel. This was a very good hostel and the staff here was one of the most helpful staff out of all the hostels I stayed in. The name of the hostel was Backhome KL. It was a very good hostel and they have a very interesting and unique way of displaying guests name. They used chalk to write all our names on the door of the dorm. I shared the dorm with Naomi (England), Leticia (Australia), Emily (Scotland), Eun Young (China), Abigail (Australia), Me (India).
This is the beauty of the hostel, you get to meet people from all around the world. You listen to their stories, spend some time with them, and your trip gets interesting every time. I personally love meeting people, especially those who are solo travelers.
This hostel cost me about RM 120 (Rs.2078/29$) for three nights. You know the drill, whenever you arrive at a new place, just take a walk around the whole area. I walked around and got familiar with the whole place this day.
It was almost 5 p.m. and I didn’t have anything in the morning so I went to the nearest possible food hub I saw. Luckily, just a 5 min walk from my hostel, there was KFC, can’t tell you how relieved I was as I didn’t have to go far for a meal. A large zinger box cost me RM 15.20 (Rs.263/3.6$).
Exploring the Local Area
Later I walked around the city and went down the Central Market and China Town. These are the most popular places if you want to do some shopping.
After roaming for almost 3 hours I had dinner at a Pakistani/South Indian Restaurant. The dinner cost me about RM 13 (Rs.225/3.16$).
Went back to the hostel and joined a very interesting conversation which was going on in my room. This girl, Emily was telling her story about how she manages everything as a solo female traveler, and how was her experience so far. It was here last day in Malaysia and she had so much to share. After about 3 hours of talking, everyone went to sleep. When it comes to language, I never face a problem understanding any of them. I guess we travelers have a separate language of ours.
Total expense for the day was 30 + 120 + 15.20 + 13 = RM 178 (Rs.3087/44$).
Day 5 –
I woke up a little late this day as we were talking late the other night. The plan today was to go to Batu caves today. This place has the biggest statue of Murugan in the whole world. I took the free bus from Dataran Merdeka to KL Sentral. From KL Sentral I took a metro service which was for around 2.60 RM + 2.60 RM return = RM 5.20 (Rs.90/1.26$).
The Mighty Batu Caves
Visiting this place was really a very new experience. It had this whole big statue with stairs just beside it going to the top of the cave.
I was just walking alone around here for a few minutes, and out of nowhere, this couple from Kazakhstan came asking for direction. As I was also new here, I said I don’t know, then together we walked and explored this whole cave. They were really good people, we had a very long conversation about Malaysia and how I liked it and how they liked it. I told them what I was doing there and why was I alone. They even invited me to Kazakhstan in their home. With a smile, I told them I would love to come to their home someday. It feels really good for meeting people all over the globe.
After visiting Batu Caves, I went back to KL Sentral and had lunch there. It cost me RM 12 (Rs.207/2.91$).
Dataran Merdeka Square
After lunch, I went back to Dataran Merdeka Square and visited the Sultan Abdul Samad Building. Also, nearby this place was the KL City Gallery. It was a very good place, it has the transformation of KL from the 90s till today.
All this attraction was for free. The bus ride was free.
After visiting the KL City Gallery, I went to the place which was on the top of my bucket list for Kuala Lumpur.
Heli Lounge Bar
The place is called as the Heli Lounge Bar, it is a helipad during the day and transforms into a bar in the evening. It is located on the 34th floor of Menara KH Building.
This place has the best view of the city. Well, it is not free, you just have to buy a drink here and you are allowed to go to the helipad. The drink cost me RM 25 (Rs.433/6.07$). (Non-alcoholic if you are wondering.)
This is very cheap and you cannot get such a view in this price. If you go to Petronas towers or KL Tower, they will cost you RM 80 (Rs.1385/13$) and RM 52 (Rs.900/12.6$) respectively. For budget travelers, Heli Lounge Bar is the best place. You get the same view plus you get a drink in just RM 25 (Rs.433/6.07$). Remember one thing, there are always better options, you just need to do your research accordingly.
I told you earlier traveling is cheap, you just have to invest your money in the right place.
I went back to the hostel as it was late. Had dinner on my way back. It cost me RM 13 (Rs.225/3.16$).
Total expense for today was 5.20 + 12 + 25 + 13 = RM 55.20 (Rs.956/13.42$).
Day 6 –
Today I was very excited as I was going to visit the place for which I came to Malaysia, The Petronas Towers. They are the main highlights of Malaysia. Without them, a trip to Malaysia is always incomplete.
Before going there, I went to the Central Market, to buy some chocolates for my family. These chocolate prices are not included in the overall price of the trip (if you want a quote, they were for RM 33 (Rs.570/8$) for 2 boxes of chocolate). Did shopping here and then while I was going to the Twin Towers it started raining very heavily and it continued raining for 3 hours.
I waited there very long, even had my lunch in the China Town Area which was again for RM 11 (Rs.189/2.66$).
At a point, I literally lost hope of being able to visit those towers, but luckily the rain stopped and I caught a bus which goes to the Twin Towers. Again, the bus was free, so no money required here.
Waiting 3 hours for this view was totally worth it. I guess I arrived here at the perfect time when the lights were just starting to lit up.
It was a perfect evening, I just sat down here, looking at these towers for around 1 and half hour and never got bored. Today I felt like my trip to Malaysia was successful.
Again, there is no entry fee here, so cost here is again 0.
After the Twin Towers, I further went to the most happening place of Kuala Lumpur, Bukit Bintang. This place is famous for its nightlife, pubs, bars, street food, etc. This is the part of Malaysia that never sleeps.
I tried some street food here, the food here cost me
- Chicken Shawarma = RM 7 (Rs.120/1.69$)
- Lok Lok = RM 4 (Rs.69/0.97$)
- Chendol = RM 4 (Rs.69/0.97$)
Bukit Bintang is a place where you can find almost everything, so try different things you like as per your preference.
As this was my last night in Malaysia, I stayed in Bukit Bintang till 3 a.m. and not for once I felt unsafe. The streets were always filled with people, the pubs were open till 4 a.m. It was a hell of a night.
Total expense of the day 11 + 7 + 4 + 4 = RM 26 (Rs.448/6.30$)
Day 7 –
As I always say during my trip, I always hate the endings, these 7 days were very quick and one of the best 7 days of my life.
I had a flight to catch at 7 p.m. today. After having a very good breakfast at the hostel (Again free) I checked out at 12 p.m. from the hostel and went straight to pentaling street area. Sat down for a while and looked at the area as it was the last time.
I don’t know it was a coincidence or what but there was a van behind me. The guy there was selling something and he had some music playing in his van. And the song was like
“Closing time, you don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here. I know who I want to take me home! Closing time, time for you to go on to the places you will be from.” – (Closing time by Semisonic Band)
There couldn’t have been a perfect ending, it eventually put a smile on my face.
BYE BYE MALAYSIA
After sitting there for almost 2 hours, I further went to the airport. The bus fare was RM 12 (Rs.207/2.9$) from KL Sentral and till KL Sentral you can catch a free bus from Dataran Merdeka.
I went to the airport and I literally had the last RM 8 (Rs.138/1.94$) left in my wallet. I completed the check-in, immigration and went straight to McDonald’s for my last meal in Malaysia. It cost me RM 7.8 (Rs.134/1.89$).
Total expense of the day – 12 + 7.8 = RM 19.8 (Rs.341/4.80$).
Overall Expense of the trip.
My total expense in Malaysia was = 155.20 + 23.20 + 41.70 + 178 + 55.20 + 26 + 19.8 = RM 499.100 (Rs.8617/121$).
My total expense for the entire Malaysia trip from India was Rs.7850 + Rs.8617 = Rs.16467(230$).
It is cheap right??
Travelling is always cheap, you just need to spend wisely.
If you plan to visit Malaysia then you won’t need more than RM 500 (Rs.8633/120$) for a week if you plan accordingly. Unless you plan on going to pubs, or do some shopping or any extra activities. But I think I pretty much tried and did everything, went trekking, went to an Island, tried different local food, the twin towers, KLCC park, Batu caves, etc.
The food costs around RM 15 – RM 20 (Rs.259 – Rs.345/3.36$ – 4.85$) per day.
The accommodation should cost you around RM 20 – RM 40 (Rs.345 – Rs.692/4.85$ – 9.7$) per day. If you are alone please stay at hostels, you will meet the most exciting people. If you are a group then a hotel room will cost you around RM 100 (Rs.1726/24.2$) so divide that by 4 or 5, it boils down to same RM 20 – RM 25 (Rs.345 – Rs.431/4.85$ – 6.06$) per person.
And extra cost like if you go to Penang Island or Langkawi Island or Genting Highlands or Cameron Highlands or Melaka (whichever place you choose to visit), buying a sim card and airport transfers would be around RM 150 – RM 160 (Rs.2590 – Rs.2762/36.38$ – 38$).
Now, if you calculate the above cost it won’t exceed RM 500 (Rs.8633/120$).
The important thing here is you get to visit the place, explore it and enjoy the trip. Staying in 5-star hotels, having private cabs to visit around, getting those VIP treatments are not traveling for me, neither it should be you guys. For me traveling is meeting new people, exploring some beautiful places, getting to know a different culture.
I read about a one-week package to Malaysia which was priced at Rs.42000. I was like you give me Rs.42000 and I will take you exploring Malaysia, Thailand, And Indonesia in that much money.
You can do these luxurious things after you have a lot of money to spend. Until then get one thing clear, you don’t need money to enjoy on a trip, just cover your basic needs and your trip will turn out beautiful anyway.
So that’s it for the blog folks.
Thank you so much for reading (if you are still here). If you like the blog make sure you share it with your friends or anyone in your circle who would love to travel.
If you have any queries, you can leave a comment below, I will revert back to you as soon as possible.
See you on my next blog.
I hope I could have helped you here.
Keep Travelling. Keep Budgeting.
Founder, Stubborn Hippie.
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