Budget Breakdown: Malaysia

Budget Malaysia

2.5 Weeks in Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur and Taman Negara)

Food/Beverage – 510 MYR (average meal with non-alcoholic drink = 5 – 10 MYR)

Water – Bought a bottle here and there, but using this water filter was much more cost sufficient and better for the environment.

Accommodation – 156 MYR (average cost of a double room = 12.5 MYR per person)

Site Seeing and Activities – 85 MYR

Transportation – 187 MYR

Souvenirs/Gifts – 55 MYR

Other – 111 MYR (i.e. sim card, internet)

Total = 1104 MYR ($360 CAD)


The food in Malaysia has been my least favourite I have to admit.  It’s a lot of rice, noodles and meat and the spices they use aren’t that great.  However, the fruit is amazing!  I could have definitely lived off of just fruit, and I kind of did.

Beer is fairy expensive.  Expect to pay around $3 CAD for a large beer.


There are plenty of options when it comes to hotels and hostels (guesthouses) in Malaysia.  For single travellers, expect to pay around 17-20 MYR for a dorm room in Kuala Lumpur. If you find a travel buddy, then you can spend as little as 25 MYR a night for a basic room (2 single beds or one large with an attached washroom).   You can always try Couch Surfing too!  Read about my  experience with Couch Surfing.

Site Seeing

Kuala Lumpur is a pretty cool city.  The best way to see it, is to buy a 24 hour Hop On Hop Off Bus Ticket.  Not only does it cover all major attractions, the tour also includes key shopping centres in the city like KLCC, Twin Towers, Bintang Walk, Merdeka Square, KL Tower, KL Sentral, Lake Garden, Petaling Street, Jamek Mosque, Sri Mahamariamman Temple and St. Mary’s Cathedral just to name a few (there are over 42 major sights and attractions). Another great place to visit is Taman Negara.  Taman Negara has become Malaysia’s premier national park and the largest in the country covering over 4343 square kilometres of primary forest, If you are into trekking, jungles and getting dirty, this is the place for you!  Check out my6 hour jungle trek experience with a video here.


The buses in Malaysia are really nice and inexpensive.  The overnight buses are the best option for long  journeys.  They save you in accommodation expensive and they pretty darn comfortable and complete with air conditioning.


The shopping in Kuala Lumpur is great; especially in China Town.  Chinatown is also a well-known bargain hunter’s paradise, a place where you can find all sorts of stuff from Chinese herbs to imitation goods. At night, its main market area, Petaling Street transforms into a lively and vibrant night market, filled with hundreds of stalls offering all kinds of goods at dirt-cheap prices, and the best thing is, the prices can be brought lower still as haggling is the way of life here.

Kristen Sarah is a full-time traveller, tiny home owner and adventure junkie. She has one of the leading YouTube travel channels and is the head honcha of award-winning travel and lifestyle website, Hopscotch the Globe.



  1. Collette Dalby
    June 21, 2011 / 7:21 pm

    I love malaysia and have been there twice. I urge all travelers to go there at least once and see as much of it as you can. A lot of the food is pretty basic and so is the accommodation but the people are the nicest people you will ever meet and they will go out of their way to help you! Alcohol is more expensive here then some other places in SE Asia and if your british don’t be offend when they assume your gonna want a cold beer at 10 in the morning, I guess the stereotype of boozy brits has travelled quite far across the world. 

  2. March 24, 2011 / 10:41 am

    I’m thinking of heading to Malaysia when my Thailand visa runs out, so this’ll come in useful (especially as I am a Scrooge). Thanks!

  3. February 23, 2011 / 12:08 pm

    I love detailed budget posts. Such helpful information.

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