I was in Malaysia, specifically Penang, Genting and Kota Kinabalu for almost a month and the price of accommodation (especially in Kota Kinabalu) is a big jump compare to Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia.
It was refreshing to see other parts of Malaysia other than Kuala Lumpur. I realized that there’s so much to see and experience here especially in Sabah unfortunately I had to work on a very tight budget when I was there because my funds were on hold by Paypal (it’s fixed now).
Anyway, here’s my expense report for Malaysia.
Bear in mind that I didn’t fly in to Malaysia but instead entered overland via Hat Yai-Padang Besar border. Check this link if you want to know how to go to Penang (Malaysia) from Phuket (Thailand).
Food and Drinks
Food is a little bit more expensive than the other countries that I’ve been to. Generally, meals always cost me RM5 (with the exception of Genting – more expensive there) although you can definitely eat cheaper.
Tip: Check out Hyatt’s (Kota Kinabalu) Happy Hour on baked goodies from 7:30PM onwards. We bought a lot of delicious cakes for as low as RM4. In case, you’re wondering, this is not an ad nor a sponsored link. They really have an awesome promo that you should check out. And their cheesecake is damn delicious!!!
The cheapest 1.5L bottled water that I found cost me RM1.5/pc. There is however a water refill station in Lebuh Chulia in Penang.
Affordable accommodations in Penang can be found in Lebuh Chulia (which is considered as the backpacker’s center in Penang). Alternatively, there are also hostels in Jalan Muntri that offers better value (IMHO). I stayed in W&O Cafe and Guesthouse and got a nice double room for only RM25. The staff were also accommodating and very nice.
In Genting Highlands, I stayed in First World Hotel, we got so lucky that they have an ongoing promotion and we got the room for only RM48 including breakfast.
Kota Kinabalu City was the biggest budget buster in this trip. On the first week, we stayed at Xplorer Backpackers in Jalan Gaya and got a room for 4 for only 64RM. On the following week and a half, we transferred to a double room in Borneo Global Backpackers since two of our friends flew back to Manila. Average cost of double room seemed to be around the same price.
I’m very fond of just walking around and that pulled down the local transpo cost. I never paid for any tour, not even the island hopping in Tunku Abdul Rahman Park since we DIY the entire trip.
This leg seems to be the most expensive as of now for me. But if you’re just on holidays and have a work (and salary) to go back to, then I could say that Malaysia is still an affordable destination.