Malaysia is a beautiful and often underrated country. Spend the day with a traditional tribe or in a tea plantation in the Cameron Highlands or trek through the huge national parks of Gunung Mulu and Taman Negara, all the while coming across various wildlife including tigers and Orangutans.
Accommodation – Dorms start at 30-55 MYR per night, with larger cities being on the high end of that spectrum. Private rooms cost around 75 MYR for a single room, and around 100 MYR for a double. Budget hotels start at 80 MYR.
Food – A street meal will start under 4 MYR and rarely cost more than 11 MYR. Expect to pay 7-20 MYR in restaurants. Western food will always cost more.
Transportation – Expect to pay around 5-11 MYR per hour on a bus trip. Taxis can be expensive though, as the fare is charged per person, and you’ll be charged four fares if you can’t find anyone to share with! Within Kuala Lumpur, fares start at 3 MYR for the first .6 mile, though many taxis do not have working meters. In this case, agree on a price up-front.
Activities – Most attractions in Malaysia are quite cheap. Trekking costs 35-75 MYR per day. Diving costs 245-300 MYR for two-day dives or 830-1,325 MYR for a full PADI course.
Money Saving Tips
Taxis – Taxis aren’t usually metered in Malaysia, so make sure to agree on the fare before you set off.
Camp – It’s possible to camp in Taman Negara to save on accommodation costs – expect to pay around 5 MYR.
Local street food – Street stalls are the place to go for hawker food which is delicious and costs just a few bucks. In my opinion, it’s the best food in the country and the cheapest!
Don’t drink – As Malaysia is a Muslim country, drinking is frowned upon, but it does happen. However to restrict it, the authorities have made drinking very, very expensive. Save your drinking for countries like Thailand, where the alcohol flows more freely and is better on the budget.