Budget Travel Ideas in Malaysia

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With its enormous range of accommodations, gourmet excellence at even the street food level and inexpensive transport, Malaysia budget travel is perfectly doable. Wherever you go in the country you will find it considerably cheaper than other countries and great fun and great food can be had for cheap prices.

Getting There, Arrival and Getting Around

The first cost-saving thing about Malaysia is that many visitors will not need to pay for a visa on arrival if they plan to stay for less than a few weeks. Airlines such as Air Asia can get you to the country from other Southeast Asian nations for as little as U.S. $40 and the sophisticated network of tourist bus companies - chief among them Transnasional - will get you round this beautiful country for inexpensive prices.

Eat and Drink Your Way Round

It's perfectly possible to buy a delicious banana leaf curry or a Chinese street food dish for $2 or even less. The only problem is drinking alcohol. Malaysia is, of course, a Muslim country and high taxes are levied on beer, wine and spirits. Even so, a bottle of Tiger in a bar in Kuala Lumpur or Georgetown is still cheaper than in London or New York. It's just that it's not as cheap as any other food or drink item. On islands such as Tioman many bars will have happy hours and a broader range of drinks, thus making the most of your Malaysia budget travel.

Where to Stay

There are a number of backpacker-oriented hostels offering cheap - though not always secure - dorms and basic fan rooms. Better value for money, though still oriented towards the budget tourist, are Chinese hotels which are usually clean, smart 2-star properties with decent bathroom facilities and air-conditioning.


This is the best value you will get when thinking about Malaysia budget travel. Most religious landmarks such as the National Mosque, KL and Kek Lok Si Temple are exceptionally cheap whereas walks in the jungle in Tioman Island or through the mountains of the Cameron Highlands will be absolutely free and you can't beat that. Probably the best value available is doing activities in Malaysia that for many would be prohibitively expensive or impossible in other countries such as diving trips and safaris. Malaysia has some of the best natural features of any country in all of Asia so it really is worth spending some of your budget to check them out.

Tom Sykes

February 09, 2010 change by schitti

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