Planning Your Budget - Cost to Travel in Malaysia



Traveling to Malaysia offers a wealth of experiences from its bustling cities to its serene beaches and lush rainforests, all at a variety of price points. The cost of a trip to Malaysia can vary widely depending on factors such as travel style, duration, season, and personal preferences. This comprehensive guide explores the various costs associated with traveling to Malaysia, covering flights, accommodation, food, transportation, attractions, and additional expenses. 

So, here we go...


International Flights

The cost of international flights to Malaysia depends on your point of origin, the airline, and the time of booking. Major airports in Malaysia include Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), Penang International Airport, and Kota Kinabalu International Airport. Here are some approximate costs for round-trip flights from various regions:

  • United States: $600 - $1,200

  • Europe: $500 - $1,000

  • Australia: $300 - $700

  • Southeast Asia: $50 - $200

Booking flights in advance, flying during off-peak seasons, and being flexible with dates can help lower these costs.

Domestic Flights

Malaysia's geography often necessitates domestic flights, especially for travelers looking to explore both Peninsular Malaysia and Malaysian Borneo. Domestic flights are relatively affordable, with budget airlines like AirAsia and Malindo Air offering competitive prices. Typical one-way fares include:

  • Kuala Lumpur to Penang: $20 - $50

  • Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu: $30 - $70

  • Kuala Lumpur to Langkawi: $20 - $50


Malaysia offers a wide range of accommodation options, from budget hostels to luxury resorts. The cost of accommodation will largely depend on your preferences and the locations you choose to visit.

Budget Accommodation

For budget travelers, hostels and guesthouses are widely available, especially in popular tourist areas. Prices for dormitory beds and basic private rooms are typically:

  • Dormitory bed: $5 - $15 per night

  • Private room in a guesthouse: $10 - $30 per night

Mid-Range Accommodation

Mid-range hotels and boutique accommodations provide more comfort and amenities while still being affordable. Prices for mid-range options are:

  • 3-star hotel: $30 - $70 per night

  • Boutique hotel: $40 - $90 per night

Luxury Accommodation

For those seeking luxury, Malaysia boasts numerous high-end hotels and resorts, particularly in Kuala Lumpur, Langkawi, and Borneo. Prices for luxury stays can range from:

  • 4-star hotel: $70 - $150 per night

  • 5-star hotel: $150 - $300+ per night

Food and Drink

Malaysian cuisine is diverse, delicious, and generally affordable. Whether you prefer street food or fine dining, there are options to suit every budget.

Street Food and Local Eateries

Eating at local food stalls and hawker centers is not only economical but also a great way to experience authentic Malaysian flavors. Typical costs for street food include:

  • Nasi lemak: $1 - $2

  • Char kway teow: $1.50 - $3

  • Satay skewers: $0.50 - $1 each

Mid-Range Restaurants

Dining at mid-range restaurants offers a balance of cost and comfort. A meal at these establishments usually costs:

  • Main course: $4 - $10

  • Three-course meal for two: $20 - $40

Fine Dining

For a luxurious dining experience, Malaysia has numerous fine dining restaurants, particularly in urban centers like Kuala Lumpur. Prices at these establishments are:

  • Main course: $15 - $30

  • Three-course meal for two: $60 - $120


The cost of drinks varies depending on the type and location. Generally, prices are:

  • Bottled water: $0.30 - $1

  • Soft drink: $0.50 - $1.50

  • Local beer: $2 - $5

  • Cocktail: $5 - $15


Getting around Malaysia is relatively easy and affordable, with various modes of transportation available.

Public Transportation

In major cities like Kuala Lumpur, public transportation is efficient and inexpensive. Options include:

  • MRT/LRT (Mass Rapid Transit/Light Rail Transit): $0.30 - $1.50 per ride

  • Bus: $0.20 - $1 per ride

Taxis and Ride-Sharing

Taxis are available but make sure to use metered ones or agree on a fare beforehand. Ride-sharing services like Grab are popular and usually more reliable. Typical costs are:

  • Taxi: $3 - $10 for short distances within the city

  • Grab: $2 - $8 for short distances within the city

Car Rental

For those wanting to explore at their own pace, renting a car is a viable option. Costs for car rental are:

  • Economy car: $25 - $50 per day

  • SUV: $50 - $100 per day

Intercity Travel

For traveling between cities, options include buses, trains, and flights. Costs are:

  • Bus: $5 - $20 depending on distance and class

  • Train: $10 - $30 depending on distance and class

  • Domestic flight: $20 - $70

Attractions and Activities

Malaysia offers a wealth of attractions, from historical sites and cultural landmarks to natural wonders and adventure activities.

Historical and Cultural Sites

Malaysia's rich history and cultural diversity are reflected in its many landmarks and heritage sites. Entry fees for popular attractions include:

  • Petronas Twin Towers: $20 - $25

  • Batu Caves: Free

  • Malacca Historical Sites: $1 - $10

Natural Attractions

Malaysia's natural beauty is one of its biggest draws. Some notable natural attractions and their costs are:

  • Taman Negara National Park: $1 - $10 for park entrance

  • Kinabalu National Park: $3 - $15 for park entrance

  • Cameron Highlands: Free to explore, with costs for guided tours ranging from $20 - $50

Adventure Activities

For adventure seekers, Malaysia offers a range of activities from diving to trekking. Costs for some popular activities are:

  • Scuba diving in the Perhentian Islands: $20 - $50 per dive

  • Mount Kinabalu climb: $200 - $400 for a guided trek

  • White-water rafting in Sabah: $50 - $100


Malaysia is a shopping haven with everything from bustling street markets to high-end malls.

Street Markets

Shopping at street markets is an experience in itself, offering a wide range of goods at bargain prices. Popular markets include Petaling Street (Chinatown) in Kuala Lumpur and Jonker Street in Malacca. Costs can vary, but bargaining is common.

  • Souvenirs: $1 - $10

  • Clothing: $5 - $20

  • Electronics: $10 - $50

Malls and High-End Stores

For those preferring a more upscale shopping experience, Malaysia has numerous malls offering international brands. Prices are comparable to Western standards.

Additional Expenses

When planning your budget, it's important to consider additional expenses that may arise during your trip.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is highly recommended and can vary in cost based on coverage and duration. Typical costs are:

  • Basic coverage: $20 - $50 for a two-week trip

  • Comprehensive coverage: $50 - $150 for a two-week trip

Visa Fees

Most nationalities can enter Malaysia visa-free for short stays. However, for those who need a visa, the fees are:

  • Single-entry visa: $20 - $50

  • Multiple-entry visa: $50 - $100


Other potential expenses include:

  • Sim card with data: $5 - $15 for a month

  • Laundry services: $1 - $5 per load

  • Tipping: Not customary but appreciated; 5-10% in restaurants, rounding up taxi fares

Sample Budget

To give a clearer picture, here are sample daily budgets for different types of travelers:

Budget Traveler (it's me, haha)

  • Accommodation: $10 (dormitory bed)

  • Food: $10 (street food)

  • Transportation: $5 (public transport)

  • Attractions: $5

  • Miscellaneous: $5

Total: $35 per day

Mid-Range Traveler

  • Accommodation: $50 (mid-range hotel)

  • Food: $20 (mix of street food and mid-range restaurants)

  • Transportation: $10 (public transport and occasional taxi/Grab)

  • Attractions: $10

  • Miscellaneous: $10

Total: $100 per day

Luxury Traveler

  • Accommodation: $200 (luxury hotel)

  • Food: $50 (fine dining)

  • Transportation: $30 (taxis/Grab and occasional car rental)

  • Attractions: $20

  • Miscellaneous: $20

Total: $320 per day


Traveling to Malaysia can be as affordable or as luxurious as you desire, with options to suit every budget. By planning carefully and considering the various costs involved, you can ensure a memorable and enjoyable trip to this vibrant and diverse country. From the bustling streets of Kuala Lumpur to the tranquil beaches of Langkawi, Malaysia offers a wealth of experiences that are well worth the investment.

So, when are you coming? don't forget to comment guys, let us what you think, cheers

Post a Comment (0)
Previous Post Next Post