More tips to a budget trip in Malaysia for beginners.
Must try Experiences in Malaysia
Street Food: I mean, what visit Asia is complete without trying the local delicacies? Try the authentic food, which in my opinion is not as spicy as Thai food and is, in fact, more flavorful. You will get a HUGE portion for such a tiny price!
Hire a Bike: The best way to explore the small, hidden and beautiful winding streets. The cars on the road are relatively sane drivers here, so you’ll be fine.
Stay with a local: Take one of your new local friends up on a free couch for a night. You will get some great local knowledge, an insight into their life and probably a lot of food too. Local friends are the best friends, right?
Haggle for goodies: Super common in Malaysia and also great fun. The only way to get a good deal, you should be able to get a discount of at least 20%. Read up on our haggling guide for more details.
Malaysians are incredibly friendly people; they have grown up in one of the biggest melting pots of cultures I have come across. They are so interested in your story and will often ask you a lot of questions. They love to take pictures of the people they meet, this even happened to me at the border crossing. If you don’t want you to picture taken just politely decline, they may take a sneaky one anyway. It is not uncommon for Malaysians to invite you for tea or for dinner, it is up to you if you want to accept this offer, but I mean, why wouldn’t you? I have yet to meet an unfriendly Malaysian and found everyone to be extremely respectful. You will not be without friends when backpacking in Malaysia.
How Much does Backpacking Malaysia Cost?
You can backpack Malaysia for as little as $15 a day. Sometimes more if you want a fancy cocktail rather than a beer for a change. Stick to cheap guesthouses, good street food, and buses rather than flights and trains and you shouldn’t spend more than fifty dollars a day.
Average room cost: $5 – $15 per night
Average Meal Cost: $1 – $5
Long Distance Coach: $3 – $10
Entrance to a site cost: $0 – $25
Budget Tips for Broke Backpackers
Eat the Street Food: Put your stomach to the test! Nah! Just kidding, the street food in Malaysia is awesome and I didn’t encounter any stomach to bathroom problems while here. The trick, as with anywhere serving street food, is to go for the one that already has a queue. No one queues for bad food, ever. This will be the cheapest way to eat, if you’re not convinced then head to the food courts (which are basically the same thing) where the food is cheap and is slightly more restaurant styled, with a bathroom nearby.
Haggle: It is commonplace for market shopping to haggle for your goods. Even if you think it is cheap for you, without haggling you are not getting a local’s price or a good deal. It’s heaps of fun as well, so get your game face on and snag some random goodies!
Hitchhike: Hitchhiking is a great way to meet the locals, it may even score you a free bed for the night as well – two for one is always good right? If you’re not comfortable hitchhiking take the bus, super cheap and relatively comfortable it’s by far the easiest way to travel in Malaysia. If you’re traveling on a proper budget, it’s well worth having a tent.
Guesthouses: Cheaper than most hostels and way cheaper than hotels, this is the best way to save money while traveling through Malaysia. Often family-run too so you will meet some awesome locals. If you want to book something online, Hostelworld offers some of the best deals in Asia.
Volunteer: Get yourself aquatinted with Workaway – for just $29 a year you get access to literally thousands of projects around the world where you can volunteer in exchange for food and accommodation.
Hope you enjoy your stay in Malaysia!
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