If you haven’t read any of the prior expense reports from our trip, check them out below:
- Chiang Mai
- Luang Prabang
- Chiang Rai
- Hanoi and Ha Long
- Da Nang, Hoi An, and Ho Chi Minh
We spent 6 days and 6 nights in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, arriving on the afternoon of October 29th from Ho Chi Minh City and leaving on the afternoon of November 4th headed to Siem Reap, Cambodia. We were shocked at how big of a city Kuala Lumpur is even after coming from Ho Chi Minh City. There were a ton of skyscrapers in the city and no shortage of things to do and see. A couple of the malls we walked through there were bigger than anything we’ve seen before, even in the US! We had a wonderful view of a portion of the city from the balcony of our AirBnB, including the Avengers Tower. Another surprise to us was that everyone we encountered in the city spoke English and most signs were in English as well. Even though the native language is Malay, English is very common due to the vast number of none native Malaysians that live there. We enjoyed our time in Kuala Lumpur and would like to return to Malaysia at some point in the future to see some other parts away from the capital’s big city feel.
Stay tuned for Whitney’s next post about all of our adventures on this part of the trip, but for now I’ll focus on the expenses incurred while in Kuala Lumpur. Keep in mind that all of the expenses that I’ll talk about below are my expenses only, since Whitney and I have quite different spending habits. We split all shared expenses evenly, so my half of the shared expenses and then my individual expenses are how I calculate the numbers below.
Accommodations: We got a great AirBnB that was a bedroom on the 18th floor of a condo building in Kuala Lumpur. The building even had a gym, infinity pool, and restaurant on the premises, as well as the great view from the balcony I mentioned above. At a little over $12/night ($6 each), the place was really hard to beat! We took advantage of the gym, pool, and restaurant on several occasions. The one downside was that the place wasn’t really within walking distance to anywhere and was located right on a highway that made walking dangerous even if we wanted to.
- Total for my expenses: $37
Food and drink: Food was pretty cheap throughout the city with a ton of options to choose from. We ate at both street food vendors as well as some more established restaurants that were a little higher cost but still very affordable. The restaurant in our building also had a convenience store which sold drinking water for less than $0.50 for a 1.5 liter bottle, so we stocked up there each day before leaving the building. The city is very eclectic due to a lot of immigration over the years as well as visitors from all over the world, which means that any type of food you want is available. Our food costs were kept lower by taking advantage of free access to airport lounges on our days of arrival and departure as well. We visited a great lounge at the Ho Chi Minh airport before leaving, and then we were delighted to find that there was also a very nice arrival lounge at the Kuala Lumpur airport. We took advantage of a different lounge when leaving the Kuala Lumpur airport while waiting for our flight to Siem Reap. That pretty much covered all of our meals on our first day in KL, and half of our meals on our last day!
- Total for my expenses: $39
Transportation: Our flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Kuala Lumpur was reasonably priced at $44 each. We were within walking distance to a train station which we used a few times. The train cost less than $0.50 for most of the places we were going to which we were very happy with. For times when we wanted a quicker route to where we were going or didn’t feel like walking to the train station, we would take a Grab car to our destination, which usually cost between $1-$3 depending on how far we needed to go. Kuala Lumpur is such a big city that it took an hour bus ride from the airport to get the downtown bus station where we needed to go. Since we didn’t venture outside the city, our transportation costs were pretty low besides the flight and bus to and from the airport.
- Total for my expenses: $68
Activities: We spent the majority of our time walking around and exploring the city with the highlights being the Petronas Towers, Central market, night market, temples, and national monument. We went to the national museum which gave us an awesome look into the history of the country and the city. We spent part of a couple of the days there hanging out at the pool at our AirBnB which was free and also went to the gym there for free twice. We were less than a mile from the Mid Valley Megamall which we took advantage of by going to see two movies on a couple of evenings while we were there. The movies were very cheap and the museum entry fee was about $1. One of our favorite things we did while in Kuala lumpur was visiting the Batu Caves which were slightly outside of the city but easily accessible by train. Besides the low cost of the train to get there, we paid only $2 to walk around inside the caves there.
- Total for my expenses: $11
My total expenses for 6 days and 6 nights in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, including accommodations, transportation, entertainment, and food were approximately $155!
Running total for entire trip to this point (my expenses only): $4,483.
We headed to Siem Reap, Cambodia next, so stay tuned for my next update. Keep an eye on the Facebook page where we are posting much more frequently about the trip including our favorite pictures!