Penang – Malaysia – GRANDPAcking Costs

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MARCH 2015:

OVERVIEW:

My costs start at Kuala Lumpur airport and include:

  • Travel from KL to Melaka
  • 8 nights in Melaka
  • Flight from Melaka to Penang
  • 12 nights in Penang

My costs end at Penang airport (where I catch my flight to Bangkok).


CROSS REFERENCES:

For more information, read my post on Penang.

Click here to read about Retirement Locations in this country.

Click here for detailed Travel Information and more Travel Budgets in this country.

Read About – GRANDPAcking Costs if you don’t know how to interpret my figures.


SPREADSHEET SUMMARY:

Penang GRANDPAcking Costs


MY ACTUAL 1 PERSON BACKPACKING COSTS:

Accommodation: I was unable to find suitable accommodation in Melaka and Penang for my target price of MYR75 / night (or less). As a result, I did not do western Malaysia as a GRANDPAcker… my costs are FLASHPACKER costs (as  they are based on cheaper accommodation that is unsuitable for GRANDPAckers). In Melaka I had a simple Double Room with fan and shared (cold shower) bathroom. In George Town I had a Single Room with aircon and shared bathroom. In Batu Ferringhi I had a Single Room with fan and shared (cold shower) bathroom.

Transport: You cannot rent Scooters in Melaka so I had to walk everywhere (which was very restricting). I got a good deal on a Scooter in Penang for 10 days at MYR20 / day (for a Scooter less than 1 year old).

Communications: I already had a SIMcard from my previous visit to Malaysia (Langkawi) so all I had to do was ‘top it up’.

Food: Typical food for the day would be about MYR30.

  • Breakfast: Roti Chania with Fried Egg and Black Coffee (MYR2.60)
  • Lunch: Something from a Local Cafe lunchtime buffet including White Rice, 1 piece of Chicken, and vegetables (MYR8) with a drink (MYR2-3) = average MYR10.50
  • Dinner: Something from a Hawker Centre for about MYR8-16 with juice (MYR5) = MYR17 average

My ‘Cost of Existing / Day’ was NZ$29 / US$22 / €20 / £15. This put a ‘cheap and cheerful’ roof over my head, gave me necessary transport & other basic necessities, fed me 3 times each day in a ‘local cafe’ or ‘hawker centre’, and paid for my refreshments.

My available ‘LIVING Funds’ each day were NZ$51 / US$38 / €36 / £25.

I spent very little of those LIVING funds. Some of the funds were spent on transport between KL, Melaka, and Penang. The majority was spent on Beer and Rum.

Please Note: Alcohol was so expensive (from a GRANDPAcking point of view) that I did not live my normal lifestyle in western Malaysia. I didn’t spend any time in bars. I saved money by buying bottles of rum from the supermarket (I would buy a couple of cans of, say, coke and drink rum and coke with my dinner). I bought the ‘rare’ bottle of beer in the evenings.

My actual GRANDPAcking costs came in at NZ$43 / US$32 / €30 / £22 per day. On that budget I found myself getting a bit bored though and should, probably, have ‘splashed out’ a bit more… but there wasn’t really anything to ‘splash out’ on.


WHAT IT SHOULD COST 2 GRANDPAckers:

Accommodation: GRANDPAckers would need to make an exception and spend more than normal for accommodation. A GRANDPAcker Double is about MYR90 / night.

Transport: GRANDPAckers would get by quite happily using public transport in Penang.

Communications & Fees: GRANDPAckers would get by on a cheaper SIMcard package with less Data.

Food: There were no significant savings to be made.

After making such adjustments, the ‘Costs Of Existence’ of 2 GRANDPAckers is about MYR156 / NZ$60 / US$45 / €42 / £30 per day.

This is MYR52 per day to LIVE on (i.e. 25% of your GRANDPAcking budget is available for LIVING).

With that money you could:

  • Upgrade your Dinner for 2 and eat in one of the best Restaurants
  • Drink 3 large beers
  • Rent a scooter for a day (inclusive of petrol) and spend the day touring Penang
  • Have 10Kgs of your clothes laundered
  • Buy an average of 5 personal ‘luxuries’ in the local store

Having such funds available day after day means that every day is a good day.


CONCLUSION:

I was ‘too sensible’ with my expenditure and ended up being ‘too frugal’. In hindsight, I could have spent the MYR90 on better accommodation but, to be honest, I wouldn’t have benefited much from it… it wouldn’t have given me a better location and it wouldn’t have contributed to me having a better time.

I wanted for nothing and did everything that I wanted to do.

If I had spent all of my resultant ‘LIVING funds’, I would have been living very very comfortably (as long as I kept off of the alcohol).


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