I initially booked this trip because I felt I needed to give myself a break from all the hustle and bustle of my daily routine.
As cliché as it may sound, I badly needed healing. So I tried to get lost all by myself in an unfamiliar setting in hopes of finding myself again.
If you do not know me, it is easy for me to get lost. I am bad at directions, and I tend to not remember a lot when it comes to places.
So this, indeed, is a big jump for me.
I’d like to walk you through what happened to me in Malaysia, and I have also included the money I spent for this trip, the schedule I created, and all its breakdowns for your reference.
If you are not an OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker), it is mandatory to pay for this amount before leaving the country. Make sure you have this amount ready in the airport!
For the airfare, I usually check several sites such as Philippine Airlines (www.philippineairlines.com), Air Asia (www.airasia.com), FlyScoot (www.flyscoot.com), and Cebu Pacific (www.cebupacificair.com).
For this specific flight, I chose Cebu Pacific as they had the cheapest flights available that fall under the dates I was free and intended to go.
CEB PAC – PHP 5,635.54
Here is the actual breakdown of the airfare for your reference.
- Fly (Manila to Kuala Lumpur) – PHP 2,799.00
- Fly (Kuala Lumpur to Manila) – PHP 2,836.54
AirBnb (www.airbnb.com) is my go-to site when finding a temporary home every time I go on trips or adventures. Not only it is cheap, it also provides value in a sense where functionality, cleanliness, and safety, for example, are carefully taken into consideration. It also has a wide range of choices for geographic purposes, depending on where you’re set to go.
Here is the actual breakdown of the AirBnB accommodation prices for your reference.
- (Butterworth) May 18 – PHP 736.33
- (GeorgeTown) May 19 – PHP 883.70
I do not thoroughly remember the modes of transportation I used while in Malaysia, mostly because around Kuala Lumpur, the Go KL Bus was there, which was free, and it can really take you around most of Kuala Lumpur’s sights already, so that was really a relief for me!
So essentially, most of my transportation we’re in Penang, and they were either via Train, a Taxi, or Grab.
It is very possible that I might have gone over my budget for this by just a tad bit, because of the extra cabs I took when I was getting lost, but I had at least taken down notes on the transportation to and from getting to the places I needed to be in. That is the Airport, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, and then back.
Roughly PHP 3,000
Here are some actual transportation prices in Malaysian Ringgit, for your reference.
- Bus (KLIA2 to KL Sentral) – RM 12
- Train (KL Sentral to KLCC) – RM 2.50
- Bus (Merdeka Square to KL Sentral) – RM 1
- Train (KL Sentral to BTS/TBS) – RM 6.50
- KKKL Bus (BTS/TBS to Penang Sentral) – RM 35.40
- Taxi (Penang Sentral to Taman Pandan Butterworth) – RM 20
- Bus (Taman Pandan Butterworth to Penang Sentral) – RM 10
- Ferry (Penang Sentral to GeorgeTown Island) – RM 1.20
- Grab (GeorgeTown Island to Penang Sentral) – NO IDEA
- Bus (Penang Sentral to KLCC) – RM 40
- KLIA Ekspres (KLCC to KLIA2) – RM 55
I am just going to note some of the restaurants I ate in as I didn’t have the time to actually list down everything and everywhere I have gulped down food in one sitting, moreover mind about their prices.
*cough* Gluttony! *cough*
I have gone over my food spending for sure, but it shouldn’t be too far away from the budget I had in mind.
A very generous serving of breakfast, for example, is around RM 12.50. This is already comprised of a piece of Rolled Coconut Bread, a serving of Hokkien Mee, and a choice of either Nasi Kandar, Tom Yum, or Nasi Lemak, partnered with Coffee or Kopi and Iced Tea or Teh Ais / Teh Peng / Teh Tarik as it is fondly called, depending on which part of Malaysia you’re in.
Drinks range from RM 2.25 to RM 4.50. So it is very feasible to really get a taste of Malaysia’s wide variety of food, even on a budget!
Cendol, for instance, is something I suggest you shouldn’t miss.
Here are some actual food prices in Malaysian Ringgit, for your reference.
- Boost Juice (KLIA2) – RM 13
- The Famous Amos Chocolate Chip Cookie (KLIA2) – RM 11.20
- NZ Curry (KLIA2) – RM 13
- Potterhead Malaysia (GeorgeTown) – RM 36
- Coco Cabana (The Top Penang) – RM 76.80
- Pelita (Penang) – RM 23.50
- Cendol – RM 6
- Ais Kacang – RM 5
- Durian Ice Cream – RM 5
- Coconut – RM 8
- Bean Curd – RM 2.50
Booking for activities was made easier by Klook (www.klook.com), thankfully! Before I head anywhere else, I always browse on Klook just to see if they have activities to my liking, that are usually lower than the price itself if you go directly to the place and pay there, which is why I love Klook. It’s easy, it’s convenient, and it’s cheap. Just a few taps from the app is all it takes!
I was even able to buy a SIM Card which is already 4G activated so I was connected all throughout my Malaysia stay! It only costed me PHP 400, and I didn’t even have to spend more for load as it was already pre-loaded!
I didn’t know what my budget is for this because it usually depends on what I like. It can vary.
Roughly PHP 4,300
Here are some actual Klook activity prices for your reference.
- (Maxis) SIM Card – PHP 400
- Kuala Lumpur Tower – PHP 1,221
- The Top Komtar Penang (WT + AA for Foreigner) – PHP 2,396
Here is an actual local activity price for your reference.
- Rent A Bike Around GerogeTown – RM 20
Kuala Lumpur is an epitome and representation of Asia as a whole and in totality, in my opinion, at least. I was taken by surprise by how diverse the people are in here – Malays, Arabs, Chinese, Indians, Filipinos, and et cetera.
Needless to say, of course, how the culture is softly mixed and varied where you can still tell which came from who. I made sure I immersed in it in all ways I could to fully utilize the experience. Indeed, Malaysia is #TrulyAsia.
The feel of Penang is that of a home town you grew up in and haven’t been in, in the longest time. It’s warm and welcoming with a spike of vintage hues. It makes me reminisce of my own hometown in the afternoons with children playing on the sidewalks, love songs echoing from the radios, an old man sweeping fallen leaves, birds chirping happily, the sun setting on pink skies, and the faint chattering of the neighborhood.
What way to better describe it? Ah! An awakened forgotten familiar feeling where all your memories just rush in, and you’re unable to contain the happiness and sadness of it all.
It is that of when I was bicycling around GeorgeTown where I felt as though I was taken back to my childhood. Glancing low on my shoulder is comfort. I was pedaling hard but I am at ease that I am looked out for. That, to me, is Penang.
GeorgeTown Street Arts
For more sights to see around Kuala Lumpur and Penang, I have compiled all my captures in a vlog which you can watch below.
Here’s a short vlog about my Malaysia voyage! Enjoy!
In the Philippines, it’s a norm for you to take home some token, memento, keepsake, or souvenir (However you want to call it!) as courtesy to the people you left from when you have gone to another place and back.
Usually, it’s that place’s specialty – perhaps a mug, a shirt, a tote bag, a postcard, a keychain, some food, or whatever else you can think of. Be creative!
I’m not the type to really bring home any of these at all, and you may call me stingy if you must. I am very practical and if I feel there is not a need to, I wouldn’t buy any.
Nevertheless, I brought home some fridge magnets, because YOLO!
I felt like this was a rip off though because I bought them from malls where prices were obviously overrated. When I saw them in the Central Market in Kuala Lumpur, they were like RM 5.00 for a set! Hah! Charge it to experience! I know better next time!
I obviously went over my budget on this one, but as I said, YOLO!
Here are the actual prices in Malaysian Ringgit, for your reference.
- Fridge Magnet (2) – RM 21.70
- Fridge Magnet (3) – RM 12.70
I thought in the beginning that this post will just be full of malarkey because this is only supposed to be a non-sense talk of my exploration in Malaysia, but be my guest and you be the judge. Here are my takeaways from this trip.
- I figured I’m not really afraid of a lot of things. I thought I had too many fears I didn’t know I wasn’t really scared of.
Being alone, for example – I learned I actually like being alone, as opposed to what I used to think before that it was one of the things I fear the most.
Being in an unfamiliar place – I realized that the familiar places, in reality, were once unfamiliar places to me too. The same goes with faces and the company of the people who come in and out of my life.
Being uncertain of directions – I reckoned you can only get lost for a certain period of time. You can be found. You will be found.
Being afraid of heights – I found out that I was made to soar in the skies – and being there above – brings me unimaginable comfort I never once felt in my life.
Those were just some of what I have conquered for this trip alone! Thank you, Malaysia!
- I also recognized that people are good, no matter how stern they portray. Although some are really going to take advantage whenever they can, so be cautious. Or some, have, in fact, just been caught in a certain circumstance. Still, I choose to believe that people are naturally good.
- And then I found out that I, as opposed to what I used to believe, am kind. But that I have limits.
- I have also understood independence – from making these itineraries, to asking questions, to finding my way by myself, to relying on my own strength and prowess, and to comprehending that I am by all means and not in any way short of being complete – I was freed. And I found myself.
The trip has served its purpose.
I planned to stay three full days in Malaysia from Friday to Sunday. So I flew in from Manila to Kuala Lumpur on a Thursday night, and flew out from Kuala Lumpur to Manila on a Monday morning.
Being the freak that I am, I had to make sure everything is planned out.
In that sense, here is what I prepared beforehand.
17 Fly Out – 8:50 PM to 12:45 AM
Manila International Airport
18 Friday Morning
Around Kuala Lumpur
18 Friday Afternoon
Bus To Penang
18 Friday Night
19 Saturday Morning
Ferry To GeorgeTown
19 Saturday Morning & Afternoon
Around GeorgeTown / The Top Komtar
19 Saturday Night
20 Sunday Morning
Around GeorgeTown Island
20 Sunday Afternoon
Grab Taxi To Penang
20 Sunday Night
Bus To Kuala Lumpur Airport
21 Fly In – 1:30 AM to 5:40 AM
Manila International Airport
Here’s the total amount I spent for the whole trip excluding the gas / transportation amount used going to and from the airport. If you may not know, I am coming from Pampanga, which is roughly 2-3 hours away from the Manila International Airport.
All in all, I spent a little more than PHP 20,000 for this holiday.
Before I left, I did have a lot of ideas and thoughts about me where I recently grasped that I have wrongly accused myself.
And I have learned so much things I know I will never be able to learn while sitting in front of my computer, nor scrolling behind my phone screen.
I have gotten to know myself better.
And those can never be replaced by no matter how much amount of money I spend on these journeys.
And I am positive I will do it again, soon! Yay!