Malaysia Is Inexpensive...And We Love It

Today, with all our expenses combined—food, transport, entertainment, and hotel—Della and I together spent less than $30. And it isn't because we scrimped and saved, cutting corners and pinching every penny*. We have a hotel room with air condition and our own private bathroom. We eat out 3 meals a day (sometimes more), getting a beverage and dessert with almost every meal. And we do stuff! No, we only spent $30 today because Malaysia is inexpensive...and we love it!!

When travelling in a place where things cost approximately 1/4 of what they do in the States, it is easy to live like a king without breaking the bank. In fact, it was one of the reasons that led us to choose our destination this time around. And 2+ weeks in, it has totally worked out. We love it. We love being able to order at a restaurant and not worry about the price, because we know it will be reasonable. We love being able to take a cab when it's pouring rain because it will be less than a Starbucks coffee back home. We just love it.

But don't take my word for it. Here are a few examples of our expenditures over the last couple days to give you an idea:
5-hour bus ride from Lumut to Kuala Lumpur (on buses more comfortable than I've ever ridden in before: seats arranged 2 on one side of the aisle and 1 on the other, leg supporters, gorgeous interiors (curtains, etc.))$6.75
Today's lunch: plate of fried noodles with grilled chicken, plate of fried rice with grilled chicken (both delicious) and 3 cups of ice tea (one with sweetened condensed milk that was heavenly)$3.75
Splurge date night to the cinema* complete with caramel corn, drinks, and candy$11.50*
OYO Dragon Inn hotel room which is clean, where the staff is super nice, and is in a super convenient location$14.50
40-minute ride on commuter railway to popular tourist destination$0.50

Of course one could spend lots of money here. We opted not to go to the top of a tall building which would have cost almost 4X our hotel room. And the "hop on hop off" tourist bus is way more than public transportation and walking*.

To prove we're having an awesome time here despite spending less than one hour of Seattle's minimum wage each per day, here are some photos.

Thursday December 19 2019File under: travel, malaysia

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Have Another Drink

A lot is said about food with regards to travel. And I'm sure I'll add my 2 cents before this trip is done. But one my favorite parts of Malaysia and Singapore so far are the drinks! Delicious, interesting, new, and cheap—couple that with a climate that makes you want to drink something cold and icy all the time and you've got a recipe for fun!

To start with, there is, of course, tea. We got to tour a tea plantation and factory (being sure to take the requisite 1 million selfies). And although the traditional pot of tea is nice, my favorite way to take tea is with ice, milk, sugar, and BOBA! I finally get the bubble tea craze, though I will have a hard time paying $5 back in the states when it comes to about $1.25 here.

Other favorites so far have been fresh mango smoothies (made with real mango), coconut milkshakes (made with real coconut), strawberry juice (made with real, grown right out behind the restaurant strawberries), and corn juice (made with real corn)*. Who knows what Indonesia will have in way of can't-be-missed drinks. But I can only imagine they will be cold, they will be cheap, and we will drink a lot of them!
Thursday December 19 2019File under: travel, malaysia

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