Kuala Lumpur: Travel on a Budget Day 1

*All photos are mine. Please don’t copy or use without my permission

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Traveling isn’t always glamour and fun. Most of the time, people are worried about the finances of travel and for good reason. Traveling isn’t cheap. From looking for the cheapest rates in airfare to worrying about where to stay, several financial considerations have to be kept in mind before one packs those bags in order to head off for a trip of your dreams.

That isn’t to say traveling on a (very tight) budget is impossible. I’m a student and I don’t have the luxury of having money to stay at nice hotels. Add to that the fact that I’m a Filipino and the Philippines is one the worst in global economic standing (as well as being among the weakest in passport strength) in the whole world. All I have is the dream to visit as many beautiful places as possible (even if I am basically broke and will most likely be broke on my way to doing them.)
In this post, I will be documenting the first day of our trip to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with my cousin Lemuel. This is actually both our first times to Kuala Lumpur so we’re both excited. The tickets we purchased to Kuala Lumpur were bought off a promo by AirAsia last February. I had a budget of Php 25,000 in my debit card but started spending last Thursday. Here’s how the Php 25,000 was spent from last Thursday (May 28, 2015) to May 30, 2015:

May 28, 2015

  • ManiPedi – Php 140
  • Bottled water – Php 35
  • Tables Silvana (Tablea Cafe) – Php 70
  • Strawberry Milk Chocolate – Php 120
  • Taxi – Php 80
  • Toiletries and meds – Php 1450.25

TOTAL: PHP 1895
May 29, 2015

  • Jeep – Php 8
  • Taxi – Php 80 
  • Dinner – Php 358
  • Cherry Charger – Php 200
  • Gift for Malaysian CS Host – PHP 1700
  • Purse – Php 395
  • Backpack – Php 1165.5
  • Bon Chon – Php 175

TOTAL: PHP 4081.5
May 30, 2015:

  • Gas – Php 500
  • Travel Tax – Php 1620
  • Terminal fee – Php 750
  • Dollar Purchase ($21) – Php 1000
  • Dollar Purchase ($31) – Php 1500
  • Ringgit Purchase (RM 100) – Php 1600

  

The terminal fee is irrelevant (in my humble opinion). It’s not like much improvement has been made to MCIA and the airport sorely fails in comparison to other international airports (I’m sorry but the comparison will almost always be made). So it’s sad that we have to pay so much.
 
Don’t get me started on the Travel Tax – a tax imposed only on Filipinos traveling abroad. A tax imposed with no neessary direction in Government (except as a possible venue for corruption). See? So not cynical at all.
   

TOTAL (as of 3:55pm GMT+8): PHP 6970

CASH ON HAND: RM 100; $52

Debit account: PHP 14,477.63

We arrived at Kuala Lumpur by 7:30pm GMT+8. 

 

photo by Sheree Tampus

There’s no time zone difference between KL and the Philippines so it’s easier to check how friends are doing. In order to actually do that, I bought a Malaysian sim from CelCom costing RM 41. Ididn’t realize SIM cards would be that expensive here but apparently it has a 1GB free for 30 days and most Malaysians use the Internet instead of the SMS (which cost 25 cents per message). It was either that or no sim at all (which is hard cause I have to consistently keep folks back home updated). 

 

photo by Lemuel Tudio
  
photo by Sheree Tampus
 After purchasing the SIM, we went straight ahead to the bus stop to get to KL Sentral. Folks could take the train or the bus but the bus is cheaper (it only cost RM 10 while the train cost RM 34). Naturally, we took the cheaper alternative.

 

of course, we can’t not take a photo at the airport!

 
Obligatory airport selfie
  

After an hour’s drive, we arrived at KL Sentral where our Couchsurfing host has waited for us with his car. With a warm smile and a gift from the Philippines (a mug of San Miguel Beer and a Kalabaw statuette – sorry I forgot to take a photo), he invited us to his place at Sri Hartamas. 

After we unpacked and relaxed a bit, he showed us around the area and treated us to a very delicious Malaysian meal.

 

I finally got around to tasting the popular Nasi Lemak! Thanks to our very kind and generous host!
Another couchsurfer has suggested I try this because ‘it’s to die for’
The Nasi Lemak costs only RM 8. 

 

The Nasi Lemak is absolutely sedalpah! Teri makasih for letting us taste this spicy Malaysian dish! 😋 Apologies for bastardizing your language haha I tried.
 
That’s very sulit considering it is absolutely so so good and so so heavenly! If our host didn’t insist on paying for our dinner, I wouldn’t hesitate to pay for it (and eat it again and again!) because it is absolutely worth it.
  
After that, we went right back to our host’s place and looked forward to enjoying the beauty of Kuala Lumpur tomorrow!

  
P.S. As of 9pm GMT+8, my cash on hand are $42 & RM 78.70. Not bad for a first day. I hope to save more for the whole week so I’ll still have enough left over for shopping by the end of the trip.

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