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TRAVEL GUIDES RECAP - MALAYSIA | How Much Would It Cost to Travel Malaysia Like A Travel Guide?

5th May 2023

Jungles, temples, orangutans, street food, and skyscrapers. How to travel Malaysia like a Travel Guide!
Learn more about our Travel Guides partnership.

Third Stop? Malaysia and Borneo!

In this episode, the Travel Guides explore the buzzing cities, colourful temples, delicious street food and exotic jungles of Malaysia and Borneo.

In case you missed it, Travel Money Oz Currency Pass is the official currency card of this Logie Award-winning show, so we’ve been following the Travel Guides on their worldwide tour to give you the complete itinerary, exclusive clips, and tips on everything travel and money along the way!

Missed an episode? Read our previous episode recaps:

Sit back and relax as the Fren Family (Mark, Cathy, Jono and Victoria), the Boys (Kev, Dorian and Teng), the Snobs (Kevin and Janetta), the Husbands (Matt and Brett), and the Outback Siblings (Stack and Josh), take you on a tour of the best places to visit in Malaysia.


Because Travel Money Oz is an official sponsors of Channel Nine’s Logie-award winning Travel Guides TV series, we get some exclusive behind the scenes content!

Watch the video below to see the Boys explore the Cat Museum in Malaysian Borneo.



Best things to do in Malaysia


Malaysia is less famous a tourist destination compared to its neighbours Indonesia (Bali being one of the biggest tourist destinations for Aussies) and the Philippines, (which has been having its time in the limelight thanks to Instagram).

As such, Malaysia is a bit of an undiscovered gem, with incredible riches to explore.

Malaysia is the melting pot of South East Asia, with Malay, Chinese, and Indian influences, and a myriad of unique cultural influences, delicious cuisine (hello, laksa!), glitzy major cities, rare wildlife, and lush jungles – suiting every traveller from the budget adventurer to the boujie holidayer.

In this episode, the Travel Guides discovered the top tourist attractions in Malaysia, from indoor theme parks in Kuala Lumpur to seeing endangered orangutans in Malaysian Borneo.

Read on for everything the Travel Guides did, and how much it cost...

Day 1-3 | Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia’s Capital City


Flights and Accommodation in Kuala Lumpur


The Travel Guides flew with Malaysia Airlines with flights priced upwards of $881 per person for a return ticket, with the Frens in economy, the Husbands in premium economy, and the Snobs and the Boys living the luxury life with business class.
COST: $881+AUD with Malaysia Airlines, or find some Malaysia travel deals and Malaysia travel packages with our friends at Flight Centre


Once the Guides arrived in Kuala Lumpur, they checked into Momo’s Kuala Lumpur – a social hotel in one of the most happening areas of the city – because it used to be the red light district. This accommodation is unique in that it offers minimalist micro rooms, and a lot of social activities (including DJs and speed dating), making it perfect for budget travel in Malaysia. The Boys absolutely loved it, while it was less of a vibe for the Snobs who would have preferred Malaysia luxury travel.

COST: Momo’s offers three room types charged per night:
Bunkies (bunk beds): MYR90.99 - MYR142.00 (around $30 to $50 AUD).
Crashpads for Two (twin room with two single beds): MYR133 – MYR200 (around $45 to $65 AUD).
Crashpads (queen bed): MYR144 – MYR206 (around $50 to $70 AUD).

Now flights and accommodation are sorted, on to Kuala Lumpur travel guide…


Malaysia Foodie Tour


This might end up turning more into a Malaysia Food Guide, because a lot of the holiday was the Travel Guides eating their way through Kuala Lumpur!

The Travel Guides went to the Taman Connaught night markets – which is one of the Malaysia’s longest markets – covering 700 stalls across two kilometres of market. Its charm is that it’s still a very local market, despite tourist appeal, so you know it’s the real deal.

Here, the Travel Guides had their pick of Chinese, Thai, Indian, and local Malay dishes – including Malaysia’s famous Laksa – a rich, spicy coconut broth… although the Boys found out, the spice level was advanced participants only.

“I don’t know why she thought I could handle that.” – Dorian (the Boys), coughing, partially weeping.

COST: Free Entry, but you’ll have to pay for the food of course, which can range from 3.50+ Malaysian Ringgit (MYR) for a street food skewer – which is about $1.20ish AUD – and anything else you might want to purchase! Setting aside a budget of 30MYR (around $10AUD) should suffice for the budget traveller, or 60MYR ($20ish AUD) if you really plan to do a LOT of shopping and eating.

The Travel Guides also ate their way through Chow Kit markets, where they tried a very unique delicacy from Sup Haji Abi – the Sup Torpedo. Which, in layman’s terms, is beef penis soup.

Apparently, this dish was very gamey, but had a beautiful and strong beef flavour. “Should we really be enjoying this so much?” asked one of the Travel Guides. But, they all had rave reviews for the taste.

COST: A Sup Tornado costs from 9MYR - about $3AUD.



Exploring Kuala Lumpur City


See the City from Petronas Twin Towers Observation Deck

One of the best ways to see Kuala Lumpur is from above, seeing the expansive city from the Petronas Twin Towers observation deck. The view from the 86th floor draws in thousands of visitors a day, including the Travel Guides.
You can also see the breathtaking view from the Petronas Twin Towers Skybridge – the highest double decker bridge on the planet. As the Travel Guides learned, the Skybridge isn’t fully attached and can sway and swing.
Within the Petronas Twin Towers fitness complex, , the Travel Guides also played Shuttle in the Dark – glow in the dark badminton.

COST: Petronas Twin Towers tour costs 98MYR per adult (about $33AUD). Shuttle in the Dark costs 180MYR ($62AUD) per hour on weekends and public holidays, and 160MYR ($55AUD) on weekdays, with a max group size of eight people.


Beat the heat at Berjaya Times Square

Berjaya Times Square is a colossal 48-storey (203m) shopping centre that also houses Malaysia’s largest indoor theme park. With over 1000 shops over 19 stories, you can find anything and everything – from getting your shopping fix, make your own wax hands, the world’s first waterless aquarium, and the theme park even has the Asia’s longest rollercoaster – the Supersonic Odyssey. Plus, it’s airconditioned, which as the Travel Guides found out, is a lifesaver in the 40 degree Malaysian heat.

COST: Shopping costs as much as you want to spend, and the Berjaya Times Square Theme Park costs 75MYR ($25AUD) per adult.


Get some TLC with TMC

If you’re in need of some Tender Loving Care (TLC), Malaysia’s big Chinese influence means there are plenty of places to indulge in some rejuvenating Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
The Snobs went to Ren Yi Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine  for a Gua Sha treatment ($30pp) to stimulate blood flow, while the Boys had an acupuncture ($17pp) treatment to help “increase collagen and their lifespan.”
The Fren Family went to Tribal Remedy  for a reflexology treatment ($24pp), having the pressure points in their feet and hands massaged… though it can be a bit intense!

COST: Depending on the treatment, you’ll want to budget from 45MYR to 90MYR ($15AUD to $30AUD) – all of which the Travel Guides used their Travel Money Oz Currency Pass


Day Trip from Kuala Lumpur: Batu Caves

Of course, no trip to Malaysia would be complete without visiting one of the biggest tourist attractions in Malaysia – the Batu Caves – which attracts 1.5 million visitors each year and located just north of the CBD.

Sacred to the Tamil Hindus, this stunning and colourful spiritual setting is guarded by Lord Murugan – the Hindu God of War – at the base of the mountain. From there,272 vibrantly painted steps lead you up the mountain to dazzling Hindu shrines and temples set within 400 million-year-old limestone caves.

As the Travel Guides discovered, it’s a place of deep spiritual significance, beauty, “good energy,” and filled with curious, cheeky monkeys.

COST: Free! The Batu Caves have free entrance for the main temple, but for the other surrounding caves there are entrance fees – 15MYR (about $5AUD) for Cave Villa, and 5MYR (just under $2AUD) for Ramayana Cave.

Day 4-7 | Borneo (Malaysia)

Next up on the Malaysia travel guide is Borneo!


Flights and Accommodation in Borneo

From Kuala Lumpur, the Travel Guides took a short 90 minute flight to Kuching, to explore Malaysian Borneo.
COST: $855 per person for Kuching via KL with Malaysia Airlines – of course, flight prices are subject to change. 

The Travel Guides immersed themselves in the jungle with a treehouse accommodation right up in the canopy with Permai Rainforest Resort.
COST: The Permai Rainforest Resort treehouse rooms were 360MYR to 380MYR (about $120 to $130 AUD) per night..

Now flights and accommodation are sorted, on to Borneo adventure guide…

Go for a Hike in Bako National Park

For those who are looking for Malaysia adventure travel, Borneo offers an abundance of wildlife adventures. Bako National Park is home to the Telok Paku hike, where you can encounter the mysterious Proboscis Monkey which is only found in Borneo.
COST: The entrance to Bako National Park is 20MYR (roughly $7AUD)  per adult.


See the Endangered Orangutan with an Ethical Wildlife Experience

Of course, one of the reasons people visit Borneo is to see the beautiful, yet critically endangered, orangutan. This gentle giant of the forest is threatened due to rainforest destruction for farming, and if we don’t do something about it, we might be the last generation to ever see these beautiful creatures.

The Travel Guides were able to see orangutans at the Semenggoh Nature Reserve – a jungle home for injured and orphaned orangutans. This is not a zoo, there is no fencing, and the orangutans are able to leave anytime.

There are fruits left out for the animals, but there is never any guarantee that you’ll see one as they are free to do as they please – so especially in fruiting season, encounters can be rare.

When the Travel Guides finally saw an orangutan swinging down from the treetops, there was a collective inhale – everyone was completely awed. They described it as a deeply spiritual experience.

“I won’t ever forget this.” – Travel Guides.

COST: Entrance to Semenggoh Nature Reserve is 10MYR ($3.50) per adult. 


What can we do to help the orangutans?

According to WWF (World Wildlife Fund) there are five simple ways we can help the orangutans:

1. Make sustainable shopping choices – especially for timber, paper, and palm oil. Look for the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) label on packaging for wood and paper products, and when it comes to food and beauty products, make sure they use sustainable palm oil if palm oil is an included ingredient.

2. Contact your fave brands – they can make a bigger impact than an individual can. Let them know you want them to source and produce their products sustainably. Each voice matters and can make a difference.

3. Small Daily Changes – it can be as simple as reducing your consumption, reusing what you have, and recycling what you don’t. Just by getting a reusable coffee cup you can cut down on the number of paper cups you throw out each year, and this helps the orangutans!

4. Raise awareness and lead by example – the more people who start to make these changes, the bigger the impact! But they have to know about it to care, and sometimes the greatest asset you have is your passion and your voice. Use it to advocate for a better world – that’s free!

5. Donate money to help with conservation work – if you have the means, it can go a long way when you donate to conservation work, building ethical sanctuaries, etc. Make sure you do your research on who you’re donating to and where exactly that money is going.


Explore Kuching – the biggest city in the Malaysian part of Borneo.


On the last day of their Malaysian holiday, the Travel Guides explored Kuching -the city of cats. There are cat sculptures all of the city, and even a cat museum!

The Fren Family whent to Natural Crystal Healing House for some crystal healing, while the others went to the museum or did other shopping activities (and got a hair cut).

COST: The cat museum has free entry! But you’ll probably be doing a little souvenir gift shopping at the end like the Boys in our exclusive clip, so make sure to have your Currency Pass on hand.


How much to budget for a Malaysian  holiday



The official currency in Malaysia is the Malaysian Ringgit (MYR).


Make sure to keep an eye out on currency exchange rates in Malaysia, and come and see us before you go!
We have zero fees and zero commission – because we’re travellers too and wouldn’t want that either.

Don’t forget to take advantage of our Best Price Guarantee*, Rate Move Guarantee*, and Cash Commitment* so you leave with the most money in your pocket.

Travel Money Oz Currency Pass – as featured on Travel Guides!


Of course, you can’t travel Malaysia like a Travel Guide without using our Currency Pass – the official currency card used by the Travel Guides!
There’s a reason this card is trusted by the Travel Guides – it makes managing foreign easy.
For your Malaysia trip, you’ll mostly want to take Malaysian Ringgit in foreign cash, but it’s always good to have a backup – so load up your Currency Pass in AUD, and it will automatically convert to MYR – just make sure to select “LOCAL CURRENCY” when paying to avoid hefty dynamic conversion fees.



In Malaysia, cash is still reigning supreme (especially at local markets), though cards are widely accepted (especially in major cities like Kuala Lumpur).
The general rule of thumb is to take Malaysian Ringgit (MYR) in cash, take a prepaid travel card (like Currency Pass) as a back-up and for shopping sprees, and a credit card for security deposits at hotels and car rentals.

Tipping isn’t expected nor required in Malaysia.

The main tourist hubs will have ATMs but not all are 24/7. Of course, the further you venture away from busy areas, the fewer ATMs and card-accepting places there’ll be. ATMs attached to banks are the safer option.



If you were to do all the activities we saw the Travel Guides do in the Malaysia episode, it would look a little something like this:

Flight to Kuala Lumpur: $881
Accommodation in Momo’s Kuala Lumpur: $70 per night for 3x nights >> $210 total.
Kuala Lumpur Markets: Roughly $10 but up to you!
Petronas Twin Towers: $33
Shuttle in the Dark: $62
Berjaya Times Square Theme Park: $25
Berjaya Times Square Shopping: Up to you!
Batu Caves: Free, but other caves $7
Flight to Borneo: $855
Accommodation in Permai Rainforest Retreat Borneo: $130 per night for 3x nights >> $390.
Bako National Park Hike: $7
Orangutans at Semenggoh Nature Reserve: $3.50
Cat Museum: Free! But keep in mind the gift shop!

In total, your Malaysia Holiday comes to $2483.50 Australian Dollars per person.
Of course, that doesn’t cover any shopping, extra food and snacks, transport, insurance, visas, and more, so factor that into your Malaysia travel budget too!




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Published May 5, 2023. This blog is provided for information only and does not take into consideration your objectives, financial situation or needs.  You should consider whether the information and suggestions contained in any blog entry are appropriate for you, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs.  While we take reasonable care in providing the blog, we give no warranties or representations that it is complete or accurate, or is appropriate for you.  We are not liable for any loss caused, whether due to negligence or otherwise, arising from use of, or reliance on, the information and/or suggestions contained in this blog. Terms and conditions apply to Best Price Guarantee, Rate Guard and Cash Commitment. See for more details.