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The Beautiful Malaysia – A Thrifty Trip to Remember in the Home of the Petronas Tower

Last January 4 to 6, 2014, I and my wife visited Malaysia, a neighboring country of Singapore. This is one of my most thrifty 3-days international trip ever. With good planning and preparation, we only spent a total of around Php10,000 (all-in) – that is from Singapore to Malaysia then back to Singapore. How were we able to do it? On this blog with amazing photos, I will share with you the tips and guides on how Php10,000 became enough for our once in a life time trip.

A Thrifty Trip - Overview
Well, believe it or not, in this 3-days thrifty trip we have been able to ride these 5 modes of transportation – airplane, bus, train, ferry, and car. From Singapore, we took Tigerair (a budget airline) at the cost of only Php5,200 (or S$152 for 2 pax on a two-way trip). This was made possible with 3 months advance booking and at the same time availing a $0 promotion on the return flight to Singapore. Budget airlines like Tigerair and Jetstar (my preferred airlines going back and forth to the Philippines) used to have periodic promotions on airfare. From Changi Airport in Singapore, it was only a 1 hour airplane ride going to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. Well, since that was just a budget-friendly ride, we arrived at Kuala Lumpur International Aiport – Low Cost Carriage Terminal (LCCT) at around 8am on January 4. We noticed and LCCT is home to AirAsia, another budget airlines operating in Asia.

At Changi Airport Singapore

Day 1: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

By 9am, we were already heading towards the Kuala Lumpur City via the AEROBUS, a typical bus which dedicated route is from LCC Terminal to KL Central and vice versa. How much did we pay for this ride? It’s Php110 each (or 8 Ringgit) for a one-way ride. It was also a 1 hour ride to reach the city of the Petronas Tower (the photos of which you can see later on). At around 10:30am, we were already strolling around KL Central station and the nearby streets where the Hilton Hotel is situated. My wife requested me to take a photo of her beside the Hilton logo for the very reason that she’s a fan of Paris Hilton. We took our lunch in an Indian-Muslim restaurant. The foods were nice and they are absolutely a must-try cuisine. The next travel experience was something amazing and worth memorable – the train ride.

At Kuala Lumpur AEROBUS Terminal

Kuala Lumpur Bus Ride

KL Central is the main terminal hub for buses, trains and taxis. Our schedule of departure from KL Central to Butterworth in Penang, Malaysia is 4pm of the same day. Since this is a 6-7 hours trip, our scheduled time of arrival at Butterworth train station is pass 10pm. So hours before our adventurous train ride, we eat and drink and walk and eat again inside KL Central. We of course bought some finger foods to eat while travelling in the so-called “Superior Class” coach. Was it really superior? Well, not so much. The train was noisy and the seats were just good enough. But the experience of riding the inter-city train in Malaysia was something worth trying, really.

Our travel going back to Kuala Lumpur from Penang was on the same train actually. Since there is still daylight as we travelled heading to Penang that afternoon, we were able to witness the surrounding from inside the train. Palm trees here and there. At every station is a town where temples and markets can be seen. Malaysia's way of life is just like in the Philippines (as viewed from inside the train).

Breakfast at KL Sentral, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

So at almost 11pm (train is a little bit delayed on schedule), we met my wife’s friends at the Butterworth train station.

It was actually outside the station, besides the bus terminal, where the two bestfriends meet once again. They fetch us with their car and a few minutes before midnight, we were already chatting loudly inside their house. Day 1 is over and day 2 is already waiting and we are so excited.

Train Station at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Day 2: Penang, Malaysia
Day 2 is exploring the entire George Town in Penang, Malaysia. First, we ate our breakfast in a nearby hawker shop or food court. The traditional Chinese noodles with strips of beef and delicious soup awakes our taste buds. We then visited a Chinese Temple. At around 10am, we were already traversing the Penang bridge which is a 13.5km bridge linking the island of George Town to the mainland of Penang, Malaysia. What places did we visit in George Town? They are the Snake Temple, the Komptar tower, Queensbay Mall, Sleeping Buddha temple, Thai Buddhist temple, and many other beautiful places. Our car is just roving around the entire town, passing on small streets, circling on monuments and famous landmarks, and stopping by on perfect spots to take photos. At around 4pm, we crossed the bay going back to mainland Penang via a ferry that can carry about 50 cars and around 500 pasengers. It was a 20 minutes ride and it was really amazing to see George Town from afar.

At Penang, Malaysia

George Town Bridge, Penang, Malaysia

Mini Sea Port at Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia

Visit to Buddhist Temples

Visit at the Snake Temple, George Town, Penang, Malaysia

The rest of the day was spent singing and dancing on a Videoke bar in a shopping mall. At 10pm, we were once again at Butterworth train station waiting for the train that will bring us back to Kuala Lumpur City. We managed to sleep a bit and at around 6am the next day, we realized and the train is slowly approaching the KL Central station.

Day 3: Petronas Tower, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
The 3rd and last day was about visiting the Petronas Tower. From KL Central, we took the city train going there. Our best poses, best trick shots, and best captures of the Petronas Tower are what filled our day with fun and laughters. Walking outside and inside the Petronas Tower was something to remember about. The photos below will tell you why. You should give it a try one day. Since our flight going back to Singapore is at 7pm, we took the early AEROBUS trip going to the LCC Terminal. As early as 5pm, we were already queuing up at the check-in counter of Tigerair. At around 9pm, we were already back home in Hougang, Singapore.

Visit to Petronas Tower, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Tips for a Thrifty but Enjoyable Travel
What this trip reminds me is how to be thrifty not only when travelling for fun but also in many ways in our everyday life. As an OFW in Singapore, being a thrifty a guy is what saved me from being like many OFWs whom when back home to Philippines after 2-3 years of working abroad are ending up broke in just a few months time. A Php10,000 trip to Malaysia is not something to be proud of. Instead, it is just something to be shared about to my friends, families, and co-Filipinos.

Saving money is one of the most difficult things to do most especially here in the Philippines. Life is hard. Prices are high. Salary is low. Transportation fee is always increasing. The government’s budget is not sufficient. Interest rates on loans and mortgages are burdens. There are corruptions going on (read my blog post about Corruption Kills Filipino People). These are the reasons on why we many of us can’t save for our future.

But have you wonder why most of us still have TV, electric fan, home theater system, washing machine, floor made of tiles, kitchen made of granite, air-conditioned rooms, well-decorated living room, shiny car, high metal gates and fences, expensive lotions, luxurious jewelries, high-end smart phones, latest laptops, and budget for movies, shopping, and all the kind parties we used to celebrate? This is a question to all of us and we should think about it deeply and logically.

Your trip to Malaysia or anywhere overseas or local can be as low as Php10,000 also or even lower than that. Good planning, smart budgeting, and discipline in handling money are the keys to live worry-free and with enjoyed life. There is no other time to start doing these things but today.

Related Posts:

When Philippines Becomes Singapore, What Would it be Like?

Who are these OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers) and Why are They the Modern Heroes of the Philippines

Corruption Kills Filipino People - Let's End Corruption in the Beautiful Country Philippines

About this Blog
Did you find this blog helpful? Do you have comments or questions to the author? Noriel Panganiban is a business consultant and writer and he is passionate in writing blogs like this. For more information about Noriel, you can visit his website at You can learn a lot of things from this website. You may also contact Noriel at

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