Traveling to Southeast Asia has been a welcomed transition for our trip. With such cheap prices, we can finally make up for our big financial loss during our time in the Middle East and Africa.
Here is my complete spending breakdown in Singapore, Brunei, and Malaysia:
One night in Singapore spending breakdown
Aljunid@SG hostel – $13 USD
Uber (I used it twice) – $15.77 USD ($22.29 SG)
Total spending in Singapore: $28 USD ($39.58 SG)
Only one night was spent in Singapore simply because this was only a 10 hour layover. We spent a total of 40 hours transiting from Cape Town to Brunei, with a total of four stops and the overnight layover in Singapore. Needless to say, this was one of the longest flights we have ever taken.
3 Day Brunei Spending Breakdown:
Bank withdrawal fees – $7.64 USD ($10 CAD)
Food – $21.77 USD ($28.50 CAD)
Two night stay in Apek Utama Hotel – $30.56 USD (It was actually $40 CAD per night but Karen and myself split the cost. In reality, it cost $80 CAD or $61.11 USD for two nights)
Shampoo – $0.76 USD ($1 CAD)
Taxi – $42.02 USD ($55 CAD)
Ferry from Serasa to Labuan – $15.28 USD ($20 CAD is a rough estimate because I forgot to write down the exact amount)
Flight from Cape Town, South Africa to Brunei – $117.34 USD ($153.60 CAD in Aeroplan miles redemption taxes)
Total three days spending in Brunei excluding flights: $118.02 USD ($154.5 CAD – Brunei dollars and Canadian dollars was 1:1 in exchange rate when I went)
Total three days spending in Brunei including the flight: $231.54 USD ($303.10 CAD)
Average spending per day in Brunei: $39.34 USD ($51.50 CAD)
Average spending per day in Brunei including the flight: $78.45 USD ($102.7 CAD)
Aeroplan Miles spent: 90,000 miles (45,000 miles per person)
We ended up spending more money in Brunei than we’d like, mainly because we ended up paying more for the taxis than we had anticipated. We could have saved more money if we had chosen to stay closer to the city centre of Brunei’s capital city. Even if we had to pay more for accommodation, we would still have been able to save more in the bigger picture.
11 days in Malaysia spending breakdown
Air Asia flight from Kota Kinabalu to Kuala Lumpur – $36.20 USD (160.34 MYR)
1 night stay in Sepilok Jungle Resort – $17.97 USD (the actual cost is $46.94 CAD or $35.93 USD but Karen and myself split the cost)
Food – $56.09 USD (248.45 MYR)
SIM card + phone plan – $6.10 USD (27 MYR)
Myanmar E-VISA Photo – $3.16 USD (14 MYR)
Bus ticket from Kota Kinabalu to Sepilok (Orangutan Sanctuary) – $9.71 USD (43 MYR)
Orangutan Sanctuary entrance fee – $6.77 USD (30 MYR)
Bus ticket from Sepilok to Kota Kinabalu – $13.09 USD (58 MYR)
Taxi (used 2 times) – $4.52 USD (20 MYR)
Masada Backpackers Hostel (2 nights) – $21.54 USD (We actually stayed two nights so the actual total cost is $56.20 or 190.8 MYR. Since we split the cost, the price is $26.51 per person for the two nights)
Uber (used two times) – $23.34 USD (103.4 MYR)
Cinema tickets – $7.22 USD (32 MYR)
Kuala Lumpur train ticket – $2.44 USD (10.8 MYR)
11 days spending total in Malaysia: $208.17 USD (922.09 MYR)
Average spending per day in Malaysia: $18.92 USD (83.82 MYR)
Starwood Hotel points spent: 18,000 SPG points – redeemed 5 free night stay with Aloft Kuala Lumpur (I got upgraded to a much higher floor thanks to my Starwood Hotel Gold status)
Best Western Hotel points spent: 16,000 BW points – redeemed 2 free night stay (I got upgraded to the presidential suite thanks to my Platinum Status)
We were definitely proud of ourselves for staying within budget in Malaysia! We went well below the cost, and we have to attribute a lot of our success to travel hacking hotel accommodations. Of course, it also helps that everything in Malaysia is cheap!
Our trip through these three countries was a blast, especially Malaysia. I can honestly say, it was my favourite country I have visited so far in Southeast Asia.
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