I am Hirak Biswas, a sarcastic human being, a foodie and a person who loves to sleep a lot. So I reside in a beautiful city Kolkata which is called the “City of Joy”. Earlier I was working in the BPO Sector and now somehow I managed to have my own business. I was a karate player as well, not by profession but was by passion. Coming to my travel tales, I embarked on a trip to Malaysia and Thailand with my friend. And if you’re wondering, what is a great Malaysia and Thailand itinerary? Then here’s my 10-days trip and itinerary to Malaysia and Thailand in ₹50,000 (including flights). So here’s my memorable journey in these two awesome countries.
Travel Trip to Malaysia & Thailand
Accompanying me on this trip was my friend named Aniket. We met in school and became friends when I was in class 1. I went to Thailand for my Karate Championship in the past in 2012. And that trip actually motivated me to travel to international destinations. I always wanted to travel after that but was waiting for the right opportunity or you can say the perfect time.
So one fine day Aniket suddenly called and asked me to give him company for an International Trip to Thailand. So I happily said yes, because I thought this is the best time. Going abroad for my friend was easy because he could afford it, but for me, it was a very big thing. I was just 19-year-old who didn’t have any job, and I didn’t want to ask for help from my dad nor from anyone.
Saving Up For This Trip
The best way I could afford to go to this Malaysia & Thailand trip was by doing a job. So I choose to join a BPO where I was working in a night shift with a salary of ₹11,000 per month. So luckily within 5 months of work, I managed to save ₹50,000 and a bit more. Living the whole month in ₹1,000 and sometimes in ₹600, and saving around ₹10,000 per month, was the biggest challenge.
Since I am from Kolkata, staying with my parents did help me save easily. But I did have to make sacrifices on my part. I would work for odd hours like 7 pm to 4 am. I would walk to the office at times, and then get dropped by the company vehicle. Thanks to my friend, Ankit, I could save some more money as he would sometimes drop me to work on his bike. When it comes to food, I would even skip meals during office hours. No matter how tempting the food of Kolkata was, I did not eat anything from outside for 5 months. Travel did mean a lot to me and I was ready to go to any lengths to make my Malaysia & Thailand trip a reality.
Managing My Budget For This Trip
Our plan was to go to Thailand but I thought what if we can explore one more country as well within this budget. Then Malaysia came to our minds. We decided to plan this trip in utmost detail. Coming from night shifts and staying awake in the morning to make our own itinerary, includes booking flight tickets and visa. We booked flights which cost us ₹15,000 each from Kolkata-Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur-Bangkok, Bangkok-Kolkata.
Visa for two countries cost us ₹7,000 each. And the hotel cost was ₹4000 each for both the countries, which we booked online from MMT. I took 500 Ringgit cash for Malaysia which was about ₹10,000. And 10,000 Bhat cash for Thailand which was about ₹20,000. So now that you know about my stringent budget, have a look at my 10-days trip and itinerary to Malaysia and Thailand in ₹50,000 (including flights) from 5th September 2018 to 14th September 2018.
We took a flight from Kolkata at night and reached Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia in the morning to witness a bright and sunny morning. We took a bus which cost us 20 Ringgit(₹342 approx) which took us to the main city KL Central.
Then we took monorail which cost us 10 Ringgit (₹171 approx) and was fast and convenient for us to reach Bukit Bintang. A place where you find the maximum number of tourist and the best nightlife and was near to Petronas Twin Tower, which was the main reason to come to Malaysia as well. So we checked in the hotel. My friend and I shared a room. The room was awesome, super clean and well maintained. It was almost afternoon when we reached. We decided to take a bit of rest and then to explore the place. So we started to explore Bukit Bintang in the evening. We were stunned to see the nightlife of the place, crowded with tourist.
We started from Changkat Bukit Bintang, it has often been likened to London’s Piccadilly Circus and New York City’s Times Square. An avenue on which a large number of KL’s most popular bars and restaurants can be found, it is a trendy place that is great for pub crawling. It is actually located just behind Jalan Bukit Bintang,
The buildings were unique because they used to be pre-war, colonial shop-houses that were refurbished and turned into upmarket pubs and restaurants – most of which serve western food. And that was all for the day 1, we explored the nearby places and returned back to the hotel because we were very tired of staying awake the whole night in flight till the afternoon until we reached hotel.
We had breakfast in an Indian restaurant which was of 5 Ringgit(₹86 approx). Normally you can have food at this price, be it local food or Indian food. We have basically sorted our expense which was 10 Ringgit(₹171 approx) each for 3 times meal which was 30 Ringgit(₹513 approx). For 5 days it costed us approx. 200 Ringgit(₹3421 approx) for food.
Along with the Petronas Twin Towers, Menara KL Tower is easily Malaysia’s most recognizable and popular landmark. This gleaming tower’s spindle-like apex is visible from almost anywhere in Kuala Lumpur. Menara KL’s Tower Sky bridge; the view is marvellous during the day and even better at night when you can see the entire sparkling city Centre.
We were not just excited but we went crazy about this place. So the day went all like this exploring few more places and we returned to our hotel after having lunch in KFC trying Malaysian Menu which affordable for budget travellers like us because we had already sorted the expense of spending money. Lunch cost us 10 Ringgit(₹171 approx) and we were full. The amount of food was a lot.
It was evening and our excitement increased to a thousand per cent because at last, we were going to the place which was the best thing for the trip. The Petronas Twin Tower. And if you’re planning a trip to Malaysia check out Malaysia To Waiver Visa Fees For Indians Till Dec 2019
We went up to the tallest building which was a landmark of Kuala Lumpur, along with nearby Kuala Lumpur Tower; they remain the tallest buildings in Kuala Lumpur. And then we went to KLCC Park which had jogging and walking paths, a fountain with an incorporated light show, wading pools, and a children’s playground.
Then the sky Bridge The towers feature a double-decker sky bridge connecting the two towers on the 41st and 42nd floors, which is the highest 2-story bridge in the world. We saw the whole city from there and it was the best place we visited till now.
We spent the whole evening sitting in the cold breeze and watching tourists, clicking pictures and yes feeling the moment which was the best of all.
The one thing I would recommend every traveller out there is to speak to locals and ask them for travel recommendations Locals are the best people to give you firsthand information about hidden gems in the city. So we checked with a few locals and they suggested us to go to a few places. We mostly started exploring from the evening till the next day morning and slept in the morning till afternoon during the course of our trip. Sometimes we used to go to local places or hang out with travellers from other countries at a coffee shop or at a restaurant in the day time and again we started exploring from the evening.
There is a pink colour bus which runs throughout the city and takes passengers for free. We took that and reached the place. The Malaysia Heritage Walk, called Kasturi Walk by locals, is a covered, open-air flea market along Jalan Kasturi, where we found vendors selling local snacks, fruits and fake label goods (think, T-shirts, flip flops, watches) set up side-by-side. Additionally, the goods are reasonably priced plus its convenient location makes a trip here worthwhile. Food stalls sell everything from Malay kuih and Chinese dim sum to Indian rojak and other local snacks.
We bought some clothes for us which was very cheap and at affordable prices. We visited a few more places nearby and we spent time till the evening roaming there. Then we went back to Bukit Bintang. We went to some pubs and Shisha Bar, grabbed drinks and enjoyed the rest of the evening.
My friend and I like our mornings to be chilled out, and we wanted to enjoy the nightlife of Malaysia to its fullest. We explored Berjaya Times Square which is a 48-storey twin-tower complex in the evening. Inside each tower you can find a variety of affordable, small-time retail boutiques: when it comes to entertainment this is where the mall really shines – there is a nine-screen cinema, Asia’s largest indoor theme park (with 14 specially-designed rides including a thrilling roller coaster), an archery range and 48-lane bowling alley. It is connected to the Kuala Lumpur Imbi Monorail station via a footbridge. We explored that place and that was all for the day.
We went to Jalan Alor Bukit Bintang, which is one of the most famous roads in Kuala Lumpur for food. Located just behind Jalan Bukit Bintang and a short walk away from Changkat Bukit Bintang, it is a favourite after-clubbing dining spot in the Golden Triangle area.
We had seafood at one of the air-conditioned restaurants which was really good and inexpensive, we highly recommend the hawker food. KL being an immigrant city, the variety of food available is amazing and in Jalan Alor the barbecued meats, noodles and desserts are some of the best (and cheapest) in the city. Most of these dishes cannot be found in fashion-conscious restaurants – and even if they are, they are rarely as tasty, so hawker stalls are a favourite on the city’s foodie scene.
We left for the airport for our next destination and stop which was Thailand, Bangkok with all the memories of Malaysia which made us emotional as well. We took flight in the evening at around 5 pm and reached Bangkok Don Mueang Airport at around 8 pm.
As we were a budget traveller it was very important for us to save money as much as we could. We missed the last bus to reach the Bangkok City because of the lengthy visa process, and it was very costly to go by cab, so we decided to stay the whole night at the airport and leave the next morning. Somehow we managed to sleep in the chairs, eating a sandwich from 7 pm to 11 pm and waiting for the morning. Next morning, we took the bus and left for Khao San Road, which was the best nightlife place according to my knowledge and research. Talking about Bangkok did you know Bangkok In Thailand Is The Most Visited City In The World?
In the morning we left for Grand Palace which was built in 1782, and for 150 years the home of Thai Kings and the Royal court, the Grand Palace continues to have visitors in awe with its beautiful architecture and intricate detail. Wat Pra Kaew enshrines Phra Kaew Morakot (the Emerald Buddha), the sacred Buddha image meticulously carved from a single block of Emera. Then we went to a few more local places and that was all for the day. You can even visit these 5 Unexplored Places In Thailand
It was evening and it was now time to enjoy the nightlife of Bangkok. Khao San Road is the scene of their collision, the place where they jostle for superiority and poke one another in the eye. With travellers from every corner of the modern world, sleek clubs playing sophisticated sounds, eclectic market stalls, converted VW cocktail bars, and foods tamed to suit the Western palate, it may seem clear who won the fight. However, whether you’re a hard-up farang or open-minded Thai, its irrepressible energy and carefree vibe makes it well worth a visit.
Khao San Road has plenty of places for partygoers to choose from. This long entertainment street offers numerous bars and restaurants serving drinks at cheap prices. After the sunset, many mobile bars will take over the roadside, selling buckets full of cocktails. This is one of the most popular precursors to start the night before heading out to sample some of the nearby clubs.
We left for Pattaya because we had more two days left for our trip. So we took a bus in the morning and reached Pattaya at around 3 pm. We took a bike taxi which cost us 100 Bhat( ₹236 approx)and went to our hotel Sawasdee Sea View. We checked in and left to start exploring.
Khao Pattaya View Point on Pratumnak Hill is the best viewpoint in the region and the place to visit day or night to get that classic shot of Pattaya’s sweeping, crescent bay. Be warned though, this is anything but an insider’s tip so expect to share your view with an almost ceaseless conveyor-belt of package tours and the local traders who follow them touting cheap souvenirs and expensive refreshments. This might sound off-putting but the reality is tours will usually stop for 10 to 15 minutes and once they have been called back to the bus, the viewpoint becomes quiet and peaceful – perfect for enjoying the stunning scenery.
The sights and sounds of Walking Street are quite unlike anything else in Thailand. Other towns and cities try to claim to have their own version, but nothing comes close to matching the 500 meters of fun which is found at the end of Pattaya’s Beach Road. Taking its name from the fact that it is closed to vehicle traffic after 18:00, almost every building on both sides of the road – as well as many in the side streets around it – is a nightclub, beer bar, restaurant or go-go bar to the extent that the road is almost completely deserted during daylight hours as virtually everything is shut. At night, however, the road comes alive with neon lights, thumping music from different genres, food vendors, street performances and party animals from around the world.
There is a lot more to this 4 km crescent of coastline than just sand and sea. In fact, the beach is not even the star attraction, even if it is home to a huge number of speedboats, parasails and jet skis, as well as diving boats and floating restaurants. Pattaya Beach Road, which is just a line of palm trees away from the shore, is the place to be.
Here you can find the best attractions, the best shopping, the best eating and the best partying in the main part of the sprawling conurbation now known as ‘Greater Pattaya’. Between Pattaya North Road and Pattaya South Road, there is a wealth of experiences to enjoy, ensuring that you will never be bored.
After Pattaya Beach, we also went to Jomtien beach. This place of sand is a much quieter place compared to its rowdy neighbour to the north. It still has many attractions – some of which are world firsts – but the biggest is, without a doubt, the pleasure of a leisurely day on the sandy shore, splashing in the clean and uncluttered sea and enjoying the cheap seafood snacks available from wandering vendors. Check out A 7-Day Itinerary To Explore The Best Of Thailand
And also you will find some of the finest restaurants in the area as well as unique attractions such as world-renowned botanical gardens, thrilling water parks and awe-inspiring cultural and religious sites. There is also a great selection of excellent hotels for all budgets.
It was all done for the trip and now it was time to go back home with all the memories and the hard work which I had done for this trip. We left our hotel then sat on the beaches for the last time, we had a beer and was feeling the last day. I was a bit emotional and I started crying as well. I never thought that I could go abroad, coming from a middle-class family it was hard to see these dreams. But it was my trip to Thailand in 2012 for my karate championship where I represented India, which motivated me to travel abroad.
Living in the worst conditions for 5 months to save the maximum amount of money. I remember not eating food, sometimes walking to the office, not visiting any restaurant or anything to save money in those 5 months. I used to stand outside and watch people eating, but didn’t want to indulge as I had to save money. All these sacrifices definitely paid off. And having to now leave this beautiful paradise of Malaysia and Thailand definitely made me emotional. Anyway, we went to the bus stand, took a bus and reached Don Mueang airport. Our flight was at around 12 am. We reached Kolkata at 2 am.
Tips For People Wanting To Visit Malaysia & Thailand On A Budget
- People who want to have a budget trip, I would suggest them to book flight almost 3 months earlier to save your budget big time. This is what we did.
- Exchange your currency after seeing the rates regularly, for the best rate.
- Divide your expense into different parts such as food for every day, hotels for each day and daily expense such as sightseeing bus, cab fare etc.
- About saving money you need to sacrifice something to achieve something. It’s not easy to survive like this but if you actually think of doing that you will end up having a beautiful and an awesome trip abroad.
- You can find hotels at affordable prices. The only thing is, to keep checking the hotel prices regularly in different sites which I did for months and finally got a good deal at MMT. If you book a bit early that will be a plus point, it actually depends on the season.
- If you are travelling alone hostels will be the best option
Things I Learned from This Trip
Travelling was not a passion for me earlier but when u think you can achieve something..you have to go for it. This trip gave a lot of lessons like saving more money in less time..taught me how to live and move ahead in the worst conditions to achieve your goal. 5 months of saving money were very hard, especially saving 90% of your salary and living in 10% of salary was the hardest challenge.
But, yes! It was worth it. The best part was I could travel to 2 countries with limited money but with a great experience. These two countries are best at their places..there are a lot of places to see and activities to do in less budget. So if people do not have enough money but they wanna travel abroad then these 2 countries are the best. Its affordable and people can get an awesome experience if you want to actually make it.
This article was contributed to Curly Tales by Hirak Biswas. If you have an article or similar experience to share, do write to us on firstname.lastname@example.org