Travel with a Dollar – Places to visit in Kuala Lumpur

One dollar travel is possible. Believe me! There is a thing known as Currency Exchange Leverage.

When I was in the UK, I used to enjoy the leverage of the British Pound’s exchange rates to other currencies. I remember when I was in Beirut, I felt like a millionaire! The exchange rate was crazy good. So do GBP to Turkish Lira. I can afford to stay in the heart of the Sultanahmet old city’s due to the power of Great British Pound.

Why 2017 is the time for you to visit Malaysia?

As of today, with the economic downturn resulted from low oil price and with US Dollar gains its strength when federal reserve increase the interest rate, a lot of currencies in the world feel the impact. For Malaysian Ringgit, it is at its all-time low if it is compare to the US Dollar.

However, as a travel junkie, you should see this as an opportunity to travel far east to a place that maybe you cannot afford before. If you refer to the exchange rate here at XE Converter, 1 USD is equal to 4.47 Malaysian Ringgit. So how this USD Malaysian Ringgit thing will impact your travel and visit here in Malaysia?

It’s an easy answer. It makes your travel more affordable. You can spend more, shop more and most importantly, eat more!

Why travel to Malaysia

I will list here, 5 things you can afford with only 1 dollar. Crazy isn’t it?
Also please note some currencies may have different buying powers, so you might want to check your currency exchange rate first.

1) Cheap City Train Ticket

If you are in Kuala Lumpur, the most practical mode of transportation is train. This public transportation system will take you anywhere you want. At least, almost anywhere…imagine you are riding the famous London Underground or New York Subway, there are a lot of routes going to many directions. It is similar in Kuala Lumpur.

Places to visit in Kuala Lumpur Kuala Lumpur’s train map. KL Sentral is the heart of it.

The heart of all routes is KL Sentral Station. From KL Sentral Station you can travel to so many routes to different parts of KL. So, now, imagine you are in KL Sentral and you want to visit the famous twin towers. You can just hop on to a train going to KLCC, and the cost for a single one way ticket is only RM1.60. It is like only a quarter of a dollar! I know, it is insanely cheap.

Places to visit in Kuala Lumpur


2) A Visit to National Museum

When you are in a foreign country, you most probably want to delve into the local culture and learn as many things as you can. After all, this is one of the reasons to travel. To learn about others and to open up your horizon. So, if you are looking to visit the National Museum of Malaysia, it will only cost you RM5.00! It is about $1.12.

Places to visit in Kuala Lumpur

National Museum of Malaysia

3) Lost in the Central Market

Home to more than 350 shops and kiosks, selling handicraft, batik, souvenirs, antiques and rare collectibles, with a lot of restaurants and stalls that will entice you for its delicious foods, this place should be one of your top go-to place if you are in Kuala Lumpur.

Places to visit in Kuala Lumpur

Spend your time here and don’t worry if you get lost. There is no entrance fee, so practically you can travel here for 0 dollar. However, foods and stuffs is surely isn’t free. You wish..

But believe me, it will not cost a lot! You must pay a visit to this place. Go find the DIY Batik painting shop, the henna art shop, the Chinese calligraphy kiosk and so much more interesting things to do.

Places to visit in Kuala Lumpur
And even if you really up to $1 and don’t want to spend a penny more, remember that just by getting here, you’ll get the experience of your lifetime. Get more information here at Central Market’s website.

4) Nasi Lemak

Places to visit in Kuala Lumpur

The Tarik – Sweet Tea with bubble frost. Must try in Malaysia

Remember when I talk about Nasi Lemak before, if you have $1 in your pocket, you should be able to buy 2 packs of Nasi Lemaks, and you might even have some spare change to buy national favourite drink; Teh Tarik (literal translation will be Pulled Tea).

Hiking in Batu Caves

To burn off those calories after savouring Nasi Lemak, and maybe if you feel like having a cultural adventure of your life, I suggest you to head up to Batu Caves that has three main caves featuring temples and Hindu shrines. 

Places to visit in Kuala Lumpur

Batu Caves. Malaysia

It is situated just at the edge of Kuala Lumpur, a home to a ginormous statue of the Hindu God at the entrance. There is also a steep 272 climb up to a view of stunning city centre skyline. While you climbing up those stairs, you will be accompanied by monkeys, frolic around the caves. 

Really, this is a popular spot for climbing enthusiasts and also for typical travelers that will enjoy paintings and scenes of Hindu Gods in the Ramayana Cave.

Oh, most importantly, it is FREE!

So, wait no more.
Book your flight to Malaysia now!
See you.

Posted in Things To Do, Travel Malaysia Guide.


  1. I visited Malaysia many years ago but I didn’t go to Kuala Lumpur, I went from Johor Bahru to Penang where they had a festival on at the time.

    At the time we travelled there, 2 Malaysian Ringgits equalled 1 Singapore Dollar, it was a one day trip but it was good. I do agree with you that using currency exchange leverage can certainly work to your advantage in some countries.

    You have proved it can work well in Malaysia especially for western tourists and you have shown that you can get around very cheaply in Kuala Lumpur which I think is a big draw card for tourists.

  2. Thanks for the lovely tour; I enjoyed everything that you had to offer. I shall put Malaysia on my visitation list for sure.
    The pictures almost looked surreal or perhaps those of a fantasy land visit.
    Thanks again.

  3. You did a wonderful job in making Malaysia a place that I would want to visit. You had many interesting points that were important. The rates of exchange was really impressive, you don’t see that much in a travel blog. All of the things to taste; either eating or drinking. The pulled tea looks very tempting!
    The only thing that I was thinking would be that perhaps a little more color at the top of the pages?
    Other than that it was perfect.

  4. Hi A. Habil,

    I love to visit Malaysia and we do go over often . With a dollar we can have a full meal. Just love the food. It’s a holiday playground for many of us Singaporean.

    The Currency Exchange is at the best rate. When ever the Malaysian Ringgit drops you will find a long line at the money changer and jams at the causeway. We just love going over.

    • Hi jaclow.
      You are right.
      I just been to Johor Premium Outlet,
      I noticed there are a lot of visitors and I think most of them are Singaporean.

  5. Hello here. I absolutely would love to see Malasya. I know about Kuala Lumpur from the movie ” Entrapment” with Shon Connery. It seems as a great city with various architecture.
    I wonder how log takes to reach Kuala Lumpur from Midwest, USA?
    How about safety? It is easy to travel alone or it is better go with the group?
    Which month is best? I do not like hot weather. Maybe winter time could work for me?
    Thanks for information, it is an interesting read.
    All the best, Nemira

    • Hi Nemira, glad you like this post.

      I am sure there is no direct flight connecting the US straight to KL. You have to make transit or stopover at other airports. If you cross over the pacific, you can choose to transit in countries like japan, korea or china etc.

      And if you choose to cross over the atlantic, it most probably be transit at european countries usually in London/Paris/Amsterdam and I also believe you may choose to transit at middle eastern countries by boarding emirates/etihad etc.

      It is surely safe. Rest assure that Malaysians love tourists, it is in our culture to be good to visitor. You can travel solo or in group, whichever you prefer.

      I suggest you come in November or during the month of Ramadhan.

      We dont have winter here Nemira. It’s either sunny or rain..and during monsoon season like in dec-jan, when it rains it pours!

      Hope it helps.


  6. Hi! I’ve never been to Malaysia, but it’s definitely on my bucket list of places that I want to visit one day. Friends I now who have visited talk about how beautiful it is. Thank you for highlighting a few things that can be done cheaply. Hopefully one day I’ll get to check them out. Are there places you recommend for people with children?

    • You are most welcome here momma bear.
      It is indeed very beautiful.
      Most of the attraction places are children friendly, however, for the visit to Batu Caves, it might me troublesome to do the steep hiking with small children. It depends on your tolerance actually.

      Hope it helps.

  7. Hello,
    What a lovely place is Kuala Lumpur. It is amazing that you can go to places and spent only one dollar. I would like to visit Malaysia one day an come to Kuala Lumpur as well. Your have included very nice pictures in your article. I believe sweet tea with bubble frost is a must for a visitor to try.

    • Yes, you must try the tea, or locally known as ‘teh tarik’.
      Actually there are more delicious dishes that you must try once you are in Malaysia.
      I will do another write up later.

  8. Oh malaysia, my home country. KL, my hometown. Congratulations on making KL such an attractive place to visit for those who have not been there. Yes indeed you hit the nail on the head with the places to go in Kuala Lumpur. I remember loving Central Market as the place I ‘lepek’ or hang out in during my school days. And yes the Batu Caves will surely help our visitors burn lots of calories from all the nasi lemak they eat. Great job on this post. Very informative and surely a good guide for many visitors.

  9. Hi

    I am going to Malaysia in august. Your article has given me so many ideas for things to do when I get there. It looks such and exciting place. I am definitely going to check out the central market. Thanks

    • Hi steve, glad you found this useful.
      Have a great time here..dont hesitate to contact us if you need more information.

  10. Wow this is some great information, using the exchange rates to take advantage of cheap travel.

    Malaysia seems like a great place to go.It really sounds like the most expensive part will be just getting there. With most of the adventures you listed being less the $5 US your money will really spread far.

    • Hi hood,

      Yes, once you are here, you dont have to worry much on spending.

      Maybe findingcheap airlines ticket will help you to reduce your expenses.

      Hope you will be here soon.

  11. Wow this is a great article! Thanks for the tips on traveling cheap in Malaysia! I love food so I’ll first ask about the food. The picture of the Teh Tarik looks amazing! Does it taste good to you? Is it very sweet? I love that you can try it for $1! I didn’t realize Kuala Lumpur is such a big city. Would you compare Kuala Lumpur to New York City? Is it busy? Is it a very big city? Thanks!

    • Hi jenna.

      The the tarik is quite sweet but not to point where it is unpleasant, for people with health concern, they usually opt for less sweet version..Kuala Lumpur is the capital city of is really big but of course not an apple to apple comparison with is very busy during peak hours on weekdays therefore one should opt for public transportation to avoid traffic during those times

  12. What an interesting article, full of very useful information and tips. I had no idea how cheaply you can do all of those things. KL certainly looks a very interesting place and well worth visiting.

    I did get as far as Singapore a while ago but it was for work so we didn’t get to explore anywhere really so I would love to go back to that region again.

    You have covered something for all tastes and interests so it is a very well thought out and written article, thanks.

    • Hi Gordon.
      You should come over and visit Malaysia next time.
      Even if you are in Singapore, you can cross over the straits and visit Johore.
      It is relatively cheaper than Singapore and has a lot to offer.
      Glad you like this posting.


  13. Hi there

    Thanks for this excellent KL travel tips. I currently live in Malaysia, but in a different state and can confirm that the prices you state are absolutely true. The nasi lemak and other delightful Malaysian dishes are absolutely delicious! – in my humble opinion the cuisine is the best in the entire region!

    • Hi Marshall,

      Where in Malaysia do you live now? I believe everything will be much cheaper in your place compared to kl.

      Glad that you enjoyed our food

  14. Wow, an all time low at 4.47 to the Dollar? I’m reading that in South Africa like “That must be nice!”. Haha. Still Malaysia seems like a great destination for anybody especially with the public transport system putting everything you could want within reach. I definitely need to add this to my list of places-to-see.

    • Hi Ryan.

      That is why we should always be positive in life. There will always be a silver lining in everything that is perceived as bad. Although the economic slowdown somewhat impacted the nation, we are still going strong, and of course, people that know how to leverage this situation will try to get the best out of it.

      You should already book your flight ticket yesterday!! Haha

  15. It sure sounds like the US dollar has some great purchasing power in Malaysia at the moment, and I’m sure it would be a wonderful and majestic place to visit. That bubbly looking iced tea looks yum. The Batu Caves would be a really cool place to see and take photos.

    I haven’t visited Malaysia yet, but it might just make it onto my list with its beauty and the currency exchange rate.

    • Hi Darren, you better hurry.. : )

      Maybe this will fit into your next summer vacation.

      That US Dollar power might getting weaker in the future, especially with the local election that might take place this year. Normally the local economy recover every election time.

      Have a good day

  16. My brother and his fiance had stopped off at Kuala Lumpur for a few days, on their way to Australia. They said it was such a great place, and the food was spectacular. 🙂

    Travelling certainly seems cheap there, and there are definitely some superb places to visit. I’d love to start with the Batu Caves as my first stop. I’m also intrigued by the Teh Tarik drink too.

    I think Kuala Lumpur will be on my list for 2017!


  17. I Syabab. Great article and in depth! I have never traveled to Malaysia and never had thought about it before but now you have perked my interest. Is seems to be an amazing vacation destination. I really should look into travel there but I can imagine it is expensive to say the least. I guess I won’t know until I look into it further. Thanks for enlightening me on another possible travel destination. So many places I want to go and so little time. Ha

  18. Thank you very much for your article. It made me travel with my mind. I enjoy traveling, but I haven’t been to Malaysia yet.
    Your post feeds my interest in visiting this marvelous Country and all its marvelous beauties. Even with a dollar in my pocket!
    Thanks for sharing this


  19. This post is awesome! I’m ready to go to Malaysia now with all these beautiful pictures! I love this article showing all that you can do with just $1! That’s amazing and I really never thought about that before 🙂

  20. Wow that was great article! I actually have a friend in Malaysia who keeps telling me I should come visit. She has been telling me how cheap it is to get flights there at the moment. I am from Australia so we do not get the same benefit as USD but it still sounds like it could be worth it. After reading your post I am definitely more intrigued by KL.

    The statue of the Hindu God really does look enormous! Do you know what that God’s name is?

    Thanks for the article. It was an enjoyable read.

    • Hi Phil,
      I am glad that you find this interesting.
      Although Australian Dollar might not be the same as USD, it is still relatively give a lot more leverage when exchange to Malaysian Ringgit.
      I wish I knew the name of the statue. Need to do more study.. : )

  21. It’s so good to know something like this!! My partner and I will be travelling to various parts of Asia soon and so we rely on blogs like these to help us find the best places to go and for the best prices. I love the idea of using a dollar when travelling and you have posted some amazing $1 ventures! Thanks so much!

    • Hi there, the thing about travelling in this part of the world is it makes you feel like a rich person.
      Happy travelling.

  22. Hello Habil
    I had a 2-day stopover in Kuala-Lumpur some years ago on a long haul flight.What a pleasure.
    Since then I have really wanted to visit Kuala-Lumpur again but I have not gotten to it, but reading your post and all the step by step things do and places to visit, im really tempted.
    Visiting local markets are a must for me when visiting a foreign country, the smells, sounds, exotic foods.I’m just not a regular tourist, I do enjoy out of the way touristy places.Prices seem good too, money go a long way there so taking public transport should be an option,I know I have been to places where public transport is so expensive.
    I have really enjoyed your post,so well written, so much info and you make me want to visit your wonderful country again, not on a stop over but as a real tourist.

  23. Hi Eris, not to be confused, the one that looks like thai tea is teh tarik.
    Nasi Lemak is a dish itself.

    Yes, it is very affordable at the moment, so dont miss this chance!

  24. Yeah, you are right Sofia.
    There is actually way to get good bargain for airlines ticket.
    I will try to cover the topic in the coming post.

    Thanks for your comment.

  25. Thanks for sharing. The places you listed that is cheap to visit sounds great. However, it costs more than a dollar to fly to the destination. That itself, costs quite a bit along with living situation.

    For locals, that’s great. For foreigners from another country, the cost to get to the destination isn’t so great.


  26. Thanks for sharing. The places you listed that is cheap to visit sounds great. However, it costs more than a dollar to fly to the destination. That itself, costs quite a bit along with living situation.

    For locals, that’s great. For foreigners from another country, the cost to get to the destination isn’t so great.


  27. That Central Market is calling my name!! I love that you can find all sorts of local vendors and cultural nicknacks and great souvenirs at markets like this one. Food too, of course! Wandering the shops of foreign markets, people watching, finding amazing treasures… markets are my favorite part of traveling to far off places! (Unfortunately, they are my husband’s least favorite. Sigh.)
    Can you barter at these shops, or is it more like a western mall with set prices?

    • Hi Marlaine, yes you can find all kinds of souvenirs and memorabilia here, and of course, food as well.
      Yes, for some shops, you can still bargain for the better price.
      Hope you will visit Malaysia soon!


  28. Nasi Lemak looks like Thai Tea from Thai cuisine. If it’s anything similar, I’d be in heaven!! I love that stuff.

    Hiking in Batu Caves sound the most appealing to me. I love exploring and checking nature out. That climb up to the stair line would be the first place I would visit. It’s amazing how affordable it is there right now.

  29. Nasi Lemak looks like Thai Tea from Thai cuisine. If it’s anything similar, I’d be in heaven!! I love that stuff.

    Hiking in Batu Caves sound the most appealing to me. I love exploring and checking nature out. That climb up to the stair line would be the first place I would visit. It’s amazing how affordable it is there right now.

  30. Hi,

    traveling to Malaysia sounds fantastic.
    I am living in Asia at the moment, but have never been to Malaysia.
    Taking advantage of the currency exchange rate is a great point!

    I am especially interested in the Malaysian food. What would you recommend I should try once I get there?


  31. Definitely on my list to visit. All the different types of tea sound very interesting. It’s amazing how far one dollar can get you in some places. And of course some of the best things – like hiking – are free! Thanks for writing a refreshing post about things to do in Malaysia, will keep them in mind.

  32. Love your article! I am all for cheap spending on vacations! The pictures of Malaysia makes me want to go asap. I am shocked at the train prices. They are dirt cheap, so that would more than likely be my primary method of transportation. Thanks for sharing! I pinned this article 🙂

    • hi, jo jo, thanks for your comment. Malaysia is a bery cheap place so visit. So, wait no more and start planning your trip now. Cheer

  33. Most of museums & memorials in KL are free to enter. Besides, the KL Tourism Bureau provides 4 FREE guided walking tours. In addition, there are several places in KL where people can watch a FREE cultural performance such as in Central Market, KL Tower and Malaysia Tourism Centre (MATIC).

  34. OMG .. I am planning to travel and I thought about Malaysia before but i always wondered what would I so for fun there. These sites are very interesting and that tea looks tasty. Also these sites are very beautiful. I am definitely adding this country to my bucket list.

  35. Hi M. Ramlee,

    Been wanting to go to Malaysia for a very long time now and was hoping it to be soon. But lately flights to go there have been a bit expensive or it might depend on the airline and season. KL seems to be the perfect city to stay. Can you also fill me in about Langkawi?

    Great post! Thanks for sharing.


  36. Fantastic, some great ideas for things to do in Kuala Lumpur that won’t break the bank! The sweet tea looks really tasty and a lot like the sweet tea here in Thailand – and it really is sweet! The one in Thailand doesn’t have froth on top of it though – it looks better with the froth actually.

    Central Market looks like a really interesting place to visit. Batik painting is popular here on Koh Lanta – we’re really close to Malaysia, so I guess have quite a lot in common!

    The Batu caves definitely look worth a visit – when you’re feeling active and in the mood for some exercise.

    It was great to read all the ideas and amazing when you see how far a dollar will stretch! Thanks for sharing.

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