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Budget Travel: 3 Great Destinations For Less Than RM150

Published on 12 July 2018|
2 min read

Travelling doesn’t have to burn a hole in your wallet.

by Stanley P, Carrybeans

Travelling has been the craze for so many people as of late. However, not many people have the time and money to travel to scenic places, like in Japan or New Zealand for example. But that doesn’t mean that you cannot go travelling at all. There are a lot of interesting places in Sabah and if you plan it carefully, it shouldn’t cost you a fortune. So, as an advocate for budget travelling, let me tell you places you can go in Sabah without having to break your piggy bank.

But before we go on, let’s set up some ground rules:

  1. The budget per person is RM150
  2. The budgeting here assumes that you are going in a group of three people. So, the transportation cost listed here is the estimated cost per person.
  3. To make this list more legit, the list includes at least an overnight stay at the location
  4. The budget doesn’t include buying for souvenirs or food
  5. The budget assumes that you are a Malaysian. If you’re not a Malaysian, expect some fees to be much higher

1. Kota Kinabalu

CreditLinda H, Trip Advisor

There’s loads of stuff to do in KK and getting around the city is very easy thanks to services like Grab. So, it shouldn’t cost you more than RM10 per trip in a Grab car, especially if you’re travelling with friends. As for the lodging, you can stay in a budget hotel, which many of them offers room for less than RM100. However, if you want to go super cheap, there are numerous backpackers hostels around KK. Many of the hostels are in Gaya Street, so go there if possible.

As mentioned before, you can do a lot of stuff here. One of the main things to do is island hopping. There are four islands to visit altogether, but personally, I recommend just visiting Manukan Island. While the other islands are nice, I think Manukan is the prettiest and you won’t be missing much if you didn’t visit other islands anyway. But whichever island you went to, remember to bring your own foods and drinks because the ones sold on the islands are very expensive.

After that, you can go on a sightseeing around the city. There’s the Sabah Museum, Monsopiad Cultural Village, and Lok Kawi Wildlife Park, which you can go in for a small fee. But if you want to go somewhere that doesn’t cost you any entrance fee, consider doing to Signal Hill Observatory Platform, Tanjung Aru Beach and Tanjung Lipat Beach. If you want to do something physical, there are a few hiking spots around the city, like Kopungit Hill and Bukit Padang. As for nightlife, there are a number of pubs around town, especially in the Gaya Street area.

Speaking of Gaya Street, you can also visit the Sunday market along the street. The market is popular among both locals and tourists, so don’t miss it. I suggest staying the backpacker’s hostel on Friday, go for the island hop and sightseeing on Saturday and Gaya Street on Sunday.

Cost breakdown

P/S: Places like Signal Hill Observatory Platform, Tanjung Aru Beach and Tanjung Lipat Beach doesn’t have any entrance fees


  1. Backpacker’s hostel (The Bunk Kota Kinabalu, Kinabalu Backpackers Lodge)
  2. Island tour
  3. Monsopiad Cultural Village
  4. Sabah Museum
  5. Lok Kawi Wildlife Park
  6. Signal Hill Observatory Platform

2. Ranau

CreditRaymondYkChoong, Trip Advisor

Ahh, Ranau. The home of Akinabalu. Since Ranau and Kundasang are very popular among visitors, you will not have any problems in getting a place to stay. While backpacker hostels are available here, you can also camp for an outdoor experience. Hounon Ridge Farmstay & Camping is a very great place to camp because you can get a very nice view of Mount Kinabalu there. However, if you prefer to sleep somewhere that have four walls, they also have rooms that you can stay in, including a dorm if you want to save some money.

In terms of the activities, the place that you can go includes Poring Hot Spring, Kundasang War Memorial, Kinabalu Park, Sungai Moroli Fish Spa and the Rabbit Farm. The entrance fee for each of the places should cost too much. Besides going to the tourist spots, you can also go and buy fresh vegetables there. One thing about going here for a vacation is that it’s better if you bring your own car or rent one because there are no Grab service there.

Cost breakdown


  1. Hounon Ridge Farmstay & Camping
  2. Poring Hot Spring
  3. Kundasang War Memorial
  4. Desa Cattle Dairy Farm
  5. Sungai Moroli Fish Spa
  6. Rabbit Farm

3. Polumpung Melangkap View Camp Site

Credit: sushistreet91

If you prefer camping by a river, Polumpung Melangkap View Camp Site should be on your list. Located in Kota Belud, it should take you less than 2 hours to reach the campsite. The campsite virtually prepares all your camping equipment, such as tents and sleeping bags for just a small rental fee. So all you have to do is to show up there. The activities that you can do here include swimming, barbecuing, camping and stargazing. So, if want a more laid-back vacation while enjoying the nature, camping in Polumpung Melangkap should be on your to-do list.

One of the Carrybeanies actually went to Polumpung Melangkap View Camp Site recently. Read here if you want to know his experience there.

Cost breakdown


  1. Polumpung Melangkap View Camp Site

Featured Image Credit: Meena B, TripAdvisor

Beaches, islands and hiking trails–Semporna got it all for nature lovers out there.

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