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First Week + Costs in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

So we’ve been here one week. I’m not sure whether to say it feels like a blip or an eternity. It certainly feels like an eternity since we stayed at the hotel in Chinatown. For all the bad things I could say about them I’ll take a moment to focus on the good- the rooms were relatively clean (only small bugs that showed up when we had fruit), the housekeeping respected the sign on the door when we wanted privacy or cleaning, the rate included free bottles of water daily (that”s a RM2 value!) and a free shuttle to KLCC (which we used daily until they stopped us to say it was only meant to be once per stay) and of course they didn’t charge us for the 2 nights we had left on our reservation when we checked out.

I think we’ve been out to eat more times in the past week than I’ve been out in the past six months. That’s a slight exaggeration, but really only slight since we didn’t eat out in Denmark once. We’ve been to the grocery stores and shopped a little bit since we got here but it’s just too damn cheap eating out.

Here are some comparisons between the prices of our meals to date and some of the things we’ve found at the grocery stores that we would normally eat:

(RM or MYR internationally is about 3.65 +/- a few points to $1)

Grocery Stores

Freshly Made Tempeh RM1.40
Cucumber RM2.50
Prepped Pineapple RM2.00
Kettle Chips RM10
Peanut Butter RM9
Bao (Buns) RM3.50-4
Apple Cider Vinegar RM12
Can of Juice of Soda RM1.3-1.8
Small bottle of water (600ml) RM 1.05 for process tap, 1.40 for mineral
Large bottle of water (1.5 liter) RM2.4
2 liters of Fresh Juice RM9-12
Pringles RM4.50
Loaf of Bread RM3-3.5
Dairy Free Margarine RM8-10
Canned Pasta Sauce RM9-16
Mangoes RM0.50-0.80
Pre-washes and mixed salad lettuce RM6-9
Noodle Cups RM1.50-6
Noodle Packs RM1-6
Frozen Pizzas (no oven here but I wasn’t planning on having any) RM15
Frozen Vegan “Meats” RM4.20-8

Fast Food Snacks

J.Co Donut RM2.40
Auntie Anne Pretzel RM2.5-4.20
Bubble Tea RM3.90

Meals

prices represent the (approximate) total price on a meal for two
Fatt Yan RM12, RM30, RM38
Pink Lotus RM30
Vegetarian Kiosk (on my own) RM4.20
Vegetarian Kiosk RM20
Sushi (five plates) RM15

With dishes at the restaurants starting around RM5 and topping out around RM15 we will likely keep eating out. Along with the cheap dishes listed on the menus, almost every restaurant has a lunch special that’s “economic” as they like to say, so a lunch (and not a mountain of food like today) would total about $1.50 per person.


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