So in my life update from this recent post, I said that I’m not sure what my next plans are. See, I genuinely do like Kuala Lumpur a lot. I really have fallen in love with it purely as a city. But at the same time, I’m also not sure if this is where I belong anymore.
And while the idea of truly solo travel scares me a little still, there are so many other places in the area that I haven’t been to yet and I really should see them while I’m still here. Because once I leave the area… who knows when and if I’ll come back??
I have really enjoyed settling down somewhere and having a home base. One of the main attractions of KL (besides the food, the boy, and the easy way of life… ummm not particularly in that order) is that KL is SUCH a great travel hub. First of all, it’s a major SEA hub and flights are insanely affordable. And secondly, it only takes a few hours to get to anywhere in Southeast Asia.
Malaysian Budget Airlines
I’m a HUGE fan of the Malaysian budget airlines. Flights are almost ridiculously cheap (I’ll show you in bit). So I think this is a great opportunity to use my remaining time here to go explore other places.
Here are some of your options for budget flights in Malaysia:
– Air Asia: Has a huge network of flights that go to almost anywhere within 6-7 hours of flying. Now, this is just about as budget as you can get. There is no seat-back entertainment or even a USB plug to charge your phone. And a checked bag can cost an extra $30 if you check in at the counter (so only carry-on for me!) It’s super basic, but I really appreciate Air Asia and their cheap flights.
– Malindo Air: Another cheap budget airline that often has discounts. This is a relatively new airline that’s a joint venture between Malaysian and Indonesia. It’s very competitive with Air Asia prices, but doesn’t offer nearly as much routes. But I have to say I’m SUPER impressed with Malindo Air! The seats are bigger than Air Asia’s and have the seat-back TV screen and USB plug. Plus, I believe even a checked bag was included.
– Malaysian Airlines (MAS): This is a bit more pricey than the other two (though you can still find GREAT deals), but you also get an upgrade in level of niceness. Like, you get a checked bag and a free meal and in-flight entertainment.
Now, I know what you’re wondering: Is it safe to fly Malaysian Airlines?! (You know… with the recent disasters and all.) Honestly, I think the chances are rather slim. Malaysian Airlines is still the state’s best carrier and continues to carry 50,000 passengers on 360 flights per day.
Deals and Promotions on Budget Airlines
And there are constantly promotions to popular destinations from KL too. I’m excited to introduce Traveloka – a travel website (focusing mostly on Malaysia to surrounding SEA countries) that has amazing promotions on flights and hotels. They have frequent deals and discounts that are as much as 50% off – I don’t even know how that’s possible! There’s always some sort of Malindo, Air Asia, and MAS promotion going on.
For example, here are the current promotions for Malindo Air:
MYR 69 (roughly US $17) to go from KL to Penang. Or MYR 109 (roughly US $27) to go from KL to Bangkok … how is it that cheap?!
I can even go to freaking Perth for just MYR 300 (US $75)!
And just in case you’re wondering if this is for real… yes it IS.
And here are some current Malaysian Airline Promotions that take you to a wider selection of destinations:
MYR 228 (US $57) to Yangon is not bad at all…. I should add that to my list!
Visit Traveloka to check out more deals and bargains. Besides flights, they have a ton of hotel deals as well.
My Southeast Asian bucketlist
This makes me realize just how lucky I am to be currently in KL with such an abundance of affordable travel options. And not only that, but just a very short flight will take you to completely new cultures and environments.
So these are the places still on my Malaysia + Southeast Asia bucketlist.
Within Malaysia –
Sabah (Borneo): Borneo is an interesting island that’s shared by Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brunei. The island has one of the richest biodiverse rainforests in the world. It’s home to orangutans, clouded leopards, proboscis monkeys, sun bears, and SO much more. I’m kind of dying to go there. Flight cost: $50 (okay not even debating anymore… I’m going at one point or another!).
Langkawi, Malaysia: It’s no secret that I love beaches. Langkawi is one of Malaysia’s most famous islands. White sands, azure waters… need I say more? My family is trying hard to convince my grandma to travel again and we hope to come here! Flight cost: $17
Penang, Malaysia: Penang is world famous for its street food. And yes I’ve been in KL for over 6 months, and I STILL have not been to Penang! There is no excuse. Especially since a flight literally costs just $17!
Bali: Just because it’s Bali and it’d be stupid not to go when the flights are only $57.
Maldives: Seriously, this may be as close to the Maldives as I get. And flights there are only 4-hours long and a jaw-dropping $100!! But I’m not sure if that offsets the cost of accommodations there though!
Sri Lanka: I hear SO many good things about Sri Lanka. I’d really love to go, especially since this is as close as I can get to a safari at this point (financial wise!). Flight cost: $110
Yangon: Because it looks gorgeous. And because I kind of know nothing about it (yet). Flight cost: $57.
Kathmandu: Both Rachel and Andrea recently went and both loved it. Andrea has had somewhat of a similar story to me and says that Kathmandu changed her life and ignited her love for solo travel. Flight cost: $200.
Hanoi: Ummm because I still craving everything I ever ate there to this day. Flight cost: just $27
Australia (not sure where yet): Okay, this isn’t in SEA, but I’m currently close to Australia and I’ve always wanted to go. Flight cost: $275
Have you been to any of them? Where should I go??
If you have any tips for any of these locations, share! Or better yet, please share your blog posts on them!
*This post was written in collaboration with Traveloka. But all opinions are my own and I sincerely think it’s a great travel site for travel within Southeast Asia. I also want to mention that in my dealings with Traveloka, they have impressed me with their professionalism and promptness.
*Photos of Borneo and Bali are public domain photos and not my own.