Travel Budget: Bangkok and Penang

You know I’m out of topics to blog about when I start posting my travel budget. This one is from my one-week trip to Thailand and Malaysia at the beginning of the month. The main purpose of the trip was for the tennis, but we ended up dollie shopping in Bangkok instead. I extended my trip to include a week in Penang, just because.

This trip is expensive, compared to my month-long trip back in June spanning five countries. However, it still came out cheaper than the budget I drew up when I was still planning for the trip. And this is the moment when I admit that I really cannot be a hardcore backpacker (that sounds sooo wrong). Haggling will never be my forte, and I will splurge whenever I can. And I will never stop buying doll clothes and books.

Shopping aside, the biggest expense in this trip was my 4-day stay at the Sunway Hotel in Georgetown. I needed to work during those four days, so I splurged on a hotel to ensure that I have a stable Internet connection. Ironically, the Internet at the guesthouse where I transfered to was much better. Hmp.

Bangkok & Penang
October 3 – 11, 2009
MYR 1 = PHP 14
THB 1 = PHP 1.4
Air Transfer
Philippine Airlines
Manila – Bangkok – Manila US $ 148.00 PHP 7,290.47
October 3 – 5
Air Asia
Bangkok – Penang – Bangkok THB 3,865.00 PHP 5,817.90
October 5 – 11
Terminal Fee (NAIA) PHP 750.00 PHP 750.00
Airport Tax (NAIA) PHP 1,620.00 PHP 1,620.00
Taxi to and from NAIA PHP 590.00 PHP 590.00
HI-Sukhumvit THB 800.00 PHP 1,120.00
1 night
Sunway Georgetown
4 nights, MYR 170 MYR 680.00 PHP 9,662.22
Hutton Lodge
2 nights, MYR 65 MYR 130.00 PHP 1,820.00
Bangkok THB 1,212.00 PHP 1,696.80 1
Penang MYR 129.50 PHP 1,813.00 2
Bangkok THB 610.50 PHP 854.70 3
Penang MYR 42.00 PHP 588.00 4
Laundry MYR 6.30 PHP 88.20
Admission fee MYR 9.00 PHP 126.00 5
Books and other things (BKK) THB 1,835.00 PHP 2,569.00 6
Books and other things (PEN) MYR 159.35 PHP 2,230.90 6
Travel Insurance PHP 600.00 PHP 600.00
Total PHP 39,237.19
1 Just three days in Bangkok and my food expense was this high?! I blame it on the crappy airport food.
2 I cannot count how many chicken rice and char kway teow involved, but there were plenty.
3 Airport express, BTS and taxi.
4 This was actually just one taxi ride, the one from the airport to Georgetown. I ended up walking all around Georgtown and Wei pretty much covered my weekend transport.
5 MYR 5 for the Khoo Kong Si Clanhouse, MYR 4 for the train up Penang Hill.
6 Shopping is the bane of all budget travelers. On the upside, my dolls have new clothes and I have new books. And plenty of Tiramisu and Pocky.
Article by Nina Fuentes

Nina doesn't aim to travel to every country in the world -- she just wants to travel to the places that means the most to her. She started traveling in 2006, and hopes to travel for as long as she can. Her travel blog, Just Wandering won the Best Travel Blog in the 2010 Philippine Blog Awards and in the 2011 Nuffnang Asia Pacific Blog Awards.

This Article Has 11 Comments
  1. bettina says:

    Your post has great information and it will help me to plan my trip next year.

  2. freeze says:

    believe me, your shopping habit isn’t that bad. :)

  3. Cat says:

    You know, Nina, this trip does sound a little pricey, but I think it’s the Georgetown expense that made up the bulk of it. Your food expenses aren’t really too bad, but it’s expected when the airport food is just…meh. Come to think of it, how was this trip compared to the last trip to Thailand / Malaysia?

    Also, if you could’ve omitted some expenses here, what would it have been? ;) Just wondering, in case I ever make it out to Thailand or Malaysia.

  4. nina says:

    Freeze: hahaha, worse ba yung sayo? ;)

    Cat: If I hadn’t stayed at Sunway, it wouldn’t have bloated up to this much. Georgetown is pretty inexpensive, actually. If I could have omitted anything, it would have been the four days at Sunway, and stay at Hutton instead (since the internet was better anyway), and the shopping -_-

  5. Cat says:

    LOL…I dunno about you cutting out the shopping! I say the hotel can go, but don’t skim out on the shopping! Speaking of which, you need to do another “what’s in my bag” post, ‘cept it has to be with the things you bought. :)

  6. nina says:

    Cat: I’d post, but the chocolates and Horlicks are already gone XD Next time ;)

  7. conor says:

    thanks for this its great to see the kind of expense that goes into a trip like this for future reference.

  8. pinoyislands says:

    thanks for sharing, I wish could travel like you, need to save up (a lot). always take care and God Bless.

  9. Wow, that’s very detailed. Thanks for the information; that will come in handy.

  10. Chino says:

    hi, i would just like to ask if where did you get tickets for the Bangkok – Penang trip? Did you get it in Bangkok or in Manila? My friends and I are planning to travel from Bangkok-KL and we are planning to get tickets in advance here in the Philippines instead of getting it in Bangkok because it might be more expensive.

    By the way, I find your breakdown of travel expenses helpful. Actually, when we went to Bohol and Cebu last year, we did the same so that we can check on how much we’ve spent.

  11. nina says:

    It’s actually cheaper if you buy in Bangkok, though the problem is you might run out of available seats for the train, since this route is pretty popular.

    Thai railways have a website ( where you can book tickets, but it doesn’t include Butterworth and KL.

    What I did is I booked through a travel agent in Thailand. I paid via credit card online and I just picked up the tickets at their office when I arrive in Bangkok. They charge a service fee, that’s why it’s going to be more expensive if you do it through them. But they’re very reliable. Train schedule and ticket prices are here:

    If you need more information about train travel in Thailand, Seat 61 is the best resource: to book

    I hope this helps!

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