Places to visit with a weak Ringgit
Fret not! Although the Malaysian currency has dropped to its lowest level in nine years, students can still plan their holidays abroad. There’s no need to ditch those long-awaited holiday plans. Here’s where you can go…
It’s one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and is definitely a place that all Malaysians will fall in love with because they too love their food. There are so many restaurants and cafes in the bustling town – you can get a hot bowl of goulash, cross the Chain Bridge over to Buda and hike up Gellert Hill for an amazing panoramic view of the city. And once night falls, the bars come alive. For beer lovers, a pint of local beer is a lot more affordable compared to what you pay back home. Other things you can enjoy doing include a soak for the tired after-exam mind in the medicinal baths and lovely pools.
Currency exchange: RM1: Ft 65.6
Average price of a meal: Ft 1,500 (RM23)
Average price of a beer: Ft 350 (RM5)
Things you could do for free: Free walking tour (tip encouraged!), Heroes Square and the Jewish Shoe Memorial
Krakow’s historic centre was entered as a first of its kind on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites 1978. From its Old Town, Wawel Castle and Kazimierz, its attractions are all strategically located within walking distance which helps save you money on transportation. It is a must to visit the old Jewish heritage area of Kazimierz and then take on the Royal Way, an interesting walk that starts from the beginning of Old Town at St Florian’s Gate all the way down to Wawel Castle. During the night, get to know some other like-minded tourists and join a pub crawl and then indulge in a late-night kielbasa with the locals.
Currency exchange: RM1 = zł 0.88
Average price of a meal: zł 18 (RM20)
Average price of a beer: zł 6 (RM7)
Things you can do for free: Free walking tour (tip encouraged!), climb Kopiec Kraka for city views, visit the oases of Skałki Twardowskiego and Zakrzowek.
For those who are not keen on going to Europe, Bandung is a great place to visit. The food is yummy, shopping is affordable and the locals are friendly. From local designer goods and factory outlet stores peppered all across the city, you can find high quality items at the lowest prices. Coupled with some haggling skills, you’re probably better off doing all your shopping here. For the adventurous types, there are cool mountains to hike and touristy places to visit and snap photos.
Currency exchange: RM1 = Rp3,325
Average price of a meal: Rp20,000 (RM6)
Average price of a beer: Rp20,000 (RM6)
Things you can do for free: Visit Muzium Konperensi Asia-Afrika, watch a free movie at Taman Film, go to a culinary night every first Saturday of the month for food and music.
Imagine picturesque lakes, ancient pagodas and a place full of history, Hanoi is the perfect affordable destination for the student budget. Just a short flight from KL, you will be spoilt with its attractive French architecture, beautiful villas, amazing beach and culture. You can choose to take a self-guided walking tour to check out places like Hanoi Opera House and challenge yourself to cross its busy heavy-traffic streets. We promise it will be quite an exhilarating experience. Other activities to do include taking part in a Vietnamese cooking class so that you won’t miss the country too much when you’re back on home soil. That will be something worth learning during your holiday. Pho anyone?
Currency exchange: RM1 = ₫ 5,306
Average price of a meal: ₫ 40,000 (RM8)
Average price of a beer: ₫ 15,000 (RM3)
Things you can do for free: Visit “Uncle Ho” at Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, take a walk around West Lake at sunset and stroll along the Old Quarter.
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Also popularly known as the Rose of the North, Chiang Mai is nestled by mountains and lush countryside, making it a popular place for tourists to enjoy a break from busy city life. Visit some of its 30 temples or trek up to Doi Suthep. The greenery and peacefulness will be a good escape for you to rejuvenate before coming back to assignments and deadlines. For a taste of a whole different culture, visit a hill tribe village as part of a tour.
Currency exchange: RM1 = ฿8.44
Average price of a meal: ฿40 (RM5)
Average price of a beer: ฿55 (RM7)
Things you could do for free: Listen to jazz at the Old City Northgate Jazz Co-Op, go for a meditation retreat at Wat Umong (donations encouraged), get a tattoo at a temple.
An aspiring journalist with a passion for investigative journalistic work. Also a self-declared masterchef.