Malaysian ringgit (RM)

Daily Costs

Budget: Less than RM100

  • Dorm bed: RM25–50
  • Hawker centres and food-court meals: RM5–10
  • Local buses/metro: RM1–3

Midrange: RM100–400

  • Double room at midrange hotel: RM100–400
  • Two-course meal at midrange restaurant: RM40–60
  • Cocktails at decent bar: RM30–40

Top End: More than RM400

  • Luxury double room: RM450–1000
  • Meal at top restaurant: RM200–500
  • Three-day diving course: RM800–1000


At pasar malam (night markets) and other street markets a certain amount of bargaining is fine for souvenir-type goods, but avoid being too aggressive as that's not part of Malaysia's shopping culture. Smile, be polite and don't get stuck on differences of price of small amounts of ringgit.


It's best to get money in Sandakan, and there are two ATMs in Sandakan Airport, en route if driving. Money can be changed at resorts for a poor exchange rate.