of Living * Climate
How to retire in Malaysia: learn about cost of living,
country with public transport, Internet availability and the Malaysia
Cost of Living
A great thing you'll notice when
researching Malaysia is that all the materials are in English
, even the Government's web portal, although the
official language is Behasa Melayu or Malay. This makes it much easier
to find out
whether you can live on a monthly budget of $1,200 in Malaysia.
The currency in Malaysia is the
Malaysian Ringgit (RM). 1 U.S. $ = 3.42 RM, Feb 2010 exchange rate.
things are considerably
cheaper in Malaysia
than in most Western
countries, including housing, domestic help, communications, local
food, clothing, medical expenses and entertainment.
A filling meal in a local restaurant will set you back $2.90, fuel
costs $0.50 per litre (about $2 per gallon) and a live in maid charges
between $120 and $240 per month. Furnished 3 bed room apartments
outside of Kuala Lumpur can be rented for as little as $250. In prime
residential areas of KL (as the locals call their capital) rent for an
apartment of the same size can be as high as $3,000.
Apart from living in KL's city centre, there are also other things that
drive up cost of living in Malaysia: cars, imported foods, alcohol and
international schools are more expensive than in Europe or the United
So, depending on where you live and how much you drink (he he, just
kidding), it is well
possible to live comfortably on a monthly budget
. And, great news for us UK and Irish folks, they
Tesco stores in Malaysia! Their web site looks just like the one back
home, amazing. Only the on line shopping isn't offered (yet).
To get a feel for the rental
property market, I would recommend you try the following sites:
Specialized in properties for sale and rent on the Penang Island. Lots
of very affordable apartments and condos, but most listings come
Lists rentals and sale properties across all Malaysia. Pages load a bit
slowly, but the search function is good and many listings feature
The Malaysian Meteorological Department summarizes the Malaysia climate
in two short sentences:
The characteristic features of the climate of Malaysia are uniform
temperature, high humidity and copious rainfall. Winds are generally
Although winds are generally light, it is the change in wind flow
patterns that determines the Malaysian
the southwest monsoon brings slightly dryer conditions from June to
September, and the northeast monsoon from November to March brings the
heaviest rainfalls. The two shorter periods in between the monsoons
lack the cooling monsoon breezes, which makes the temperatures feel
hotter than they actually are.
Average day time
in the lowlands are around 30°C (86°F). The highlands are considerably
cooler, but also wetter. Depending on where you read about the Malaysia
climate, you will hear that there is "no large daily range of
temperature, so night-time temperatures are oppressive"
(bbc.co.uk) or "the
daily range of temperature is large ... and the nights are reasonably
Well, the average night
are between 21°C (70°F) and 24°C (75°F)
- I am leaving it up to you to decide whether this is oppressive or
rainfall is indeed copious, with an average of 250 cm (100 inches) of
rain per year, and 150 to 200 days with rain almost everywhere.
Infrastructure & Internet
infrastructure is growing rapidly and is - compared to other countries
in the region - incredibly advanced. Dial-up connections are everywhere
where you have a phone line. The capital and all major cities have
You'll have the choice between several
broadband providers, all with impressively well structured web sites
Telecom Malaysia, the national phone company, is one of them. They
offer dial-up, wireless and wired broadband
With their 'Streamyx' packages you get up to 4Mbps connections (this
value refers to the download speed which is always higher than the
upload speed - thanks to Streamyx great site I finally understood this
difference!). Their 1Mbps package, which is sufficient for most
Internet uses, costs RM88 ($25) per month.
offers even better deals. Their 'Broadband Advance' promises speeds of
up to 3.6Mbps for a mere RM98 ($28), with no minimum contract length
and a 7 day money back guarantee. Maxis.com.my
is a third provider. Their 1Mbps service costs the same as TM's
Streamyx, with an extra bonus of getting the first two months for free.
Like the country's Internet infrastructure, the Malaysia transportation system
is well developed too. All major towns and cities are served by
air-conditioned buses and trains as well as by several domestic and
regional air lines.
Almost 80% of the roads are paved. Well
maintained Expressways with rest and service areas make overland
journeys by car a pleasant experience. Just remember that you
need to drive on the left!
a taxi at the Airport or Central Rail Station it is
buy pre-paid taxi coupons at the provided counters. Cheaper and
hassle-free than paying the cab driver directly.
excellent public transport system in Kuala Lumpur you might
need a taxi. But if you do, you should know that taxis in Kuala Lumpur are on a
, outside the city they operate on a fixed
rate depending on the distance.
The most well known airlines
for domestic and international flights
are Malaysia Airlines, the national airline and an "official 5
star carrier", and AirAsia Malaysia. The latter claims to be the
world's best low-cost carrier and serves over 70 destinations in 18
A return trip from Kuala Lumpur to Penang
Island for example starts at RM111 ($32) at AirAsia, and costs
with RM228 ($66) more than twice as much at Malaysia Airlines, for the
same flight dates.
Retire in Malaysia: Learn about Education & Schools *
Safety * Real Estate
Retire in Malaysia: Get the facts about Visa &
Benefits * Health
Care * Culture
Learn more about how to retire in Malaysia with the
"Malaysia My 2nd Home Program" (MM2H), a great retirement
program for everybody.
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