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Cost of Living in Kuching, Malaysia

Kuching is another laid back and relaxed city in Malaysia where people live on much lower prices than is the norm.

Of course, with the lower prices, the salaries are lower too: unless you’re working for a multinational company or something similar, you’ll probably receive a lower wage.

But, as we already mentioned – the cost of living here is lower than in most parts of Malaysia, too.

All in all, if you’re coming to Kuching, prepare yourself for some serious relaxing time and some genuinely warm, friendly, and welcoming people.

Restaurants

RESTAURANTS

Kuching is famous for its delicious and very unique food. You can buy it almost anywhere, and for very, very low prices. Given the quality of the street food, you won’t even have to bother finding a hotel to eat lunch in. If you are eating out everyday at a decent place, it comes around 5$ for your meals for a whole day (so that includes your breakfast, lunch and dinner).

Markets

MARKETS

If you plan on cooking by yourself, you can find a bunch of grocery stores and open markets that pop up regularly around the city. There, you can always shop for fresh fruits and vegetables and save up a bunch of money. Apart from open markets, groceries are best bought at any big supermarket like Tesco, Giant, Aeon or Mydin.

Transportation

TRANSPORTATION

Public transport is very poor in Kuching since most people own cars (which is the cheapest option for transportation in Malaysia, generally). Many local college/university students own motorbikes but if you’re a foreign student unfamiliar with the roads, don’t buy one as Malaysian driving habits are horrible! A monthly public transport ticket costs 18$.

Utilities

UTILITIES (MONTHLY)

Monthly utilities in Kuching are relatively cheap. Depending on the size of the apartment you want to rent and the place you’ll be located, utilities can move anywhere from 30$ to 70$. Occasionally you may get a power outage but it’s pretty normal and the power will be restored rather quickly. However, for the service you’re getting, the price of utilities is expensive, especially given the fact that it’s lower in Malaysian capital, for example.

Sports and leisure

SPORTS & LEISURE

Like everything else, prices in Kuching of sports and pastime activities are low too, and in Kuching they are actually cheaper than anywhere! If you want a gym or a fitness club membership, the price you’ll pay is only about 25$. The prices of cinema tickets are very low, too – they only cost about 3.50$.

Clothing and shoes

CLOTHING & SHOES

In Kuching, you can find a lot of places where you can shop for clothes. The prices in this city are fairly low compared to some other cities like Kota Kinabalu. For example, quality jeans will cost you around 50$, while a pair of Nike running shoes can cost around 70$. Light pieces of clothing for summer cost around 20$.

Rent per month

RENT PER MONTH

Rent isn’t as expensive in Kuching either. Of course, the price of rent depends on what you want from a home. If you want a one-bedroom apartment in the center of the city, that will cost you around 200$. But there are plenty of gorgeous little apartments a bit further away from the city, that are charming and cost only about 100$.

Cost of Living Averages Table for Kuching

Average Restaurant Prices
Meal (Inexpensive Restaurant) $1.95
Domestic Beer (0.5 Liter) $2.44
Water (0.33 Liter) $0.31
Average Market Prices
Milk (1 Liter) $1.51
Loaf Bread (500g) $0.88
Eggs (12) $1.12
Average Transport Prices
One Way Ticket $0.73
Monthly Pass $18.30
Gasoline $0.54
Average Utilities Prices
Basic (Water, Electricity, Garbage, Heating, Cooling) $67.11
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local $0.12
Internet (Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) $35.71
Average Leisure Prices
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult $24.00
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour) $8.13
Cinema, 1 Seat, International Release $3.66
Average Clothing Prices
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Comparable) $53.69
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, etc...) $19.52
1 Pair of Adidas Walking Shoes (Mid-Range) $69.96
Average Rent Prices
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Center $187.10
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Center $109.82
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Center $292.86

How Does the Average Person Spend Their Money in Kuching?

A huge percentage of an average person’s salary gets spent on food in Kuching – almost 45% of one’s entire salary.

Rent is another pretty big expense for the people of Kuching, but in Kuching – it’s far behind the expense of transportation which is something that has to be paid everyday since it’s a regular necessity.

Restaurants are fourth on the list of expenses.

Utilities follow, and sports and leisure along with clothing draw the least money from one’s salary in Kuching.

8.3%
44.3%
19.9%
7.6%
5.5%
3.7%
10.8%
Restaurants
Markets
Transportation
Utilities (Monthly)
Sports & Leisure
Clothing & Shoes
Rent Per Month

Kuching: Average Salary, Minimum Wage & Mortgages

Considering their monthly salaries, people of Kuching might find it hard to make ends meet, since their salaries are among the lowest in Malaysia.

Their minimum monthly wage is only about 250$, while the average monthly salary is only less than twice as much.

With their average monthly net salaries that are around 460$, however, people can cover most of their expenses, since their prices are low too, but there are many aspects of life in Kuching that are huge financial burdens.

If you want to travel to Kuching, the optimal amount of money for you is around 700$ – and with this you can splurge away.

Average Salary$462.72
Minimum Wage$255.21
Mortgage Interest Rate4.47%

Cost of Living by City in Malaysia

*Click the name of the city for more information.

City Cost of Living Index
Johor Bahru 42.59
Kota Kinabalu 42.15
Kuala Lumpur 42.44
Kuching 42.15
Penang 43.98
Petaling Jaya 44.31
Selangor 44.53

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