Cost of Living in Penang

Summary about cost of living in Penang, Malaysia:

[ Edit ] Range
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant 10.00 RM 5.00-20.00
Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course 57.50 RM 40.00-100.00
McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal) 15.00 RM 14.00-15.80
Domestic Beer (1 pint draught) 15.00 RM 10.00-25.00
Imported Beer (12 oz small bottle) 15.50 RM 8.00-30.00
Cappuccino (regular) 11.80 RM 5.00-18.00
Coke/Pepsi (12 oz small bottle) 2.31 RM 1.50-3.50
Water (12 oz small bottle) 1.26 RM 1.00-2.00
[ Edit ]
Milk (regular), (1 gallon) 25.46 RM 18.93-30.28
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (1 lb) 4.02 RM 2.72-8.16
Rice (white), (1 lb) 2.14 RM 1.13-4.54
Eggs (regular) (12) 5.91 RM 3.20-8.00
Local Cheese (1 lb) 19.78 RM 9.07-40.82
Chicken Fillets (1 lb) 6.88 RM 2.22-9.98
Beef Round (1 lb) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat) 15.65 RM 6.80-36.29
Apples (1 lb) 4.67 RM 2.27-11.79
Banana (1 lb) 3.26 RM 1.81-4.54
Oranges (1 lb) 3.59 RM 1.81-5.44
Tomato (1 lb) 2.10 RM 1.81-3.63
Potato (1 lb) 1.56 RM 1.13-2.27
Onion (1 lb) 1.79 RM 1.36-2.27
Lettuce (1 head) 3.04 RM 0.73-4.00
Water (1.5 liter bottle) 1.80 RM 1.00-2.00
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) 79.00 RM 50.00-80.00
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle) 9.82 RM 5.26-13.64
Imported Beer (12 oz small bottle) 13.69 RM 7.15-18.00
Cigarettes 20 Pack (Marlboro) 17.50 RM 17.00-20.00
[ Edit ]
One-way Ticket (Local Transport) 2.00 RM 1.80-2.00
Monthly Pass (Regular Price) 67.50 RM 45.00-110.00
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) 6.00 RM 5.00-20.00
Taxi 1 mile (Normal Tariff) 4.02 RM 3.22-8.05
Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff) 25.00 RM 20.00-30.00
Gasoline (1 gallon) 7.87 RM 6.51-9.01
Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car) 171,695.00 RM 155,701.00-177,501.75
Toyota Corolla Sedan 1.6l 97kW Comfort (Or Equivalent New Car) 122,697.58 RM 120,000.00-140,000.00
Utilities (Monthly)
[ Edit ]
Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 915 sq ft Apartment 168.72 RM 76.50-300.00
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local (No Discounts or Plans) 0.24 RM 0.12-0.30
Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) 121.69 RM 99.00-200.00
Sports And Leisure
[ Edit ]
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult 141.43 RM 99.00-250.00
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) 7.67 RM 5.00-10.00
Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat 15.50 RM 15.00-18.00
[ Edit ]
Preschool (or Kindergarten), Full Day, Private, Monthly for 1 Child 880.00 RM 680.00-1,000.00
International Primary School, Yearly for 1 Child 34,275.00 RM 19,200.00-48,000.00
Clothing And Shoes
[ Edit ]
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar) 213.53 RM 125.00-400.00
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, ...) 85.00 RM 30.00-130.00
1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes (Mid-Range) 280.89 RM 180.00-600.00
1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes 312.06 RM 200.00-400.00
Rent Per Month
[ Edit ]
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre 1,236.91 RM 800.00-2,500.00
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre 1,011.25 RM 500.00-2,000.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre 2,338.70 RM 1,500.00-3,500.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre 1,825.00 RM 1,100.00-3,000.00
Buy Apartment Price
[ Edit ]
Price per Square Feet to Buy Apartment in City Centre 755.20 RM 500.00-899.99
Price per Square Feet to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre 521.04 RM 430.00-631.74
Salaries And Financing
[ Edit ]
Average Monthly Net Salary (After Tax) 3,970.78 RM
Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), Yearly, for 20 Years Fixed-Rate 4.19 3.30-4.44

Prices in Penang

This city had 607 entries in the past 12 months by 64 different contributors.
Last update: October 2020
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9 Comments so far
Thomas Maresco on Oct 17, 2020:
I am asking for help ....I have someone in penang Malaysia , who insists they need 300 USD a week for food and even then they tell me they eat very modestly such as nasi gorang and maybe egg and spaghetti , was also told 12 eggs cost 18 USD and a loaf of bread is 6 USD ... I think I am being taken advantage of . could someone please email me and let me know ...thank you very much
jeffrey william emack on Sep 03, 2020:
is there a list i can see that shows number 1 ranked to last placed
Will.Jennifer on Apr 12, 2020:
The reason why people have a mouth and two ears is because they listen twice as much as they say
CS on Nov 26, 2019:
If you like to jog or hike or surrounded by greenery, we have Penang hill (many long and short tracks), botanical garden, and youth park. These kind of places don't cause you a single cent.
Anonymous on Nov 26, 2019:
For transportation we now have the convenient of using e-hailing services such as Grab, Mula, MyCar.
Penangite on Jan 23, 2019:
Renting is Penang island is relatively cheap compared to the housing price. (More details on
Buying house near industrial area cost ~RM500/sqf, ~RM750/sqf nearby bay area, ~RM600/sqf near town area. Housing price in mainland Penang is relatively much cheaper, you can get a landed house with the same price you get a condominium in island. (More details on propertyguru website) However, foreigner can only purchase a house which is more than RM1mil.

You will need a car to move around, public transport is not at best yet. Or at least you need a motorcycle, this will help to escape the traffic and convenient for parking.

Eating out in Penang is extremely cheap if you go for food courts, average ~RM10 per person per meal, not to forget Penang has the best hawker foods with wide diversity. Going to air conditioned restaurant can range from RM25 to sky high. Cooking at home for 2 pax or single is not the best option, unless you are doing that for own health conscious.

Hanging out in Penang is very convenient, there are shopping malls/bars/restaurants anywhere within 5min drive. Traffic can be nightmare during peak working hours (8am and 5pm) anywhere near industry area/Penang Bridge/Town.

There are many clinics in Penang, most of them are 16hrs and some even 24hrs. Not sure if foreigners are charged differently. Clinic doctor consultation range from RM15+.

Overall, you will need around RM4000 if you are single to live a decent life in Penang.
Dnyanesh Shipalkar on May 17, 2017:
Hi All,
what will be the monthly expense for a single person in penang for a month as employee & how much will be the monthly expenses for a family of four
MoDonald on Jan 06, 2017:
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Karl on Dec 13, 2016:
Public transport has been improving over the years, average bus waiting time may take 15 mins outside of city, and 5 mins in city area.

Bicycle are not recommended as a travel method from outskirt to city as there is no designated bicycle lane, but renting bicycle in some well known traveller hotspots are still available.

If you have a car, travelling time from outskirt (Batu Ferringhi, a famous tourist seaside attraction) to town takes about 40mins. If you work at the industrial area or nearby airport, travelling time may be 1 hour + (depending on traffic). This is the extreme example of travelling from Northwest to Southeast on Penang Island.

If your salary is above RM5000 per month or more, you should be able to rent a decent house in city area, and still can enjoy a decent lifestyle. I would say RM3500 is the minimum if you are staying alone.