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7 Out-Of-The-Ordinary Tourism Countries Where M’sian Ringgit Will Make You Feel Rich

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  • Now with borders opening up and tourism kicking off again, it would be nice to take a well deserving break. However many of us are forced to tighten our purse strings during this pandemic. But that does not mean we don’t get to catch a break.

Below is a list of out-of-the-ordinary tourism countries that wouldn’t break bank for Malaysians.

1. Paraguay (1 MYR = 1,650.17 Paraguayan Guarani) 

To gain the most of the Malaysian exchange rates, you should visit Paraguay, the heart of South America. It is a land of untamed natural beauty and a fascinating colonial story. The best time to visit Paraguay is April-September.

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In Paraguay, a typical fast food cheeseburger meal costs RM5.10 (PYG8,400). Perrier water is only RM1.80 (PYG3,000). A carton of 1 litre milk is RM3.10 (PYG5,000).

The average accommodation cost in Paraguay is about RM63 (PYG104,000). Public transport per way is about RM2.10 (PYG3,400).

Now for you party people who would also like to flaunt your ringgit notes like an uncle at a wedding, domestic draft beer is only RM4.20 (PYG7,000) whilst imported draft beer is RM5.80 (PYG9,500). A pack of local cigarettes is RM5.80 (PYG9,600). For imported ciggie brands such as Camel and Dunhill you have to only pay about RM7.30 (PYG12,000).

5 must visit attractions:

  • Saltos del Monday – A series of waterfalls that is 45 metres tall and 120 metres wide. Famous for abseiling.
  • Itaipú Dam – The largest hydroelectric dam in the world. It is on the border with Brazil. You can head out on a fishing excursion or a bird-watching tour to see the local residents.
  • Pantanal Wetlands – The largest wetland in the world. If you can’t get enough of it, there’s accommodation at Tres Gigantes Biological Station.
  • Estancia Aventura – A secluded luxury ranch for horseback riding with gauchos, fishing, swimming and sunning by the lake.
  • Areguá – A charming colonial town with a slice of Spain with cobbled alleyways, leafy plazas, quaint cafés and boutiques.

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Words to know: Mba’éichapa reiko? (how are you?) and Jajotopata (goodbye).

Covid-19 situation in Paraguay (as of November 2021):

  1. 79.59% of the population are vaccinated.
  2. Going to Paraguay requires quarantine.
  3. Mask is required in all shared/public spaces.

 

2. Iceland (1 MYR = 31.55 Icelandic Króna)

Iceland is popular for glaciers, lagoons, waterfalls, black sand beaches and the ever so beautiful northern lights. Don’t go during summer as it would be impossible to spot the northern lights.

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In Iceland, a typical fast food meal costs RM17 (ISK540). A bottle of Perrier water is about RM6.30 (ISK199). A carton of milk is RM5.50 (ISK173).

This place does sound a bit out of reach but there are plenty of pizza joints where you can get your European pizza fix for less that RM28.50 (ISK900). You will also be able to find imported beers in these joints for RM12 (ISK391). Who would have thought we’ll be able to enjoy hot and cheesy pizzas whilst watching the northern lights!

5 must visit attractions:

  • The Blue Lagoon – A large geothermal pool popular spot for swimming and bathing due to its minerals, especially sulfur and silica, which are supposedly good for your skin.
  • Whales, Reykjavik – The oceans surrounding Iceland are home to 20 different species of whales and dolphins. You can embark on a whale watching tour.
  • The Northern Lights – This magnificent phenomena can be seen in Iceland and Iceland is situated on the auroral zone. They have combo tours where you can watch the lights, go kayaking, ATV etc.
  • Vatnajökull National Park – A land of glaciers and magnificent ice caves. If seen at the right time, the cave is bathed in spectacular blue light.
  • Black Sand Beach – One of Star Wars’ shooting locations. A beach is known for its black sand, rocky sea stacks and ferocious waves. Eerie yet stunning landscape.

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Words to know: Góðan daginn (hello) and Vernig hefur þú það? (how are you?).

Covid-19 situation in Iceland (as of November 2021):

  1. 169.45% of the population are vaccinated.
  2. Going to Iceland requires quarantine.
  3. Mask is required in some specified shared/public spaces.

3. Costa Rica (1 MYR = 154.60 Costa Rican Colón)

Costa Rica is a nature lover’s muse. It is an island ecstasy where you can breathe out your Caribbean fantasies and make all your rainforest explorations come true.

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In Costa Rica, you can get a cheeseburger meal for RM8.70 (CRC1,300). A bottle of Perrier water is RM6.00 (CRC930) or if you want to wash it down with their beer then a 0.5 litre draft will cost you RM9.70 (CRC1,500). A carton of 1 litre milk here is RM5.20 (CRC810).

Using public transport in Costa Rica will cost you RM3.20 (CRC500) for a one-way ticket. Taxi starting price is about RM4.20 (CRC650). Feeling rich yet?

5 must visit attractions:

  • Hacienda Barú National Wildlife Refuge – Consisting of pristine beaches, riverbanks, mangrove estuaries, wetlands, primary and secondary forests, tree plantations and pastures. Monkeys, sloths, toucans, brightly colored poison-dart frogs and scarlet macaws are commonly spotted here.
  • Parque Nacional Marino Ballena – A beach shaped like a whale’s tail housing migrating humpback whales, dolphins and nesting sea turtles. The best times for whale spotting are December-April and July-November.
  • Playa Negra – A long, black-sand beach flying the bandera azul ecológica, a flag that indicates that the beach is kept to the highest ecological standard.
  • Catarata del Toro & Blue Falls – A waterfall that cascades into a volcanic crater (free for overnight guests) and two trail options through virgin forest to turquoise swimming holes and the Blue Falls.
  • Matapalo – A small, laid-back beach village filled with small cabins and eco friendly bungalows. Another place flying the Blue Ecological Flag for conserving and preserving the surrounding environment.

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Words to know: Hola (hello) and Vayase al demonio (go to hell).

Covid-19 situation in Costa Rica (as of November 2021):

  1. 131.09% of the population are vaccinated.
  2. Going to Costa Rica does not require quarantine.
  3. Mask is required in all shared/public spaces.

4. Zimbabwe (1 MYR = 86.8 Zimbabwean Dollar)

Zimbabwe is a country well-matched for people who work in the Malaysian Ringgit to take their adventure international. It is place for adrenaline addicts! Zimbabwe has the best climate in the world.

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The average cost of accommodation in Zimbabwe is about RM58 (ZWD4,694.80). A cheap stay for 7 days in Zimbabwe is only about RM1,500 (ZWD130,412.34). That’s 7 days of crazy international outdoor adventures!

If you want to grab a quick burger and coke on your way to your adventures, then a cheeseburger will costs you RM7.50 (ZWD652.14) and a bottle of Coke or Pepsi RM3.30 (ZWD286.94). A hot shot of Zimbabwe’s espresso is only RM6.90 (ZWD599.94).

5 must visit attractions:

  • Livingstone Island and Devils Pool – Swim at the very edge of the Victoria Falls in Devils Pool. 328-foot drop into thundering waters below from Devils Pool.
  • Zambezi River Whitewater Rafting – You will have to hike to the river which will last about 10-15min and then you’ll find your raft in the river, prepared by the raft crew.
  • Microlight Flight – An incredible microlight flight over the Zambezi River. Choose between a 15min flight or a 30min flight.
  • Helicopter Flights – Experience the world’s largest waterfall with a helicopter trip over Victoria Falls. Choose between a 15min, 22min or 30min flight
  • Mobile Camping Safari – Discover Chobe River and Chobe National Park on a 2-day wildlife camping trip using a riverboat and a 4×4 game drive vehicle.

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Covid-19 situation in Zimbabwe (as of November 2021):

  1. 40.62% of the population are vaccinated.
  2. Going to Zimbabwe does not require quarantine.
  3. Mask is required at all times regardless of location or presence of other people.

Words to know: Kanjan/kanjani (hi there) and Murirayiti?/Muribho here? (how are you?).

5. Hungary (1 MYR = 76.52 Hungarian Forint)

With the currency exchange, lodging and food is cheap for us. You can stay in some old world magic with royal architecture. The spas are great here.

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Since one ringgit equals to 76.52 Hungarian Forint, you will be paying 1.63 times less for shopping in Hungary than in the United States! On an average, you will need RM2,600 (HUF205,000 HUF) to spend 7 days in Hungary.

Coke/Pepsi here is about RM4.50 (HUF345). A cheeseburger meal in Burger King will costs you RM6.20 (HUF480). A 1.5 litre mineral water is RM1.50 (HUF114). For coffee lovers, a good European cappuccino is only RM5.80 (HUF447).

Party people, your imported beer is only RM4.60 (HUF354) and a bottle of red wine is RM19 (HUF1,400).

5 must visit attractions:

  • Szechenyi Chain Bridge – There are many suspended bridges over river Danube and night they all come to life with their brightly lit colours.
  • Historic Spa Towns – There are many historic spa towns in Hungary. Hungary’s reputation for its hot springs and baths dates back more than 2,000 years to the time of the Romans. One of the most popular is Lake Hévíz with 25C temperature.
  • Great Market Hall – There are thousands of markets in Hungary but the Great Market Hall in Budapest is the most famous. This multistorey market is situated in an impressive neogothic building.
  • Busójárás, Mohács – The is a festival that takes place in the six days leading up to Ash Wednesday. The townsfolk dress up in traditional masks with demonic faces and parade through the town.
  • Mosque of Pasha Qasim, Pécs – Although it was designed as a mosque, it is now in use as a Roman Catholic Church. It is one of the finest examples of Turkish architecture in the whole country.

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Covid-19 situation in Hungary (as of November 2021):

  1. 134.51% of the population are vaccinated.
  2. Going to Hungary requires quarantine.
  3. Mask is required in some specified shared/public spaces.

Words to know:  Jó reggelt (good morning) and Köszönöm (thanks).

6. Tanzania (1 MYR = 552.09 Tanzanian Shilling)

Famous for the wilderness of the Serengeti, Kilimanjaro and amazing species of animals, Tanzania is an African nation that is one of the most preferred travel destinations.

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You should be familiar with the fact that your one Malaysian Ringgit is worth 552.09 Tanzanian Shilling. The average accommodation cost in Tanzania is about RM82 (TZS45,000). For a 7 day stay in Tanzania, you would be spending RM1,200 (TZS703,000 TZS).

Did you know that with the Malaysian currency, the cost of living in Tanzania is THREE TIMES lower than in New York City?!

A meal in a restaurant will cost you RM13 (TZS7,000). A  bottle of 1 litre milk is RM4.70 (TZS2,600). A 1.5 litre mineral bottle is RM2 (TZS1,100) whilst the atas brand Perrier is cheaper, at only RM0.98 (TZS545). You get double the enjoyment at half the cost here!

5 must visit attractions:

  • The Big Five – Undeniably one of Tanzania’s most popular attractions. It houses 5 of the big safari animals – lions, buffaloes, elephants, leopards and rhinos, hence the name.
  • Prison Island – Once an outback for convicted prisoners, today Prison Island houses over 100-year-old Giant Aldabra tortoises, colorful peacocks, butterflies and shy bucks.
  • Jozani Forest – One of the last remaining sanctuaries in the world for the red colobus monkey. There are about 6k red colobus monkeys here.
  • Annual wildebeest migration – One of the most spectacular natural shows on earth. Thousands of visitors flock to Tanzania every year to witness wildebeest and zebra follow age-old migratory paths in search of fresh grazing land.
  • Mto Wa Mbu – Meaning “River of Mosquitoes”, this village offers everything from petrol to souvenir stalls. Local inhabitants here represent all of Tanzania’s 120 tribal groups.

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Covid-19 situation in Tanzania (as of November 2021):

  1. Tanzania is partially open to tourism.
  2. Going to Tanzania requires quarantine.
  3. Face covering and wearing a mask is recommended.

Words to know: Jambo (hello) and habari za asubuhi? (how are you?).

7. Mongolia (1 MYR = 687.5 Mongolian Tughrik)

Mongolia is known for its nomadic culture, Genghis Khan (the conqueror we learned about in school) and the vastness of the countryside. There are also homestays with nomads.

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A week’s stay in Mongolia will be about RM983 (MNT675,000) – the cheapest holiday you can find. The average accommodation cost in Mongolia is only about RM53 (MNT36,000). Public transport starts at RM0.73 (MNT500) for a one-way ticket. Here, you’re going to feel like a wealth man.

A bottle of mineral water or a bottle of chilled Coke/Pepsi costs the same – RM2.60 (MNT1,700).

If drinking is your all time favorite activity then a bottle of domestic beer is RM4 (MNT2,700) and the imported version is merely RM2 extra.

5 must visit attractions:

  • Gobi Desert – The fifth largest and most unusual desert in the world. The first ever full dinosaur skeleton was found here.
  • Lake Khövsgöl – “The Dark Blue Pearl” is how this lake is often described. A gorgeous fresh water lake that is frozen with an abundance of wildlife such as reindeer, moose, ibex and yaks.
  • Orkhon Valley – A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Orkhon Valley Cultural Landscape is home to architectural ruins that date all the way back to the 6th century, including Kharkhorin, Genghis Khan’s capital in the 13th and 14th century.
  • Tsagaan suwarga – Literally means “White Stupa”. A limestone bedrock with the desert floor that transforms from white to yellow to pink before turning red.
  • Ulaanbaatar city – The capital city shows you how ancient culture fuses with modern day. The ruins of monasteries rub shoulders with glass encased skyscrapers here.

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Covid-19 situation in Mongolia (as of November 2021):

  1. 132.17% of the population are vaccinated.
  2. Going to Mongolia requires quarantine.
  3. Mask is required at all times regardless of location or presence of other people.

Words to know: Yu baina ve? (how are you?) and Sain ta sain baina uu (reply to how are you).

 

2 Fun Facts You Didn’t Know About the Malaysian Ringgit

  • Ringgit means “jagged” – The craggy and irregular edges of the coin were the distinctive features of our currency back in the Portuguese colonial era. So the Malays at that time would refer to them as “ringgit”, which means “the jagged ones“. Now that word is exclusively used to refer to the Malaysian currency.
  • The latest 50 cent coin has a cool security feature – The latest series of 50 cents coins were issued in 2012 and it is gold-coloured. These coins have a funky little security feature on it that you probably aren’t aware of.

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Also read: #DreamNowTravelLater – Here Are 5 Nature Retreats In Selangor You Can Escape To After MCO!

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