7 Budget-Friendly Local Holiday Destinations with an ‘International’ Feel

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7 Budget-Friendly Local Holiday Destinations with an ‘Overseas’ Feel

The Colmar Tropicale in Berjaya Hills. Image source: Faris AlAli Photography/Shutterstock

During the tabling of Budget 2019, Putrajaya had proposed a departure levy on all air travellers leaving the country from June 1 2019, to encourage the development of domestic tourism, as reported by FMT.

The departure tax of RM20 (for those flying to Asean countries) and RM40 (for travel to all other international destinations) would be on top of the RM73 passenger service charge (PSC) already imposed by airports.

With international travel costs expected set to rise further, more Malaysians are looking to make domestic trips to cut costs. For those travelling on a low budget (RM1,000 or less), we’ve found a few amazing local holiday destinations with an ‘overseas’ feel!

If you really want to visit Morocco, France, Japan, Britain, the Middle East, New Zealand, or even Disneyland, you might be interested in these places in Malaysia:

1. Marvel at the majestic Moroccan architecture at Moroccan Pavilion (Putrajaya)

7 Budget-Friendly Local Holiday Destinations with an ‘Overseas’ Feel

Astaka Morocco, Putrajaya. Image source: Redha Ali/Shutterstock

Also known locally as the Astaka Morocco, the Moroccan-style building with intricate carvings, colourful tiles, and lovely fountains is the go-to place for brides and grooms looking to snap the perfect wedding photos. Located in Precinct 1, the entrance fee is RM3 per adult and RM1 per child or student. While you’re in Putrajaya, don’t forget to visit many other tourist attractions here.

Average hotel rate in Putrajaya: RM120 – RM286 (per room, per night)

Average meal cost in Putrajaya: RM8 – RM50++ (per meal)

Must read: 6 Fun and Cheap(ish) Things to Do in Putrajaya and Cyberjaya

2. Experience life in the 16th century Colmar, a French town, at Colmar Tropicale (Bukit Tinggi, Pahang)

7 Budget-Friendly Local Holiday Destinations with an ‘Overseas’ Feel

Colmar Tropicale in Bukit Tinggi. Image source: nelzajamal/Shutterstock

Always wondering what life’s like in 16th century France? Grab your horses and head over to the high mountains in Pahang. The Colmar Tropicale will transport you back in time to 16th century Colmar, a town located in northeastern France, near the Germany border.

The chic French-themed village and resort is located 2,600 feet above sea level on 80 acres of natural forestland, so be prepared for the chilly climate especially at night. Enjoy the romantic night scene while strolling the town or dining at the La Cigogne Restaurant.

If you’re not staying at the hotel, there will be an entrance fee of RM15/adult and RM8/child. The fee includes passes to Japanese Village and Botanical Garden. There’ll be an extra charge of RM5/pax for Animal Park. No entrance fee charged for hotel guests.   

Average room rates in Colmar: RM250 per night (Superior Room, with breakfast), RM310 per night (Deluxe Room Twin, with breakfast).

Average meal cost in Colmar: RM10 – RM50++ (per meal)

Related: 7 Amazing Weekend Getaways from Kuala Lumpur

3. Watch traditional tea ceremony, explore the koi ponds, and more at The Japanese Village (Bukit Tinggi, Pahang)

7 Budget-Friendly Local Holiday Destinations with an ‘Overseas’ Feel

Tourist at the Japanese Village at Bukit Tinggi, Pahang. Image source: Everything You Need/Shutterstock

What’s better than visiting a beautiful village? Visiting another beautiful village nearby, with a different culture! If you’re a massive Japanophile, simply head over to the Japanese Village in Colmar Tropicale. Here, you could watch a traditional tea ceremony, try on the kimonos or yukatas, feed the kois at the pond, meditate at the Zen garden, or relax at the Tatami Spa.  

Related: 35 Spectacular Countries Malaysians Can Visit Without a Visa!

4. Explore an English countryside at Cameron Highland (Pahang)

7 Budget-Friendly Local Holiday Destinations with an ‘Overseas’ Feel

A colonial era English Tudor style bungalow cottage in Tanah Rata, Cameron Highlands. Image source: imranahmedsg/Shutterstock

Named after a British explorer and geologist, Cameron Highland is mostly famous for its tea estates, orchards, farmlands, Mossy Forest, and of course, Tudor-style cottages. Top things to do here include strawberry-picking, indulging in British-style high tea while overlooking a tea plantation, discovering creepy crawlies at a farm, jungle-trekking, exploring the spooky Mossy Forest (with thick fog and clouds), and visiting the Mah Meri indigenous peoples.  

Average hotel rate in Cameron Highland: RM32 – RM700++ (per room, per night)

Average meal cost in Cameron Highland: RM5 – RM30 (per meal)

Related: 5 Beautiful Road Trips in Malaysia You Should Take Once in Your Lifetime

5. Journey through the Arabian desert à la the Bedouin at Klebang Beach (Klebang, Melaka)

7 Budget-Friendly Local Holiday Destinations with an ‘Overseas’ Feel

Image source: Tourism.gov.my

You don’t have to travel thousands of kilometres to experience the Arabian desert. Just take a quick trip to Klebang Beach in Melaka for its sand dunes and desert-like landscape.

According to The Star Online, these hills of sand are the result of land reclamation activities from a decade ago. Due to stability issues, beachfront developments were abandoned, leaving many piles of sand 10m to 20m high sitting idle on a land.

The man-made dunes make for the perfect backdrop for many Instagrammers and photography enthusiasts. Don’t miss the sunset here, where you get to witness the sky transition from orange to red to purple.

Average hotel rate in Klebang Beach: RM88 – RM198 (per room, per night)

Average meal cost in Klebang Beach: RM5 – RM30++ (per meal)

Must read: 10 Fun and Cheap(ish) Things to Do in Malacca

6. Visit a magical, Disneyland-style town at Bandar Agacia (Kampar, Perak)

7 Budget-Friendly Local Holiday Destinations with an ‘Overseas’ Feel

Image source: Agacialand.com

Located in Kampar, Perak, New Agacia Town or Bandar Agacia welcomes selfie lovers, Instagrammers and families to its fairytale little town. While you’re here, check out the Disney-themed eateries (they even have a restaurant named Nasi Lemak Disney!). Meanwhile, The Trails of Kampar will make you feel as if you’re in America.

Average hotel rate in Kampar: RM72 – RM154 (per night, per room)

Average meal cost in Kampar: RM5 – RM20++ (per meal)

Related: 8 Fun-Filled Spots in Malaysia Your Kids Would Absolutely Love!

7. Witness a scenic view that mirrors New Zealand at Kundasang (Sabah)

7 Budget-Friendly Local Holiday Destinations with an ‘Overseas’ Feel

View of cows at Desa Dairy Farm, Kundasang Sabah with Mount Kinabalu as a background. Image source: Farizun Amrod Saad/Shutterstock

With an average temperature of 23°C, the scenic mountain and greenery view of Kundasang mirrors that of New Zealand. Some of the must-do activities here include hiking the Mount Kinabalu and visiting the dairy farm and war memorial.

Average hotel rate in Kundasang: RM60 – RM488 (per night, per room)

Average meal cost in Kundasang: RM5 – RM40++ (per meal)

Must read: 8 Fun and Budget-Friendly Things to Experience in Kota Kinabalu

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