A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Kuala Lumpur vs. Ulaanbaatar for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Kuala Lumpur or Ulaanbaatar?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for Kuala Lumpur and Ulaanbaatar. We’ll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget. So, let's dig into it.

Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur, often referred to as KL, is the cosmopolitan capital of Malaysia. It is also the largest city in the country, having grown out of a small Chinese mining village. Today Kuala Lumpur is a microcosm of the country of Malaysia. The population is split between the Malay, Chinese, and Indian cultures which you can see reflected in the city's neighborhoods, cuisine, and entertainment. It's also an incredibly affordable city, even if you're looking for the comforts of a five star hotel or a luxury restaurant. Prices are almost always a fraction of what you would pay in Europe or the United States.

Ulaanbaatar

Ulaanbaatar is Mongolia's capital city. It has a population of slightly over two million people, or about sixty percent of the country's entire population. You are likely to arrive in Ulaanbaatar either by train, coming from China or Russia, or by plane. Many people use Ulaanbaatar as a stop off while doing the Transsiberian Railway. The city is a great place to organize a tour of the surrounding countryside. It's also good city to relax, so make sure you allow yourself a few days to recover from your tour, enjoy some of the great food options, and see some of the fascinating cultural sights around town.

Which city is cheaper, Ulaanbaatar or Kuala Lumpur?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Kuala Lumpur is $52, while the average daily cost in Ulaanbaatar is $24. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Kuala Lumpur and Ulaanbaatar in more detail.



Accommodation

For a normal double-occupancy room in Kuala Lumpur, $62 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in Kuala Lumpur, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $31, such as in a hostel.

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $11. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Ulaanbaatar the cost is $22 on average.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Kuala Lumpur $31
    Ulaanbaatar $11
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Kuala Lumpur $62
    Ulaanbaatar $22

Food

The average traveler spends about $11 per day in Kuala Lumpur for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.

In Ulaanbaatar travelers spend around $8.65 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Kuala Lumpur $11
    Ulaanbaatar $8.65
Typical Food prices in Kuala Lumpur

For Kuala Lumpur, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Dinner at Ding Tai Fung
    $9.55
  • Roti Bread
    $0.24
  • Food Court Lunch
    $3.44
  • Dinner at Indian Restaurant (for Two)
    $5.13

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Kuala Lumpur

For Kuala Lumpur, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Amazing Local Food Tour in Kuala Lumpur: $29
  • Discover the Best Local Food Tour by Night in Kuala Lumpur: $39
  • Malaysian Ramadhan Buffet Dinner Cultural Show - nearby KLCC: $40
  • Small group epic food tour! Immerse yourself in the local culture too!: $44
  • Best Local Food Tour by Night at Kuala Lumpur: $45
  • Market Visit & Garden-to-Table Cooking Class: $47
  • Yummy Yummy Street Food Tour - Kuala Lumpur By Night (Guided With Transport): $53
  • Old Markets & Beyond: Kuala Lumpur Food Tour: $55
  • Cultural Night Tour with Dinner: $55
  • Kuala Lumpur Food Tour: $59
  • Withlocals The 10 Tastings: Kuala Lumpur Private Street Food Tour: $61
  • Fireflies Night Tour with Seafood Dinner: $61

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Ulaanbaatar

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Ulaanbaatar.

  • Cooking Class in a Traditional Ger Home in the Suburbs of Ulaanbaatar: $50
  • Cooking famous Mongolian dumplings with local nomads: $205

Local Transportation

To get around in Kuala Lumpur, the average visitor spends $5.43 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.

The cost of a taxi ride in Ulaanbaatar is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $2.82 per person, per day, on local transportation in Ulaanbaatar.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Kuala Lumpur $5.43
    Ulaanbaatar $2.82
Typical Local Transportation prices in Kuala Lumpur

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Kuala Lumpur are as follows:


  • Taxi Ride
    $3.58
  • Metro Ride (for Two)
    $0.76
  • Short Taxi Ride
    $3.58
  • Taxi From Airport
    $21
  • Bus from Airport
    $1.91
  • Train & Boat to Pulau Ketam
    $2.86

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Kuala Lumpur

Also for Kuala Lumpur, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • AVANI Sepang Goldcoast Resort Hotel TO Kuala Lumpur Hotel Door to Door Transfer: $23
  • Airport Transfer: $11
  • Airport Transfer (hotel from KL/PJ/KLANG VALLEY area to KLIA/KLIA2): $28
  • Airport Transfer : Kuala Lumpur International Airport ( KLIA 1 / KLIA 2 ): $20
  • Airport Transfer From Kuala Lumpur to KLIA: $19
  • Airport Transfer KLIA to Kuala Lumpur and vice versa: $45
  • Airport Transfer Klia&Klia2 And City Tour: $200
  • Airport transfer: $26
  • Airport transfer from and to KLIA - KL or major city: $40
  • Airport transfer to Kuala Lumpur city: $50
  • Arrival Transfer: Kuala Lumpur Airport to Kuala Tembeling Jetty (Taman Negara): $79
  • Arrival Transfer: Kuala Lumpur Airport to Marina Island Jetty (Lumut): $79

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Ulaanbaatar

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Ulaanbaatar:

  • Ulaanbaatar Departure Transfer: Hotel to Airport: $33
  • Ulaanbaatar Arrival Transfer: Airport to Hotel: $33
  • Transfer service to Terelj national park: $51
  • Private Pickup Transfer from Chinggis Khaan Airport to Hotels in Ulaanbaatar: $27
  • Private Drop off Transfer to Chinggis Khaan Airport from Downtown Ulaanbaatar: $27
  • Departure Private Transfer to New Ulaanbaatar Airport UBN by Business Vehicle: $52
  • Departure Private Transfer City to Ulaanbaatar Train Stationby Business Vehicle: $16
  • Arrival Private Transfer Ulaanbaatar Train Station to City by Business Vehicle: $16
  • Airport transfer service: $43
  • Airport Transfer Service: $25
  • Airport Transfer: $21

Is it cheaper to fly into Kuala Lumpur or Ulaanbaatar?

Prices for flights to both Ulaanbaatar and Kuala Lumpur change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Entertainment

In Kuala Lumpur, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $12 per person, per day.

Entertainment and activities in Ulaanbaatar typically cost an average of $4.28 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Kuala Lumpur $12
    Ulaanbaatar $4.28
Typical Entertainment prices in Kuala Lumpur

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Kuala Lumpur's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • KL Tower Admission (for Two)
    $11
  • Canopy Walk at FRIM Forest Reserve
    $1.19

Tours and Activities in Kuala Lumpur

For Kuala Lumpur, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Great Kuala Lumpur Tour with 21 Attractions: $5.00
  • Consultation Services for Your Tour Program: $5.00
  • City Highlights and Cultural Landmarks: An audio tour exploring KL's melting pot: $5.99
  • Skip the Line: Chocolate Factory Tour Ticket: $7.74
  • Skip the Line: KL Tower Mini Zoo Admission Ticket in Kuala Lumpur: $8.19
  • Laser Battle Experience in Kuala Lumpur: $8.30
  • Skip the Line: KL Tower Observation Deck Entry Ticket: $9.00
  • Kuala Lumpur City Tour: $9.43
  • KL Tower Admission Ticket: $9.49
  • KL Tower Admission Ticket: $9.72
  • KL Half Day City Tour SHARED: $10
  • Half Day City Tour-Xmas Special (25 Dec Only): $10

Tours and Activities in Ulaanbaatar

Here are a few actual costs in Ulaanbaatar for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • 1 Day - Tour of Hustai National Park: $262
  • 1 Day City Sightseeing with Bogd Khan Winter Palace: $77
  • 1 Day City Sightseeing with Bogd Khan Winter Palace and Traditional Concert: $97
  • 1 Day Coach Tour of Aglag Buteel Monastery and Meditation Center Including Lunch: $106
  • 1 Day Coach Tour of Genghis Khan Statue Complex and Terelj (FREE dog sledding): $163
  • 1 Day Coach Tour of Genghis Khan Statue Complex and Terelj National Park Including Lunch: $124
  • 1 Day Coach Tour of Genghis Khan Statue Complex and Terelj National Park Including Lunch and FREE Concert ticket: $138
  • 1 Day Coach Tour of Manzushir Monastery Including Lunch: $106
  • 1 Day Coach Tour of Terelj National Park Including Lunch And Free Camel Ride: $123
  • 1 Day Erdenezuu Monastery Coach Tour Including Lunch: $118
  • 1 Day Horseback Riding Tour with Historic Temple in Mongolia Including Lunch: $111
  • 1 Day Private Tour of Taste of Mongolia (With Hotel Pickup and Meals): $790

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting Kuala Lumpur spend on average $5.66 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Ulaanbaatar may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $3.71 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Kuala Lumpur $5.66
    Ulaanbaatar $3.71
Typical Alcohol prices in Kuala Lumpur

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Kuala Lumpur are as follows:


  • Bottle of Wine
    $11


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Kuala Lumpur and Ulaanbaatar, we can see that Kuala Lumpur is more expensive. And not only is Ulaanbaatar much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Ulaanbaatar would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Ulaanbaatar and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Kuala Lumpur would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Kuala Lumpur than you might in Ulaanbaatar.

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Kuala Lumpur vs. Ulaanbaatar Travel Comparison

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