After a long and chaotic bus trip, the train ride started with a delay of thirty minutes. Everyone was really tired and burned up and was looking for a good night sleep in the bumpy night train. The train had bunk beds and was old but (relatively) clean. We soon noticed that the length of the beds were designed for Asian people and definitely not for Europeans. Therefore creative bed poses were invented, such as laying the feet out of the bed in the corridor. After a surprisingly good night of sleep and a delay of two hours, we arrived in Kuala Lumpur.
At the train station we were picked up by the bus of the University of Malaya and in thirty minutes we were brought to the campus. There we received a warm welcome by Raha Sulaiman (a teacher at the University who did her PhD research at the TU/e) and immediately got a breakfast with typical Malaysian food. Then we were brought to the lecture room where twenty Malaysian students were already waiting for us for two hours. We got a short welcome and introduction about the University. The faculty of the Built Environment Is a relatively young faculty (since 2000) and entered a new building in 2013. Then three presentations by (PhD) students of each University about their research were held.
When the presentations were finished we got a tour around the campus. Raha and a group of very enthusiastic students could tell us a lot about the campus. The campus is in the middle of the city, but has a large ground surface and is really green. Sixty percent of the students lives on the campus and the campus has a big sports center and even a large new stadium.
In the afternoon, the bus took us to the Petronas towers. Here we first went to the 41st floor and walked on the sky bridge which connects the towers. The bridge is the highest in the world and is used as an escape route in case of emergency in one of the towers. The view over Kuala Lumpur at the sky bridge was amazing, but became even more amazing when we went to the 86st floor (The second highest floor) of the Petronas towers. Here you had a 360o view over the city. When you were standing at the edges of the floor near the windows you could feel the tower swinging.
Our hostel, Raizzy’s guesthouse, is situated in the middle of Chinatown, next to a Hinduist temple. In Chinatown we enjoyed our first meal in Kuala Lumpur in a typical Chinese restaurant. Late in the evening we went to the Skybar in the Trader’s hotel. This Skybar is situated on the 33th floor were we had a view on the Petronas Towers by night.
Overall our first impression of Kuala Lumpur is that the city has more old cultural buildings than Singapore and a lot of natural green areas (In comparison with the man-made green areas in Singapore). However it has a lot more garbage on the street and is much less structured than Singapore. The hostel were we stay is neat and it is nice to share a bedroom with only one person.
We hope to explore more of this diverse city in the next few days.
Luuk & Jelle