Singapore & Malaysia

by Alex Pang, Singapore/Malaysia – KU Study Abroad Winter Break 2013

To begin, this trip was one of the most amazing opportunities of my college career.  It was well organized, easily accessible and all around just a blast.  I hope that this insight will advise future study abroad students.


KU Architecture & Design students

Singapore:  Our first stop was in Singapore and immediately it was a culture shock;  being of Asian descent I have traveled to places like Hong Kong and Korea before but I was fairly young.  Everything from the buildings to the transportation to the technology with-in the buildings and transportation systems were much further advanced than anything we typically see in the United States.  Buildings alone were a staggering sight to see.  At one point I looked up and could not figure out where I was simply because of the abundance of buildings.  Since the trip was architecture and design based we studied many of the amazing buildings in the city.  These buildings ranged from advanced structures like the Marina Bay Sands or the Gardens at the Bay to more simplistic ones like the local apartment complexes.  A medley of these buildings and sights created one of the most beautiful cities in the world.  One thing that I did notice once the trip ended was that although Singapore was a fascinating city it seemed very surreal.  Much of the city was very new and seemed to lack personality and culture even to us tourists.  This is something that contrasted to our next spot, Malaysia.


Alex Pang

Malaysia:  After Singapore, we bused to Malaysia where we would begin our study project.  Over the next two weeks we would venture (along with the Malaysian University Students) to three different states in Malaysia: Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Terengganu and Melaka.  Our first destination, Kuala Lumpur, was by far the most advanced of the three states (much like Singapore).  There we saw the Petronas Towers and Batu Caves which were both true wonders of the world.  Next we traveled to KT where we would actually perform our study and finally Melaka where our journey ended.  Malaysia as a whole seemed much more cultural.  The buildings, the streets and the people seemed much more historical and culturally rich compared to Singapore.


Analysis: If I were to compare the two, Singapore is like a shiny new toy where as Malaysia is the old, tattered stuffed animal from your childhood.  Both are fun to play with and both can mean different things to different people.


Alex Pang

Stuff to See/Do:


– Urban Redevelopment Area (URA)

– Red Dot Design Museum

– Clark Quay (nightlife)

– Marina Bay Sands (also Ku De Ta is a nice restaurant on the roof)

– Helix Bridge

– Gardens by the Bay

– Zouk (night club)

– Lotus Museum of Art

– Chinatown

– Geylang (red light district)

– La Sale School of Art

– Burgis Street (local shopping outdoor market)


Alex Pang


– Petronas Towers

– Changkat (nightlife)

– Batu Caves

– Point 92

– Steel Mosque

– Crystal Mosque

– Tung Jaru Resort

– Bistro 1673

– Melaka Zoo

– Jonker Street


Alex Pang