Tupitsyna (second from left) and Wang (second from right) posing for a photo with Tupitsyna’s parents at Dataran Merdeka.
KUALA LUMPUR: Maybe it is the sunny weather or the relaxed pace of life in Malaysia that is making Russian tourist Lena Tupitsyna feel as if everybody in Malaysia is on holiday.
“I feel as if everybody is on holiday here. I don’t know why but it’s very relaxing and there’s a holiday spirit in the air,” said the 28-year-old English teacher, who is here in Malaysia for the second time.
She was so enthralled by her first experience that this time, she brought along her Russian parents and her China-born husband, Michael Wang.
Wang, a 27-year-old who works as an airport security personnel, is fascinated by the local food.
“I’m here for the food. I heard there’s a lot of Indian food here, which is my favourite.
“Other than that, I love the economy rice. It’s a fun way of eating as I get to pick the dishes I want and the economical price helps too,” he said.
The group of four heard about the Visit Malaysia Year 2014 launch at Dataran Merdeka over the news and headed to the square to check out the celebration.
“We’re really surprised to find out about the launch. We’re excited to see what’s in store,” said Tupitsyna.
One thing about Malaysia that struck Filipina tourist Jen Hizon was the hospitality of the people she encountered.
“Everyone, from the restaurant I dine at to the random stranger I ask for help during the journey, is so accommodating.
“Whenever I ask something, I always get the right answer,” quipped Hizon, who is teaching in a university in her homeland.
“It’s fantastic! It’s definitely a great experience that I would love to share with my students,” she said.
Malaysia’s abundance of architecture and historical sites is another reason Hizon picked the country for her vacation with her other-half Alessio Bongi, a computer programmer from Italy.
Prior to the launch, performers entertained groups of international tourists as well as locals with songs and dances.
Some were seen joining the performers amidst loud cheers.
Ninni Pipitone and Stefania Pisgotto from Italy were delighted with what they have seen so far.
“This is our first time in Malaysia and today is our first day in the country.
“We were really surprised to find a party here,” they said excitedly.
Welcoming the world with open arms
Dataran Merdeka comes alive as Visit Malaysia Year kicks off