ENJOYING a ride on a trishaw is nothing new to foreign visitors to Penang but pedalling the three-wheeler themselves is a totally different experience.
Still huffing and puffing after he had pedalled three rounds around the concourse area of the Tanjung City Marina in Weld Quay, Yaroslav Kyreyev, 25, grinned happily while describing the experience as “excellent”.
“It’s very different from riding a bicycle; much more tiring as my two team mates seated in the trishaw added weight to it,” he said after winning a trishaw race organised by Tourism Malaysia re-cently. It was one of the activities in the ‘Make It Malaysia’ (MIM) programme.
MIM is an educational programme for the foreign travel trade organised by Tourism Malaysia. The 92 participants spent nine days visiting Penang, Kedah, Pulau Langkawi, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya from Nov 30.
They comprised tour managers, travel agents and media people from Britain, Norway, Den-mark, Finland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Rus-sia.
The MIM participants had earlier taken a heritage tour of George Town. .
Malaysian Tourism Promotion Board director-general Datuk Kamaruddin Siaraf said the MIM was another effort to promote Malaysia as a top holiday destination.
A fly-and-drive concept has been introduced to MIM whereby the participants are given the op-portunity to drive Malaysian-made vehicles to certain locations.
Patricia Cooper, a travel agent from Britain, said she had always loved Malaysia, especially the friendly people and the scrumptious food.
“I came to Penang once 12 years ago. I noticed there are now more hotels and resorts here,” she said.
Journalist Rolf ‘Rosli’ Wulff, from Norway, said Malaysia was a “second home” to him as he had been to the country at least six times.
“I love the harmonious setting with people of different cultures, religions and races living peacefully in the same land,” he said.