Lure of Malaysian cultures and food for travellers


Say cheese: (From left) Americans Hannah, Dennis and Lori Lins taking a photo in front of the Sultan Abdul Samad Building in Kuala Lumpur. — AZHAR MAHFOF/The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Foreign tourists are back in Malaysia, and many are here to “experience the diverse cultures of the Malaysian people, with the lure of Malaysian food also being a major attraction”.

Couple Jake Breathwick and Amy Kempster, both 23, who were in Kuala Lumpur as part of their five-month journey across South-East Asia, said they included the city because of the unique urban vibes it displayed.

“We wanted to experience something urban during our journey and Kuala Lumpur fit the bill completely when compared to other neighbouring countries in the region,” said the couple from London.

“Malaysian food is also mouth-watering and it is nice to experience the plethora of cultures living here. We also feel very safe and secure when traversing the streets.”

Everyone was helpful and accommodating, and moving about was not an issue as a majority of the people they met spoke English, they added.

Moroccans Elyas El Ouardane and his wife Rania Slfe said they decided to spend a few days in Malaysia while on transit to Qatar from Bali, Indonesia.

“Upon arriving, we instantly fell in love with the place and are considering settling down here in the long term,” they said, adding that living here is quite affordable and they like the natural and lush green surroundings in the urban areas.

Elyas said he was also looking forward to visiting Batu Caves and Langkawi during the remainder of their trip.

“It is also amazing to see so many diverse cultures living in harmony with one another,” said Elyas, who shared that his favourite Malaysian food so far is satay.

Singapore-based Spaniard Luis Anton, 46, said he decided to take a road trip with his wife to Kuala Lumpur as part of a weekend escape.

“Kuala Lumpur was our destination of choice mainly because it is accessible by car when travelling from Singapore.

“Although it is not our first time here, we also do not foresee it being the last,” he said.

German Maurice Waltear, 20, who was in transit to New Zealand, said he was pleasantly surprised by Malaysian food.

“The fried noodles especially is delicious and the local food culture is unique when compared to what we have in Europe,” he said.

“It is also interesting to see so many skyscrapers and high-rise buildings here.”

On June 4, Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said Malaysia has recorded about one million tourist arrivals since it reopened its borders on April 1.

She said the number means that the country has reached the halfway mark of its “Malaysia Truly Asia 2022” campaign target of two million tourist arrivals.

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