Wednesday, January 03, 2007

A Malaysian-Style Welcome

THE loud sound of beating kompang and clashing cymbals greeted 150 Eastern & Oriental Express passengers as they stepped out of their carriage at the Butter-worth railway station.
The train arrived at about 12.40pm yester-day and although many of them looked tired after the 24-hour journey, they enjoyed the at-tention.
A lion dance troupe was also there to add merriment to the already colourful affair.

As a gesture of hospitality, each of them was given a garland of beaded necklaces from Sa-rawak and bunga telur as well as a goodie bag containing Penang map and a box of nutmeg
The Eastern & Oriental Express passengers started their journey from Bangkok on Mon-day before making a four-hour stopover in Pe-nang. The train continued its journey to Singa-pore later in the evening.
E&O passenger Kyrill Ivanov, 38, from Russia found the reception very unique.
Andrea Raby, 48, from Manchester, England, said the reception was ‘absolutely lovely’ and charming.
“This is my second trip to Penang. The first trip here was 12 years ago,” said Raby, who came with her husband, Ian, 44.
State Tourism Hospitality Committee chair-man Cheang Chee Gooi welcomed the visitors and he said the ceremony was held in con-junction with the Visit Malaysia 2007 campaign.
He said the state hoped to attract 5 million tourists this year and it was confident to achieve the target because about 3 million tourists visited Penang in 2005.
He said four international events had been outlined this year in conjunction with VMY 2007.


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