Thursday, January 18, 2007

Pangkor’s Charms Lure Tourists

NORWEGIAN housewife Kari Aagaard has visited Malaysia six times but the 87-year-old lady admits that she keeps forgetting the few words of Bahasa Melayu she had picked up.

Instead, the great-grandmother can say ‘Good morning’ and ‘Let’s eat’ in Cantonese.

“Is Malay hard to learn?” Kari wondered during Lumut MP Datuk Kong Cho Ha’s visit to the Sea View Hotel and Holiday Resort on Pangkor Island recently.

She and her husband Leif, also 87, had just arrived in Malaysia on Jan 10 to stay on the island for three months.

Since 2001, the cheerful couple from Oslo, Norway, have made it a point to escape the winter months in their native country for the warmer climes of Malaysia.

Leif, a retired shipping employee whose job involved travelling all over the world, said that “every year is Visit Malaysia Year”.

“This is such a wonderful and beautiful country,” said Leif who came to know about the island and the hotel through a friend when visiting Kuala Lumpur years ago.

Another couple at the resort were Dutch tourist Hans Ruhe, 75, and his wife Dory, 70, who have been visiting Pangkor for seven years.

Hans, a retired chief purser, said they first visited the island after having stayed in Cameron Highlands.

“It was near the end of our vacation in Malaysia and we just thought it would be nice to stay on a small island.

“Pangkor was close by and we have been coming to Malaysia every year ever since,” he added.

Kong, who treated the couples to lunch and shared his travelling experiences with them, said it was heartening to meet people who were regular visitors to Malaysia.

Source : STAR

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