Finns Get A Taste Of Penang

The popular seafront promenade certainly was an impressive backdrop for some 200 Finnish tourists who spent an evening enjoying the wonderful dinner hosted by Tourism Malaysia at Fort Cornwallis.
   The group, who were passengers of the first chartered flight flying from Finland to Penang recently, had fun tasting various local specialties such as ais kacang, satay, assam laksa and char koay teow.
   Lawyer Anne Jokinen, who was on her maiden trip, said she was enthralled by the warm hospitality and loved the food here.
   She also found herself enjoying the lush greenery while taking a jeep ride to the peak of Penang Hill from the Botanic Garden earlier.
   “I like Penang Hill, especially viewing from the peak where I can see the architecture of the island,” said the 28-year-old who comes from Helsinki, Finland.
   She added that shopping was also a must in view of the favourable exchange rates.
   After Penang, she planned on visiting Kuala Lumpur and Pulau Pangkor, Perak, where she would spend seven days there.
   Ella Kastrounis, 22, said she was looking forward to a tour of the numerous heritage sites in Penang after George Town was recently inscripted to Unesco World Heritage Site list.
   The duo were part of the 227 passengers boarding the first of the nine charted flights which left Pori, a town in south-west of Finland.
   The flight was jointly organised by Malaysia’s travel agent Discovery Overland Holidays Sdn Bhd and Finland-based travel agent Loma-matkat Oy.
   The nine flights will bring a total of 2,043 Finns to Penang over the next four months.
   The subsequent flights will land in Penang every two weeks, with the last one expected to leave here on March 23.
   Tourism Malaysia board member Datuk Kee Phaik Cheen said Malaysia had a diverse range of attractions that appeal to tourists.
   “Penang is a great stop-over destination because it has everything contained within its small island – rich culture and heritage reflected in the present lifestyle and beautiful architecture,” she said.
   Kee also promoted the Malaysia My Second Home Programme to the guests during the event.

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