FREE AND EASY: Visitors enjoy the sights and sounds of KL without having to face the crowd or traffic congestion
KUALA LUMPUR: WHILE many city folk headed out of the city to enjoy the Hari Raya holidays, many folk from outstation came to the city to enjoy the break.
Local tourism saw a boost this Hari Raya season with many taking the opportunity to enjoy the city without having to face the crowd or the traffic congestion which is part and parcel of the city life.
Places like Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC), KL Bird Park, Dataran Merdeka and Tugu Negara (National Monument) saw local and foreign visitors taking their time to enjoy what the capital city has to offer.
At KLCC, Muhammad Din Muksin, 45, said he decided to celebrate Hari Raya in the city this year to get a feel of how the city folk do it.
"I first went to the National Mosque. Unlike in the village, there was a very big crowd here," he said.
Din plans to visit all the tourist attractions in the city before the holidays end. His first stop was KLCC.
Muniandy Kuppan from Tanjung Malim and his neighbours decided to visit the city during the long holiday break as it offered a lot of interesting places to visit.
"There is a lot to see here and it is cheaper to go for a holiday locally so we make it a yearly event.
"Last year, we headed for Port Dickson and this year, it is Kuala Lumpur," he said.
At the National Monument, despite the sweltering heat, many local and foreign tourists were seen taking photographs of the fallen heroes represented in the world's tallest bronze freestanding sculpture grouping.
A visitor, who wanted to be known only as Chan, said although he was from here, it was his second visit to the monument.
"We are just visiting interesting places around Kuala Lumpur during this Raya festive, as I have to return to work tomorrow," he said.
Dr Mohd Omar from Myanmar, who is doing his Master in Veterinary Science here, came to the National Monument after performing prayers at the National Mosque, which is about two kilometres away from the monument.
"This is my first time celebrating Hari Raya in Malaysia with my family.
"That's why we're also taking the opportunity to visit interesting places and snapping photographs at these places," he said.
At Dataran Merdeka, we saw many tourists, mostly from Japan, Korea, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia.
We chanced upon a trio of backpackers from Indonesia who took the KL Hop-On Hop-Off City Tour service.
One of them, Vergina Butar-Butar, 25, said she and her friends were touring Malaysia for four days.
"We knew the flight tickets would be expensive during this festive season but we still bought it anyway.
"Because we are working, this is the only available time for us to go on a trip," she added.
Another lady from Hong Kong, who refused to be named, said she found out from the tour guide that it was a public holiday here.
"I've not seen this Raya celebration on a large scale in my country. I don't know much about it and we didn't get to experience it here, either.
"But nevertheless, my family and I enjoyed taking pictures of all the places we've visited," she added.
The KL Bird Park was overcrowded with families to the extent that some people had to park their cars as far as a kilometre away.
Children enjoyed themselves taking pictures of birds in the aviary.
Families were also seen strolling past the peacocks, flamingoes and other species of birds. Some were seen taking a break at the many rest areas discussing the many wonderful birds species they see here.
Emma Siew, 35, from Selangor said KL Bird Park offered visitors an opportunity to see the various bird species in one place.
"The visit here is beneficial, especially for my son, as he gets to learn new things about birds here while having an enjoyable trip," she added.