Tourists stay on despite haze

Tourists stay on despite haze

05 March 2014

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Malaysia — TOURISTS, having planned their visit to the city months before, are making do with the unexpected haze enveloping the skies.

Our checks yesterday showed only two tourist buses making a stop at Dataran Merdeka, one of the main attractions in the city.

Sasha Martins, 24, from Holland came with a small group in one of the buses.

“Luckily, we are in the tour bus, so we don’t have to be out in the open so much.

“This haze has slightly spoiled my vacation,” she said.

Martins, who had just finished her studies, was looking forward to this vacation.

“I looked at the beautiful pictures of Kuala Lumpur on the Internet but sadly I can’t get the same pictures here with that thick blanket of haze,” she added.

Victor Poulain, 30, from France was in the city for the second time.

“I’ve taken a lot of pictures during my first trip here so I’m not very disappointed with not being able to take clear photos of the city,” he said.

Poulain was however disappointed that his family had to put up with the haze.

“It’s their first time here and yesterday they couldn’t even see the sky but since we are already here, we have to make do,” he said.

As he has children with him, Poulain is more concerned about keeping hydrated in the hot weather.

Sandeep Kumar from Ceramic Photos also said that the haze had affected his business.

Fully equipped with a camera and other gadgets, Sandeep provided professional photography service to tourists at Dataran Merdeka.

“Customers aren’t very satisfied as I couldn’t give them the same quality that they see in the brochures.”

Understanding that the weather was not under anyone’s control, Sandeep’s customers did not complain about the foggy pictures.

“Tourists prefer to stay indoors, either because of the occasional rain or the haze.

“Business is worse at night. Some tourists like to take pictures of the Petronas Twin Towers at night but with the haze, all they can see are the lights,” he said.

At Suria KLCC, Anna Mosina and her partner Anton Mosin, both from Russia were snapping pictures of anything they could see.

“We woke up this morning and all we could see from our window was white,” said Mosina.

“We paid quite a bit to go up the KL Tower but couldn’t see anything from up there,” said Mosin.

He added that none of the KL Tower staff warned them of the bad view due to the haze.

Despite that, the couple went around the city on foot.

“We come from a very cold country, so although the air is bad, the weather here is great,” Mosin said.

Arman Haque from Bangladesh, who arrived on March 1, complained of having trouble breathing.

“I wanted to walk around the city and enjoy the nightlife but had to go back to my hotel room as the air was so bad,” he said.

Arman took taxis to get around the city and stayed indoors most of the time.

Sebastian Ferrie was seen relaxing at the Suria KLCC Park.

“Air pollution is normal, it’s the same everywhere,” said the Frenchman who experienced worse air in Bombay before coming to Kuala Lumpur.

Ferrie was already aware of the city’s hazy weather before flying in but he came anyway.

“I want to enjoy walking under the sun so I won’t let the haze bother me,” he said.

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