Tourists soak in sights and sounds of Malaysia's National Day procession

Tourists soak in sights and sounds of Malaysia's National Day procession
All set: Participants of the National Day parade rehearsing at Dataran Merdeka.

KUALA LUMPUR - The country's festive National Day parade was a big hit with foreign tourists, who will be taking back home the experience and numerous images of Malaysia's vibrant colours, cultures and smiling faces.

"People here are really friendly and today is our first time seeing a parade," said Dutch visitor Antoine Versbokoch, who is holidaying in the country with his wife Sarah.

"In the Netherlands, we have celebrations during our King's birthday, where everyone is dressed in orange. But it gets as fun as music festivals only," he said.

Versbokoch, an analyst, said that they would be renting a car to travel around the peninsula for two weeks.

"We are still suffering from jetlag but we really wanted to catch this parade," said Sarah.

Asked about the MH17 tragedy which also affected Dutch citizens, she said that it had not affected their plans to proceed with a holiday here.

"It's a sad tragedy for both of our nations but life goes on. We had been planning on visiting Malaysia since three months ago," Sarah added.

Italian tourist Vincenzo Romano, who is also on holiday in Malaysia, said he came to know about the National Day parade from several local people.

"It's nice here. People are smiling and having fun," he said.

Romano said that he had been here for more than a week and that he counted Malaysia's 57th birthday as one of the highlights of his trip so far.

"You don't get to see a military parade every day.

"We have this in Italy, too, but it's different here with the cultures, costumes and people," he added with a smile.

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