When I said CNY is about food, food and more food, I lied. It wasn’t all food to me. I actually did go out once and sweat myself crazy for a couple of hours between lunch time and dinner time, on Day Two. I actually went out to a few places around KL to get some shots that I may or may not use for my book. And then I went to Putrajaya for the same reason.
Since I drove 40 kilometers to this place, might as well get more shots in for the blog. So… here we go. Today I will show you a little bit about Putrajaya.
I have read very many travel blogs that mentioned Malaysia, but I don’t think I have read one that mentioned Putrajaya. I guess it is understandable, Putrajaya is not inside Kuala Lumpur, it is not easily accessible from Kuala Lumpur, and it does not have a rich history like some other parts of Malaysia. If I am a foreign traveler to Malaysia, I suppose Putrajaya will not feature high up in my bucket list of places to visit.
First, some facts.
- Putrajaya is located approximately halfway between Kuala Lumpur and the KLIA, Kuala Lumpur International Airport (which is also not in KL, in fact it is 60 kilometers away from KL).
- Putrajaya is the brainchild of Tun Mahathir Mohamad, a previous Prime Minister of Malaysia. It was intended to replace Kuala Lumpur as the capital city of Malaysia, but I guess that was too ambitious to make happen as most businesses did not want to uproot their operations. We end up having two capital cities today (maybe we are one of a kind in that way): Kuala Lumpur as the commercial capital, and Putrajaya as the administrative capital.
- Putrajaya is a city built from scratch. The first constructions began in the mid 1990s. It was intended to be officially opened as a city in conjunction with the 1998 Commonwealth Games held in Kuala Lumpur, but the 1997/1998 financial crisis destroyed that hope. Putrajaya was officially launched as a Federal Territory in 2001 by Tun Mahathir, shortly before his retirement.
Okay, enough boring facts, time for pictures..
I come here quite frequently when I was still hanging out in KL. I love driving, and the road from KL to Putrajaya was new and empty, so it was one of the best driving experiences you can get in KL. And back then, the city was still relatively new and you can hardly see any people, anywhere in the city. It was great to come here, find a spot, park by the road side and sit under a tree or something to reflect on life.
Putrajaya is actually quite big and there are quite a lot to do here. There is a botanical garden, a man made lake, nine bridges (most of them unique and quite nice) and many interesting buildings.
For me, I am a city boy through and through. Although I am (was) a boy scout and had my fair share of camping and hiking and stuff, I always prefer cities to nature. Sorry.
My most favorite thing to do is to drive along the main road, Persiaran Perdana, marveling at all the different buildings’ architecture, and then find a nice and quiet spot to park and sit under a tree and do nothing for an hour or two.
Here’s some photos that I took by stopping at a few strategic spots along that main road..
You can see the Seri Wawasan Bridge and Istana Darul Ehsan from afar. Istana Darul Ehsan is the official residence of the Sultan (King) of the Selangor state.
If you have some cash and spare time and fancy a boat ride on a man made lake, you can do so here, too.
My vantage point for these shots is actually very near the northern end of Persiaran Perdana. There are a few landmarks here that are worthy of taking note.
From here, you can take a short walk towards the very end of the road and enter the Putra Square, or more commonly known as the Independence Square.
If you are interested to visit the Botanical Garden, the entrance is a somewhat small alley to the right of this picture of Perdana Putra. If you are not that interested, then you move on and head back to your car, like me.
Let me give you a few more shots of Persiaran Perdana, that main road.
I guess I haven’t mentioned it to you, this main road is bloody long. How long? Well, about 4 kilometers!
Here’s some close up on buildings.
That building in the above picture, the Perbadanan Putrajaya building, it might look familiar to you if you have watched the Hong Kong movie, 逆战 The Viral Factor. That movie was mostly filmed in Malaysia (obviously), and in that movie, the Perbadanan Putrajaya building became the headquarters of the fictional ACDC, Asian Centre for Disease Control.
If you have not watched this movie, watch it. There’s Jay Chou 周杰伦 and Nicholas Tse 谢霆锋 in it. It’s a good, exciting, action packed movie. Just don’t trust it’s geographical representation of the places in Malaysia. * Spoiler: in the movie, one second you are in Putrajaya and after turning one corner, you arrive at the Pavilion *[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JaP5pW2kL8]
Anyway, back to Putrajaya..
When you are done driving along the main road, snapping a million photos and sweating yourself crazy in the process, you can find a quiet spot for yourself. There are trees and benches all along the road, such as these..
For me though, my personal favorite spot is somewhere directly in front of the Seri Wawasan Bridge where I entered the city from earlier. I always park at the open car park near the bridge, and then make my way back by foot to this.
See the benches beside the strip of water? Those… are NOT where I love to sit. Do you think I’m crazy enough to sit there, directly under the scorching Malaysian sun with no shades whatsoever? No, I walk up the stairs and arrive here..
Yes, trees and benches..
This place is the perfect place for me. Shaded benches, overlooking a majestic bridge on one side, and overlooking arguably the most important building in Malaysia on the other side.
Forget the parliament, forget the prime minister’s office. This building is where the most damning decisions were made, decisions that would screw us Malaysians’s lives up down left and right. I spent countless hours siting under a tree, staring at this building, reflecting on life, and reflecting on governmental decisions like removing fuel subsidy without removing excise duties for cars, implementing GST, paying highway concessionaires excessive compensation to continue charging us on tolled highways, and many many more.
If you are a Malaysian, I’m sure you would understand. If you are not a Malaysian, this is none of your business, so no worries here.
So… what do you think of Putrajaya? If you have not been here before, would you like to visit?