There is plenty to see and do at this Federal Territory
A trip to Malaysia isn’t complete without a visit to Putrajaya, the administrative capital of the country. This sprawling metropolis, some 25 kilometres from Kuala Lumpur, was designed from the get go as a garden and intelligent city with the role of housing the government – a function it took over from the nation’s capital in 1999.
The brainchild of former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohammad, Putrajaya has quickly become a thriving city that beckons all to visit. At almost 50 square kilometres, the congestion and claustrophobia that plague a typical urban area are absent. There is an intriguing sense of space; space that has been utilised well with generous dollops of greenery to complement the manmade wonders.
The fact that everything has been planned to a tee can’t be missed when you are standing at the administrative nerve centre, surrounded by the brick and mortar embodiment of various ministries. The striking edifices capture your attention, each one far from a soulless eyesore, rather an elegant design statement that effortlessly draws admiration. You don’t have to be an architect to appreciate the picturesque styling.
There are several buildings of note around Putrajaya that stand out, and therefore must be taken in. The Diamond Building of the Energy Commission is one, an-almost inverted pyramid that’s covered in glass. The Putrajaya International Convention Centre (PICC) is another, an iconic landmark that is visible from afar. Further buildings of note include the pink Putra Mosque and Seri Perdana, the official residence of the Prime Minister.
Smack in the middle of Precinct 1 is Persiaran Sultan Sallahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah, which is popularly regarded as the world’s largest roundabout! Several of the thoroughfares in Putrajaya’s main precincts are wide, arrow-straight boulevards that are optically pleasing, perfectly partnering the buildings around.
These are the same roads that link to one of the many magnificent, photogenic bridges that stand proudly around the administrative hub. The breath-taking Seri Saujana and Seri Wawasan Bridge offer more visually dramatic passages over the water, while the Seri Gemilang Bridge, Seri Perdana Bridge and Putra Bridge are no less attractive in their own right.
The presence of these bridges are necessary due to the man-made Putrajaya Lake, which is not only a majestic accompaniment to many of the vantage points in the area, but a focal point of a number of fun activities too. The Cruise Tasik is perhaps the most well-known of the lake pursuits. An array of vessel sizes and cruise types means that you get to choose what best suits you.
Marina Putrajaya is another lakeside attraction, offering a range of leisure and recreational fun. It has under its roof a slew of facilities, including a swimming pool, gymnasium, aerobic studio and sauna room. There are even extreme sports options on the lake, such as water skiing, wakeboarding, flyboarding and sailing!
Test your intrepid side further at the Putrajaya Challenge Park, which boasts an indoor rock wall climbing complex, skate park and thrill park, as well as mountain bike trails. There are also paths for those who would prefer to get their pulse racing by jogging or running. If you rather get your thrills being in control of a beast, then Putrajaya’s Equestrian Park is your answer. Joy rides and horse riding lessons are available, along with insightful stable tours.
Skyrides Festivals Park, by the 68-metre-tall Millennium Monument, holds the title of Malaysia’s first and biggest tethered helium balloon theme park. Entertainment abounds for both adults and children here with the myriad of activities on site, but the main draw is the tethered balloon ride that grants you a 360-degree view of Putrajaya from 150 metres above ground!
Covering an area of 93 hectares and divided into five areas, namely the explorer’s trail, palm hill, floral gardens, lakeside and sun garden is the Putrajaya Botanical Gardens. It has been a favourite destination of flora and fauna lovers since its opening because of its colourful variety of species and spectacular landscaping. There is also plenty to do here apart from exploring, such as cycling and boating.
More marvels of Mother Nature can be observed at the Putrajaya Wetlands, which is the largest freshwater wetland in the tropics. It was primarily purposed to control the quality of water that finds its way to the Putrajaya Lake by virtue of its natural filtering properties. Aside from the usual park recreational activities, visitors can indulge in birdwatching as the area is the stomping ground for various species of local and migratory water-loving birds!