A grandiose white elephant
What we say:
Like most planned capital cities, Putrajaya has a strange, unreal air about it.
The vast, empty roads and quasi-Stalinist public buildings contrast strongly to the hustle and bustle of KL, the city it replaced as Malaysia's federal administrative hub in 1999. Foreign embassies were meant to move there too, but quite understandably, they have chosen to remain in KL.
Quite apart from the oddity factor, Putrajaya does have enough attractions to merit a visit, including the massive pink Putra Mosque (Masjid Putra), the city's various bridges and the Botanical Gardens. The undoubted highlight is the lovely Putrajaya Wetlands Park, known particularly for its abundant birdlife, including a resident flock of pink flamingoes.
Unusually for Malaysia, Putrajaya is not only convenient to get to by public transport (KLIA Transit from KL Sentral being the speediest option) it also has an extensive local bus network. A fitting memorial to the city's stunted dreams is the monorail, of which only 100 metres was built, before the project ran out of steam.
Last updated: 1st June, 2012
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