Putrajaya

Putrajaya, an "Intelligent Garden City" and the federal administrative capital of Malaysia, is a showcase city under construction some 30 km south of the capital Kuala Lumpur. Her adjacent sister city, Cyberjaya, is built along the same lines, but is aimed at attracting the IT industry. The area was formerly known as Prang Besar.

Understand

Putrajaya covers a vast sprawl of 4,931 hectares, which were mostly palm plantations before the federal government purchased the lot from the surrounding state of Selangor. The city's masterplan is designed along an axial tangent which runs from the northeast to southeast, with gently undulating terrain. About 40% of Putrajaya is natural, but the landscape has been extensively reworked by man: lush greenery and botanical gardens are spread across the landscape, crisscrossed by large bodies of water and wetlands. Five confluences meet at the north forming a main waterway, the Putrajaya Lake, which flows across the city area.

History

Putrajaya Landmark at dusk

The project was started in 1993 and the federal capital officially moved in 1999, although the site is still far from complete. Putrajaya became a self-governing federal territory (wilayah persekutuan) in 2001, the third in Malaysia after Kuala Lumpur and the little oddball island of Labuan.

The name literally means "princes' (putra) success (jaya)". Officially, the site is named in homage to Malaysia's first prime minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra, but odds are it's also a tip of the hat towards the "princes of the soil" (bumiputra), a euphemism for ethnic Malays (as opposed to the richer Chinese minority) and one of the key concepts of Malaysia's affirmative action program.

Ever since the Asian economic crisis of 1998 development has slowed down markedly, and while there aren't any of the rusting half-built concrete shells that still litter KL and Bangkok, the careful eye will spot more than a couple of once cleared and dug-up but now abandoned fields (often with a crane or two stuck in the mud too). Basically, the infrastructure is largely in place but the buildings and occupants aren't, leading to the impression of a giant swath of hilly jungle crisscrossed by 8-lane highways with no other cars on them, and the occasional beautifully sculpted lake garden with no people in sight.

That said, the area remains under heavy construction and both people and companies are slowly moving in. As of 2009, the population has surpassed 50,000, although there's still a long way to go to the targeted 300,000. Inevitably, development isn't always occurring in expected ways: Cyberjaya has to date mostly succeeded in attracting call centers and data warehouses, not R&D laboratories. The new twin cities may look very different in 5-10 years' time.

Get in

Precincts of Putrajaya

By plane

The nearest airport is Kuala Lumpur International Airport. A coupon or metered budget taxi to or from KLIA will take 30 minutes and cost around RM60. Alternatively, you can take the KLIA Transit from the airport to Putrajaya station and transfer to a taxi.

By train

For public transport the fastest choice is the KLIA Transit connecting Kuala Lumpur's Sentral train station to its airport, which stops halfway in between at Putrajaya. Trains run every 30 minutes, take 20 minutes and the list price is RM 9.50 one-way. Putrajaya tour return tickets are no longer available.

Note: KLIA Ekspres services which is a special service route of KLIA Transit do not stop at Putrajaya. But normal KLIA Transit trains stops at Putrajaya.

One can Board a Rapid KL Bus from Putrajaya Sentral to KLSentral. Its the easiest way to reach Kuala Lumpur City from Putra Jaya

By taxi

Coupon taxis from Kuala Lumpur's KL Sentral cost a fixed RM45, but otherwise you'll have to try out your bargaining skills - figure on RM40-50, and expect to pay more at night.

By bus

Bus service is provided from 6:30AM until 10PM to and from Cyberjaya, Putrajaya, Serdang commuter station, Sinar Kota and Pasar Seni LRT station in Kuala Lumpur. The bus fare for one-way is around RM 3.50 and takes about 30 minutes-one hour, depends on the traffic flow. Usually, on non-working days the time the buses take to arrive at Putrajaya will be much faster, but the frequency of the buses will be accordingly reduced.

The new Express network by Rapid KL links KL Sentral to Putrajaya with only RM 5 for an unlimited daily pass.

All public buses from Kuala Lumpur to Putrajaya drop and pick up passengers from the bus terminal beside the train station (Putrajaya Sentral), which is at least 5 km from the core district.

Shuttle buses to/from KL are provided by some hotels for guests, such as Shangri-la.

Get around

Public transportation within Putrajaya is woefully inadequate, as distances are long and you need wheels to get around. Occasional Nadiputra buses putter about from the train station at random times in random directions. These buses charge a flat fare of 50 sen.

Tours from Putrajaya Central run every day at 11 am and 3 pm at a cost of 20 RM (the 11 am trip is not available on Fridays). This takes 2.5 hours and covers most of the main sights within Putrajaya. Alternatively, tours are run from KLIA for about 30 RM all-in.

By taxi

Coupon taxis from the Transit station charge RM8-10 to most points in Putrajaya. Other taxis are limited and it's best to book by phone at +60 3-5512-2266. Other taxi hotlines include: Putrajaya Cyberjaya Radio Taxi at +60 3 8888 4000, which operates 24hours. The meter starts ticking from RM4, but many cabbies are reluctant to use theirs. Chartering starts from RM30/hour, negotiable downwards.

By monorail

Construction of the Putrajaya Monorail has been halted until the occupancy of the Core District becomes higher.

See

Seri Wawasan Bridge, Putra Mosque, Putra Perdana

Putrajaya's main sights are the colossal showcase buildings put up in this future capital, all in the central Core District.

Note that a dress code applies to Perdana Putra, Seri Perdana and Putra Mosque, meaning no T-shirts, shorts, singlets, sandals, or "indecent" wear for ladies. The mosque lends out shocking pink robes for free, but the rest do not.

Buildings

In the courtyard of the Putra Mosque

Gardens and monuments

Do

Night Sightseeing

Putrajaya is a well lit city. One of the attractions, the Seri Wawasan Bridge, has a breathtaking view overlooking the Putra Mosque. Park by the roadside and enjoy the night view. Alternatively, drive to Putra Mosque square and go down the escalator to the food court overlooking Putrajaya Lake.

Buy

Eat

Budget

Splurge

Drink

Aside from some rather comatose hotel bars, nightlife in Putrajaya is basically non-existent.

Sleep

There are no budget or midrange options in town, but suffering from acute overcapacity, Putrajaya's luxury hotels offer some of the best deals on the planet. All the hotels are brand new and near-empty, unless there happens to be a big convention in town.

Splurge

The pool at the Shangri-La

Go next


Routes through Putrajaya

Kuala Lumpur  N  S  Seremban Malacca (Ayer Keroh)


This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Tuesday, October 13, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.