Saturday, January 28, 2023

[PUTRAJAYA] Instagrammable Bureaucracy

Do government buildings turn you on? Does bureaucracy make you horny? Well, well, haven’t we found the perfect place for you! The twin cities of Cyberjaya and Putrajaya were conceptualized for very specific purposes: the former as some sort of answer to Silicon Valley; the latter as a planned administrative seat of the country. Even then, KL remains the official capital. However, if you want a mini city with well-manicured streets that turn into a ghost town on weekends, then Putrajaya is for you.

A link to the yellow metro line is in development but not quite there yet. For now, your only option to get  to Putrajaya from either KLIA or KL Sentral is the KLIA Transit line. Take note that this is not the same as KLIA Express. While they are basically the same train running the same line, KLIA Express has fewer stops and does not have a station in Putrajaya. It is KLIA Transit that does have a stop there, so take note of that if Putrajaya is your final destination.

Putrajaya’s bus lines are quite irregular during weekends. Your best bet here is to call a Grab which will cost you just around MYR7 (~91 pesos) to Seri Wawasan Bridge. The station has no WiFi but you can easily buy a 24-hr 100 MB roaming package. That should be enough for Grab rides back and forth as well as uploading some selfies along the way. If you haven’t had lunch yet, have your Grab drop you off at McDonalds, which is a two-minute walk from the bridge and is right along the Riverwalk.

The Seri Wawasan Bridge is impressive from afar and is a popular choice as a background for selfies. You can take a panoramic photo from McDonalds as a vantage point. Once you get to the bridge itself, you will have a panoramic albeit tiny view of Putra Mosque as well as the lakeside palace of the Sultan of Selangor (Istana Darul Ehsan). You can also rest here because there is shade under the bridge along with a bench or two. Since I went on a weekend, there were just a handful of us tourists there.

Once done, just walk towards the direction of Masjid Putra. That mosque will be stalking you from the horizon everywhere you go. The walk will require you to cross a bridge (NOT Seri Wawasan) and you will be seeing a lot of government buildings along the way. Most of them subscribe to the same architectural style, but never a boring sight. I guess what I really admire about Putrajaya, though, is its streets and greenery. You can just see the attention to detail that the city’s architects had while building it.

There’s a huge ass park occupying the northeast corner of the island where McDonalds is. I didn’t have the time to explore it, though. The main attraction here will always be the mosque, and that bridge you have to cross to get there is just as photogenic. That is just one stroll I’ll never get bored of with gorgeous views of both the mosque and the palace from a distance. You can also get a panoramic view of Seri Wawasan Bridge from there. Putra Square, along with its colorful P-U-T-R-A-J-A-Y-A letters, awaits you at the other end.

The mosque will be to your left. I’m not quite sure if entrance is free and allowed for non-Muslims, although this seemed to be the case. I didn’t bother to go in anymore because I wasn’t in the mood for pretty interiors that day. I was already content with the exterior views, which were just a sight to behold. They really struck the jackpot constructing that mosque next to the river. The views are simply divine and there’s just this calming effect despite the multitude of tourists flooding the mosque itself.

And that was Putrajaya for me. The Grab ride back to the station cost only MYR8 (~105 pesos) and didn’t take more than ten minutes. By the way, there are lockers of different sizes at the station. Small lockers are MYR10 (~130 pesos) while the big ones for luggage are MYR30 (~390 pesos), which makes Putrajaya a doable stop to and from the airport if you are planning to explore it on the way to Kuala Lumpur or right before your flight which is what I did.

[PUTRAJAYA] Instagrammable Bureaucracy

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