I first decided to visit Putrajaya simply because it was convenient — located midway between KL and the KLIA international airport, it cuts the 60km trip by half. But I’d seen pictures of its beautifully silhouetted sky punctuated by mosque minarets and pinkish domes. And I’d been told it was a meticulously ordered ‘garden city’. After a week in the chaotic capital, the prospect of space and greenery appealed greatly. Putrajaya might be Malaysia’s answer to Canberra — Australia’s specially constructed administrative centre — but the reality of it somehow surpasses it shilling. It may not be a place for thrill-seekers, but the preponderance of lakes and gardens make it a wonderfully tranquil place to take a pause.
It wasn’t long before I started to fully appreciate the peacefulness. From the hillside infinity pool at the Shangri-La hotel, overlooking the palm-lined horizons, my frazzled mind was instantly soothed by the hypnotic night lights and distant Islamic chants. On my most recent visit, I arrived to find Putrajaya blooming. With the help of my driver, I navigated the main boulevard across the steely span of the cabled Seri Wawasan Bridge, and soaked up some of the lake area’s 38 km shoreline. I immersed myself in its green spaces — which account for a huge 70% of territory — roaming through the Taman Wetlands or exploring the themed trails of the Botanical Gardens.
Then, finally, I donned a robe and visited Masjid Putra mosque outside prayer time, wowed by its towering 116m-tall minaret, latticed walls and fountained courtyards. Putrajaya is the ideal destination for those suffering from capital burnout or just in need of a great place to take a little breather from KL, before heading back in for more.