If you need a cityscape to shoot your next Tim Burton-esque pretty neighborhood movie OR your post-viral-terrorism scene, this may just be the place.
Putrajaya is the administrative capitol of Malaysia. Purpose built, after Kuala Lumpur became too congested, it really is a beautiful city. Eerily so. After being in Malaysia for a month, we were accustomed to black-sooted buildings; garbage-strewn sidewalks; mangy, homeless, mangy dogs and motor-biked crammed streets. None of that exists in Putrajaya. Planned in the 1980s and built beginning in 1997, this city contains over 30% green space, a man-made river and lake, wide sidewalks, boulevard roads, artful streetlamps and many stunning buildings. Over 67,000 people live in the city, most of them government employees. Yet- unlike any other Malaysian city we’ve seen- no one is out and about. It feels completely empty, almost abandoned.
We were given a delightful tour of Putrajaya by local Rozi and her daughter. Rozi is the sister of of our US friend Rahim (who is hosting this blog for us- thanks, Rahim!). After an online introduction, Rozi agreed to meet us for lunch. It was a swelteringly hot, yet beautiful, blue sky day. She showed us around the striking buildings, including Ser Perdana, the Prime Minister’s residence.
We stopped by the lakeshore to admire the lovely water, yet saw only one boater enjoying it. Rozi says the river is under-utilized, because most Malaysians don’t like the heat! Too bad, as it looked like the perfect place to kayak. Guess we can’t start our kayak rental business here.
We also visited our first mosque, which deserves its own post.
Rozi told us that next to Putrajaya is Cyberjaya, Malaysia’s version of Silicone Valley, where many private corporations are located. Frankly, this looked a little empty too.
Both communities are growing, so perhaps one day the streets will bustle with their populace.
We ended our day with some good Malaysian food and drink. Lime and lychee water, yum. Thankfully the restaurant was packed, so we know someone besides Rozi’s family lives in this city.
Besides being a mom and occasional tour guide, Rozi is a budding entrepreneur. She creates adorable crafts and children’s clothing. Please, take a look! She is also a talented photographer- in fact, she inspired us to start our Photo of the Day gallery.
Seriously, Putrajaya a beautiful city and would make a great movie set. Hmmmmm, perhaps Ken’s next project?