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Ooaj Travel Guide, tourism, hotel reservation, residence, plane, cheap pension for you holidays in putrajaya
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Putrajaya, an "Intelligent Garden City" and the federal administrative capital of Malaysia, is a showcase city under construction some 30 km south of the 'real' capital Kuala Lumpur. Adjacent sister city Cyberjaya is built along the same lines, but is aimed at attracting the IT industry.
Putrajaya (http://www.i-putra.com/) sits on a magnificent 4,931 hectares spread. Its Masterplan is designed along an axial tangent which runs from the northeast to southeast taking full advantage of the natural surroundings. Its undulating terrain treats visitors and residents to commanding vistas of the environment. About 40% of Putrajaya is natural. Lush greenery, botanical gardens are spread across the landscape enhanced by large bodies of water and wetlands. Five confluences meet at the north forming a main waterway which flows across the city area.
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 (wilayat persekutuan) in 2001, the third in Malaysia after Kuala Lumpur and the little oddball island of Labuan.
The name literally means "princes' (putra) excellence (jaya)", "princes" here meaning the "princes of the soil" (bumiputra), which in turn is an euphemism for ethnic Malays (as opposed to the richer Chinese minority) and one of the key concepts of Malaysia's affirmative action program. Do note that, officially, the site is named in homage to Malaysia's first prime minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra.
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, although 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.
For public transport your sole choice is the KLIA Transit (http://www.kliaekspres.com/) 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, although daytrippers will want to opt for the RM 10 Visit Putrajaya ticket.
Note: KLIA Ekspres services do not stop at Putrajaya.
A taxi from KL will set you back around RM 30-50 depending on your bargaining skills. Expect to pay more at night.
Bus service is provided from 6:30am until 10pm to and from Cyberjaya, Putrajaya, Serdang commuter station and Sinar Kota 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 frequecny of the buses will be accordingly reduced.
Public transportation within Putrajaya is woefully inadequate, as distances are long and you need wheels to get around. Occasional Nadiputra buses (http://www.putrajaya.net.my/iis2/English/cityguide/transport/FareTimetable.htm) putter about from the train station at random times in random directions, but your best bet is probably to enquire at KLIA or KL Sentral about organized tours. If not, you'll be at the tender mercies of Putrajaya's price-gouging taxis; in particular, beware of hotel limousine services. Call (03) 5512 2266 for bookings and considering chartering one for the day.
Construction of the Putrajaya Monorail has been halted until the occupancy of the Core District becomes higher.
Putrajaya's main sights are the colossal showcase buildings put up in this future capital, all in the central Core District.
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.