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A surreal motoring experience - Driving around Putrajaya, Malaysia

By Rigval on 14 Mar 2011

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Putrajaya is the federal administrative center of Malaysia and is one heck of a unique place to drive around on the weekends. Now if any of you readers plan to visit Kuala Lumpur and its surroundings be sure to head over there for a surreal driving experience. You may ask how surreal and why is it surreal? Itís simple. Let me begin.

Putrajaya is located in the state of Selangor, Malaysia. The exact location of Putrajaya is somewhere between Kuala Lumpur and the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang and it is 46 square kilometers in size. The seat of government in Malaysia was shifted in 1999 from Kuala Lumpur due to the overcrowding and congestion in the capital city of Malaysia. It actually worked, those that remember would tell you tales of horrifying traffic jams happening at all hours of the day.

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Now Putrajaya is home to around 60,000 or so inhabitants. 60,000 people living in an area 1/15th the size of Singapore. It would be almost 400,000 people living in the same 46 square kilometers if it were Singapore. So when everyone goes home after office hours, the main administrative areas, Precincts 1 to 5 are almost deserted. And if youíre there during a weekend, preferably around 3.00pm there are almost no other cars around the area aside from the one youíre driving.

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If you ever wanted to imagine driving in a city with office buildings but without a soul in sight you should head over to Putrajaya. The experience is surreal. Take a look at the photos taken in and around the Ministry of Finance building (the building in the photograph at the beginning of this article) and its surrounding areas. It looks like youíre in one of those post-holocaust movies, after a deadly virus wipes out all of mankind except a few or that you are the last man alive kind of thing. Its either that or like youíre driving around in a dream.

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Of course there are areas where there are shops and shopping centers and what not (the only mall there is the Alamanda Putrajaya) but right smack in the center, thereís almost no one. And itís something so surreal that one should experience.

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And yes, the roads are pretty good around here too, long stretches, fabulously designed bridges (around 7 or so crisscrossing the Putrajaya lake area) and nicely cambered interchanges.

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- The area surrounding Jalan Diplomatik is the only area that has signs of life aside from the shopping mall nearby

motoring in malaysia and 4 more...

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Written by Rigval
Born in 1972. Married with a kid. Loves B-road drives and have driven cars from the 1950s to date.

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Friendstar Mar 14 2011 12:11 PM
It is indeed surreal.

Like ghost town
Duckduck Mar 14 2011 03:11 PM
truly asia is famous for mega project wat. this another crony contractor makan the garmen funds left to right pocket lar.
Rayoflight Mar 14 2011 08:42 PM
I've been there with a tour before, staying at the hotel there opened by Dr M's daughter.

Was a wkend so less car on the road but at night, it is crowded at the pm's new office. Lots of tourist
Ruykava Mar 17 2011 11:48 AM
You've been in Singapore too long, lah! lots of CBD areas are like this =)

In fact, try driving around Shenton Way on a Sunday afternoon...
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