itchy feet cravings

Putrajaya, Merdeka

Never mind if I’m writing this blog a bit late. It’s better to write about it than never. Yeah, that’s what I always say whenever I berate myself for being lax in blogging. Now I have time to catch up. I’ve been itching to talk about my KL trip two months ago. I haven’t finished recounting my trip. But  I think I have every reason to because today is Merdeka Day. Happy Independence Day Malaysia!

So here I am sorting through my database for photos of our trip to Merdeka Square and Putrajaya. I was told these two places are a good place to start a KL trip if it’s your first time here. Familiarize yourself with Malaysia with a KL City Tour and start off with these two iconic tourist spots that would enable you to get a glimpse of Malaysia’s rich cultural and political past.

We started with a short trip to Merdeka. Our tour guide gave us 30 minutes. The weather was so hot and I could feel the sun bearing down on my skin. But I didn’t mind the heat and just went ahead to capture the sights of one of the most impressive buildings you’d find in Malaysia boasting of Indian Moghul architecture. In the travel literature provided to us by Tourism Malaysia, Merdeka Square or Dataran Merdeka is a good starting point to “explore the city’s heritage sites.”

This place is the usual venue whenever Malaysians celebrate their annual Independence Day and I am sure right now, the place is teemed with people as they commemorate the day with a parade. It was here that the Union Jack was lowered on Aug. 31, 1957 and marked Malaysia’s independence from British colonial rule. We sighted the 100-meter high flagpole that flies the Malaysian flag and which is famed to be the tallest in the world. According to the guide book, the Square used to be the hub for police parades and cricket matches. Now it’s a nice, beautifully landscaped area with gardens, terraces and an ideal place for photo shoots. We even chanced upon a newly-married couple having a photo shoot at the Square grounds.

Adjacent to the square is the Sultan Abdul Samad Building which was built in 1897 and named after the state ruler and served as the government administrative building during the British era. This building so impressed me with its stately structure. It’s of Mahometan style and constructed entirely of brick, consists of an imposing porch, graceful horseshoe-shaped arches, shiny copper domes and a 41.2 meter high clock tower. We were told not to miss taking a picture of the clock. So I did take a couple of shots. We were also told that this edifice now houses the Malaysia Supreme and High courts. There’s also a handicraft center. Also within this complex is the National Textile Museum of Malaysia and the Royal Selangor Club.

the 41.2 meter high clock tower of Sultan Abdul Samad Building
the 100-meter flagpole at Merdeka Square

After a quick lunch at a Chinese restaurant, we headed towards Putrajaya which is an hour drive away from Central KL. We all took a nap during the ride and woke up to the sight of the Putra bridge before us. We were informed that Putrajaya is now the nation’s new federal administrative city. And right before us is the Putra bridge which is one of the main attractions in this vast complex.

Putra bridge

Situated on a man-made lake, you can see the Putra Mosque and the Prime Minister’s official residence from the bridge.

the Putra Mosque

I was really awed at the grandeur of the Putra Mosque. Especially when we came up to it. This striking pink-mosque situated near the lake is quite phenomenal, they say, as it is the primary place where Muslims citizens of the state go to worship. We didn’t get a chance to get inside but being at the grounds is enough.

the grounds at Putra Mosque
a wedding reception was ongoing ..
entrance to Cruise Tasik

This city is also home to other government establishments such as the Putrajaya International Convention Center. This is such a nice elegant garden-like place where you can enjoy a nature trip. There are nice restaurants around too. Much to our delight, part of the tour included a cruise at Cruise Tasik where we got a glimpse of Putrajaya’s chief main attractions while inside an air-conditioned boat.

view of the mosque from the cruise boat
I think this is the Perdana Putra, the PM’s office
the Putrajaya International Convention Center
the PM’s residence? i guess

We capped off our cruise with a bit more sightseeing activities. We had more time left before we head back to our hotel in KL Central. So I took the opportunity to take some more pics of Putra Square.

A visit to Merdeka Square gives an idea of how Malaysia then struggled to achieve independence after being subjected to colonial rule. Now, Malaysia is a vibrant nation and renowned as one of Asia’s economic tigers. Just a few hours of staying at Putrajaya made us understand how far Malaysia has gone up to prove its formidable  economic prowess. I too, wish Malaysians a happy Merdeka! Truly, a life of freedom is awesome… 🙂

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