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For the first time since 2005, the Hari Merdeka parade will be held at Putrajaya, the country’s administrative capital. We may know it as the place with sleek and modern-looking government ministries, well-structured roads and clean streets – but Putrajaya offers much more to travelers – if you know where to look. That being said, we’ve put together a list of things you can do in the city after attending the Merdeka Day celebrations, from cruising on the lake to admiring the stunning architecture of its many beautiful buildings.

Go For A Cruise

Want to soak up the city sights in a different light? Opt for a cruise package on the 650-hectare man-made Putrajaya Lake. Choose from two types of boats: the traditional wooden perahu (gondola), or the air conditioned, glass-covered catamarans, where you can also enjoy dining. The 45-minute ride takes passengers past the iconic Putra Mosque, the Millenium Monument, Seri Wawasan Bridge, the Perdana Putra (Prime Minister’s Office), and various ministry buildings.

Admire Beautiful Blooms

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Credit: Royal Floria Putrajaya

Credit: Royal Floria Putrajaya

After a year of absence, the Royal Floria Putrajaya, Malaysia’s largest flower and garden festival, will be returning for its 10th installment from 25 August until 2 September at Anjung Floria in Precinct 4. Aptly themed ‘the 10 Wonders of Floria’, the event will feature commercial products from the horticulture and landscape industry, floral design and floristry demonstrations, an Orchid competition with over 300 orchid plants in 60 classes on display, beautifully landscaped grounds, and a Floral Pavilion.

Enjoy A Green Respite

True to its ‘City in the Garden’ theme, Putrajaya has a large number of well maintained urban parks. There’s the Putrajaya Botanical Garden, which features over 700 types of tropical plants and trees; Taman Wawasan, which has nicely laid out bicycle and jogging paths, as well as the Agricultural Heritage Park, where you will find traditional Malaysian crops such as rubber, palm oil, cocoa, herbs and spices.

Take An Educational Trip To The Wetlands

The Putrajaya Wetlands is said to be the largest man-made freshwater wetlands in the tropics, with a park spanning 138 hectares, and wetland areas that cover some 1977 hectares. As a wildlife sanctuary, this is a good place to spot local marshland and water birds such as the little egret and green heron, as well as migratory birds. A Nature Interpretation Center within the park offers more information about the wetlands’ unique ecosystem, and there is also a 25-metre-high lookout tower you can climb for a bird’s eye view of the surroundings.

Practice Photography

With so many beautiful buildings within the city, Putrajaya is the perfect place to practice architectural photography. Some of the most stunning structures include the Perbadanan Putrajaya Complex, which features a massive futuristic arch inspired by the traditional Malay songket; the majestic Seri Perdana Complex, which is the official residence of the Prime Minister of Malaysia and incorporates European, Islamic and Malay elements in its design, as well as Astaka Morocco, a Moroccan-inspired pavilion located within the Putrajaya Botanical Garden, which is a popular spot for wedding photos.

Try Extreme Sports

Adrenaline junkies can try their hand at extreme sports at the Putrajaya Challenge Park.  It boasts a large indoor rock climbing wall complex with different routes for varying levels of difficulty, as well as a Skate and Thrill Park where skateboarders, inline skaters and BMX and stunt riders can practice and perform tricks. For extreme bikers, there is the Extreme Bike Route, an outdoor trail covering 9.1 kilometres that takes riders through the hilly terrain of rubber estates and palm oil plantations.

Visit Mosques

Putrajaya has two stunning mosques. The first, the Putra Mosque, is also known as the ‘pink’ mosque, as the dome is largely made from rose-tinted granite. Inspired by elements from Moroccan, Egyptian and Iranian architecture, the mosque is a lovely sight at sunset, when the golden light hits the building, giving it an even rosier glow. Another must visit is the Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Mosque, the ‘Iron Mosque’, which sits by the Putrajaya lakeside and appears to be ‘floating’ on water.

Go On A Museum Trip

For those keen on learning more about the Malaysian legal system, pay a visit to the Justice Museum, located within the impressive Ministry of Justice building. Proper attire is a must, so no jeans, shorts or slippers.