Putrajaya (), an "Intelligent Garden City" and the federal administrative capital of Malaysia, is a showcase city under construction some 30 km south of the capital Kuala Lumpur. Adjacent sister city Cyberjaya is built along the same lines, but is aimed at attracting the IT industry. The area is formerly known as Prang Besar.
Putrajaya covers a vast sprawl of 4,931 hectares, which were mostly palm plantations before the federal government purchased the lot from the surrounding state of Selangor. The city's masterplan is designed along an axial tangent which runs from the northeast to southeast, with gently undulating terrain. About 40% of Putrajaya is natural, but the landscape has been extensively reworked by man: lush greenery and botanical gardens are spread across the landscape, crisscrossed by large bodies of water and wetlands. Five confluences meet at the north forming a main waterway, the Putrajaya Lake, which flows across the city area.
Putrajaya Landmark at dusk
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 (wilayah persekutuan) in 2001, the third in Malaysia after Kuala Lumpur and the little oddball island of Labuan.
The name literally means "princes' (putra) success (jaya)". Officially, the site is named in homage to Malaysia's first prime minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra. However in practice, it's sometimes considered a thinly veiled reference to the "princes of the soil" (bumiputra), an euphemism for ethnic Malays (as opposed to the richer Chinese minority) and one of the key concepts of Malaysia's affirmative action program.
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. As of 2006, the population has surpassed 50,000, although there's still a long way to go to the targeted 300,000. 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.
The nearest airport is Kuala Lumpur International Airport. A coupon or metered budget taxi to or from KLIA will take 30 minutes and cost around RM60. Alternatively, you can take the KLIA Transit from the airport to Putrajaya station and transfer to a taxi.
For public transport the fastest choice is the KLIA Transit 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, but the RM15 Putrajaya return ticket (valid for one month) is better value.
Note: KLIA Ekspres services do not stop at Putrajaya.
Coupon taxis from Kuala Lumpur's KL Sentral cost a fixed RM35, but otherwise you'll have to try out your bargaining skills - figure on RM30-50, and 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 frequency of the buses will be accordingly reduced.
The new Express network by Rapid KL  links KL Sentral to Putrajaya with only RM 5 for an unlimited daily pass.
Shuttle buses to/from KL are provided by some hotels for guests, such as Shangri-la.
Public transportation within Putrajaya is woefully inadequate, as distances are long and you need wheels to get around. Occasional Nadiputra buses 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. As of March 2006, KLIA Transit is offering daily train/bus tours leaving KL Sentral at 11 AM, taking in all the major sights in four hours (including lunch break) for RM25/10 adult/child. There are also public two-hour tours at 11 AM and 2 PM, departing from the tour desk at Selera Putra, that charge only a token RM 1 for the bus.
Coupon taxis from the Transit station charge RM8-10 to most points in Putrajaya. Other taxis are limited and it's best to book by phone at +60-3-5512-2266. Other taxi hotlines include: Putrajaya Cyberjaya Radio Taxi at +60 03 8888 4000, which operates 24hours. The meter starts ticking from RM4, but many cabbies are reluctant to use theirs. Chartering starts from RM30/hour, negotiable downwards.
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.
Note that a dress code applies to Perdana Putra, Seri Perdana and Putra Mosque, meaning no T-shirts, shorts, singlets, sandals, or "indecent" wear for ladies. The mosque lends out shocking pink robes for free, but the rest do not.
In the courtyard of the Putra Mosque
Perdana Putra, Presint 1, . The gargantuan complex of the Prime Minister's Office. Open to the public Mon-Fri 8 AM to 12:30 PM, 2 PM to 4 PM, plus every 2nd and 4th Sat in the morning only. Free entry, but ID is required (passport for non-Malaysians).
Seri Perdana, Presint 1, . The Prime Minister's official residence. Open to the public Tue-Sun 9 AM to 12:30 PM, 2 PM to 5 PM. Free entry, but ID is required (passport for non-Malaysians). As of March 2006, the complex is closed for renovations.
Putra Mosque (Masjid Putra), Presint 1. Pretty in pink, this mosque has a capacity of 15,000 worshippers and its 116-meter minaret is the tallest in Southeast Asia. Free entry, open every day from 9 AM to 5 PM. Non-Muslims may not enter the mosque building itself during prayer hours.
Wisma Putra. Houses the Malaysian Foreign Ministry.
Putrajaya International Convention Center.
Istana Melawati and Istana Darul Ehsan, the official residences of the Paramount Ruler of Malaysia and the Sultan of Selangor respectively. Not open to the public.
The Diplomatic Enclave, housing foreign embassies and missions.
The Perdana Leadership Foundation, holding the offices of previous Prime Ministers, currently occupied by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Gardens and monuments
Taman Putra Perdana, Presint 1. Pleasantly landscaped (and usually very quiet) hilltop park connecting the Shangri-La towards the Putra Perdana building, with some of the best views in town. At the center of the park is the Putrajaya Landmark (Mercu Tanda), which resembles a wizard's hat rolled from tinfoil.
Millennium Monument, Presint 2. 68-meter pillar in the shape of a hibiscus flower, with a walkway around it documenting the history of Malaysia.
Putrajaya Boulevard, a 100-meter wide, 4-kilometers long boulevard flanked by government offices and the mainstage for National Day parade.
Cruise Tasik Putrajaya, tel. +603-8888-5539, . Offers cruises around Putrajaya with sightseeing stops (RM30/person), both in small 4/6-seater gondola-like perahu boats and a large 76-seater air-con boat. On weekends only, dinner cruises depart from Jeti Putra at 8 PM and cost RM120/head (reserve one day in advance).
Alamanda, . As indicated by the logo, alamanda is a type flower commonly found in Malaysia, Putrajaya's premier (and only) shopping center.
Selera Putra, Dataran Putra (next to Putra Mosque), . Popular (for Putrajaya) air-con food court offering various Malaysian eats. Try the nasi kerabu at Kelantan Delight. Open 10 AM to 7 PM weekdays, 9 PM weekends.
Taman Warisan, An agro-based food stop where you can dine and shop for fresh fruits at the same place.
Azur, Shangri-La 2F. Cobalt blue restaurant offering an improbable menu of "Mediterranean-Asian" food from Italy to India. It's surprisingly good stuff though and not too unreasonably priced, with appetizers RM15-20 and mains RM30-40.
Aside from some rather comatose hotel bars, nightlife in Putrajaya is basically non-existent.
There are no budget or midrange options in town, but 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.
The pool at the Shangri-La
Marriott Putrajaya, . A stupendously huge 500-room hotel with a grandiose marble-columned lobby, out in the middle of nowhere at the rather lacklustre IOI Resort. Best quick description: "Looks like Saddam Hussein's palace." Maybe not bad for a cheap round of golf, as room rates go as low as US$25 (green fees not included).
Palm Garden Hotel, . Formerly Renaissance, also in the IOI Resort, is a slightly more humanely sized hotel and probably a better choice than the Marriott.
Shangri-La Hotel Putrajaya, Taman Putra Perdana, Presint 1, tel. +60-3-8887-8888, . Undoubtedly the pick of the pack, centrally located in the Core District (right next to the King's palace!) and featuring Shangri-La's renowned service and an Infinity Edge pool looking out over the best bits of Putrajaya. Free shuttle service to/from KL twice on weekdays and thrice on weekends. Also provides shuttles to Cyberjaya and Alamanda, the shopping centre nearby. Advanced booking of shuttle required. Rates US$70 and up, a steal for a place like this.
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!