Moroccan Pavilion Putrajaya

Moroccan Pavilion Putrajaya

Tucked away in a corner of the Putrajaya Botanical Gardens, surrounded by landscaped gardens and alongside a lake, lies the exquisite Moroccan Pavilion Putrajaya (Astaka Morocco).

Astaka Morocco

I have admired it from the outside many times but only recently got round to purchasing a ticket to view the interior.

Moroccan Pavilion Putrajaya

This remarkable construction with a built-up area of 18,000 square feet showcases Moorish architecture of the sort found in places like Cordoba and Granada, Spain.

Moroccan Pavilion Putrajaya

Development of the Moroccan Pavilion was an idea mooted by the Malaysian Government and it was built with Moroccan assistance. It was intended to symbolise the strong diplomatic ties between the two countries.

Inner Courtyard of the Moroccan Pavilion Putrajaya

The Moroccan Pavilion is divided into three grand courtyards: the entrance courtyard, King’s Court and Granada Court each protected by ornate gates called City Gate, Palace Gate and Splendour Gate respectively. The water fountain situated in the centre of Granada Court was modelled after the Lion’s Court of Alhambra. The walls of the courtyard are adorned with calligraphic verses from the Quran.

Moroccan Pavilion Putrajaya

The intricate craftsmanship of the ceilings, pillars and walls was prefabricated in various villages in Morocco and shipped over to Putrajaya. Skilled Moroccan artisans were brought in to assemble the pieces and apply the finishing touches.

Moroccan Pavilion Putrajaya

A number of rooms are arranged around the inner courtyards which are decorated in the styles of Moroccan imperial cities, namely the Rabat Gallery, the Fez Gallery, the Essaouira Gallery, the Meknes Gallery, the Marrakesh Gallery and a VIP gallery.

Door to Essaouira RoomDoor to the Fez Gallery

Detail of door at Moroccan Pavilion PutrajayaDoor Decor at Moroccan Pavilion Putrajaya

Visitors are free to wander inside these rooms but photography is only allowed in the outer corridors and courtyards. Inside you will fine see examples of Moroccan decorative arts such as zillij terracotta tiles, moucharabieh screens and muqarnas ceilings.

Left to Right: zillij, moucharabieh, muqarnas.
Left to Right: zillij, moucharabieh, muqarnas.

Moroccan Pavilion Putrajaya

Ticket Price and Opening Hours

To see inside the galleries and to access the inner courtyards you need to buy a ticket from the Putrajaya Botanical Gardens Visitor Centre which is located about 5 minutes walk from the Moroccan Pavilion.

Adults: RM 3

Students: RM 1

You can find opening hours here.

Ticket Window at Moroccan Pavilion Putrajaya

Address: Persiaran Sultan Sallahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah, Presint 1, 62000 Putrajaya, Wilayah Persekutuan Putrajaya, Malaysia

Phone:+60 3-8887 7770

Definitely worth the three Ringgit!

China Malaysia Friendship Garden, Putrajaya

China Malaysia Friendship Garden Putrajaya

One of the more recent additions to Putrajaya’s cityscape is the China Malaysia Friendship Garden, which was officially opened last December to mark the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Malaysia.

China Malaysia Friendship Garden, PutrajayaThe garden has been constructed in Lingnan style and incorporates a rockery, water features, decorative stones, traditional southern Chinese architecture, calligraphy, artwork and planting reminiscent of China.

No doubt this will become another popular location for wedding photos.

The garden is located in Putrajaya Precinct 4, in the shadow of the Seri Saujana Bridge.

China Malaysia Friendship Garden, PutrajayaThe garden forms part of Anjung Floria, an 11 hectare site being developed as the permanent home for Floria Putrajaya, Malaysia’s top annual flower and garden festival.

Entrance is free.

Heriot Watt Malaysia’s Green Roof

HeriotWattMalaysiaCampus

Leading British university Heriot Watt recently opened a campus in Putrajaya, Malaysia, its second campus outside of Scotland after Dubai.

Living Grass Roof Heriot Watt University

The most striking feature of this airy lakefront building is its curved roof which is being topped with grass. It is said to the first living grass roof of its kind in Malaysia and presumably is intended to provide insulation and reduce air-conditioning costs. It is 300m long and 30m wide and construction involves laying a waterproof membrane, installing an irrigation system and planting the right type of grass to prevent it being washed away.

It will be interesting to see how successful the roof is. In my experience, even conventional roofs in Malaysia are prone to leaking during torrential downpours, without having several tons of wet soil on the roof.

PullmanPutrajaya

Heriot Watt is in a good location, facing the Pullman Putrajaya Hotel, where the students can splash out on a meal, and alongside Marina Putrajaya where they can enjoy water sports such as waterskiing, rowing and sailing.

Lake Facilities Near HeriotWatt

New on Malaysia Traveller

In case you have missed them, here are some new pages added to my website Malaysia Traveller over the past few months.

Bukit Tinggi – Berjaya Hill Resort

Colmar Tropicale, Bukit Tinggi

Bukit Tinggi is a little corner of Alsace which has been created in the Malaysian hills. Find out here what the Berjaya Hills Resort has to offer.

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Taman Saujana Hijau, Presint 11, Putrajaya

TamanSaujanaHijau24

Taman Saujana Hijau is a lovely park in Putrajaya, designed with a European feel. Read details and location here.

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Teluk Intan Attractions

Leaning Tower of Teluk Intan See the top Teluk Intan Attractions and sights on foot with this self-guided walking tour. Map included.

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Malaysia Quiz – How Well Do You Know Malaysia?

MalaysiaMosques2 Test your knowledge of Malaysia with this picture recognition Malaysia Quiz. Can you recognise where these 44 mosques are located?

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Bukit Jalil Park – Taman Rekreasi Bukit Jalil

BukitJalilParkPths Bukit Jalil Park is a pleasant place to picnic, relax and exercise on the southern edge of Kuala Lumpur. Location map, opening hours and details here.

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Teluk Batik Beach, Lumut, Perak

Teluk Batik Beach, Lumut

At Teluk Batik Beach the family can enjoy a day frolicking in the sea and trying water sports. Lifeguards, shops and facilities are on site.

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Top Singapore Attractions – Best Things To Do In Singapore

TopSingaporeAttractionsSingaporeFlyer

Singapore is a beautiful city crammed full of interesting places to visit and things to do. Here are some of my favourite top Singapore attractions.

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Bank Negara Museum and Art Gallery

BankNegaraMuseumBanknote Bank Negara Museum and Art Gallery is spacious and modern and well worth a visit. Read here for my review with photos, opening hours and location details.

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Shoes Off Please

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Having lived for many years in Asia I am very accustomed with the practice of removing shoes before entering someone’s home.

In fact I am so used to the habit that it feels strange, even shocking, to see people wearing shoes indoors.

Here in Malaysia it is not uncommon to see the practice extended to shops and offices.

P4110121 

For example, this English tuition centre and the next door laundry shop in Putrajaya both request customers to leave their shoes outside.

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Not only does it save their spotlessly clean tiled floors from getting grubby, but it also makes customers feel more relaxed and ‘at home’ when entering the shop.

My dentist is another shoes-off place but the doctor’s clinic, where you would think hygiene is a concern, allows shoes inside.

Supermarkets and malls of course are definitely shoes-on. It would be chaotic to try and monitor the thousands of pairs of shoes and thieves would use the opportunity to upgrade their footwear.

Shoes-off in shops is a quaint practice but it is unlikely to spread far beyond the local dhobi shops.

Putrajaya – Taman Putra Perdana

View from Taman Putra Perdana

Taman Putra Perdana is a park situated on a hill in Precinct 1 in the centre of Putrajaya. It is surrounded by a five lane circular highway, Persiaran Sultan Salahudin Abdul Aziz Shah, forming a giant roundabout enclosing the park, the Putrajaya Shangri-La Hotel and Istana Melawati (a royal palace).

Like most of Putrajaya’s parks, Taman Putra Perdana is sparsely visited except by the small army of gardeners and security guards who work there.Mercu Tanda, Taman Putra Perdana, Putrajaya

Its highest point is crowned with an abstract sculpture shaped like a tin hat called simply mercu tanda or ‘landmark’.

This park also has a collection of 86 megaliths as I mentioned in my last post.

 

Park Bench at Taman Putra Perdana, Putrajaya

In keeping with the megalith theme, the park benches have been cleverly designed with a hump back which helps the rain to drain off, prevents tramps from sleeping on them (not that there are any tramps in Putrajaya), and ensures that courting couples cannot snuggle up too close (Putrajaya is quite a conservative place!).

Gardener taking a rest at Taman Putra Perdana, Putrajaya

This female gardener doesn’t need a park bench. She has found a shady spot on the footpath for a brief nap to recharge her batteries after a tiring morning toiling in the tropical heat.

Scary guard at Taman Putra Perdana, Putrajaya

This security guard has found an effective way to protect his delicate skin from the blazing sun but perhaps someone should tell him that guards are not supposed to dress like the bad guys.

At certain times of the year the park’s trees burst into flower and some of them, like this member of the gardenia family, give off the most beautiful fragrance.

A brisk walk around Taman Putra Perdana is a pleasant way to begin the day.

Gardenia Carinata at Taman Putra Perdana, Putrajaya

Prime Minister’s Walk, Putrajaya

As you are probably aware, The Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak, has dissolved parliament, paving the way for a general election to be held during the coming month.

At this important time, he probably has a lot on his mind. I always find that a good walk helps clear the head and revive the spirits. The Prime Minister is almost certainly too busy to take a walk but if he did manage to find the time, he has a very fine route right on his doorstep, which I call the Prime Minister’s Walk.

Seri Perdana, official residence of Malaysia's Prime Minister.

The route starts next to the lake at the bottom of the garden of his very nice home, Seri Perdana.  This sprawling mansion is the official residence of the Prime Minister and enjoys fine views of the Botanical Gardens and Istana Melawati, the King’s Putrajaya palace.

View of Precinct 10, Putrajaya from the Botanical Garden

The route follows a footpath and boardwalk through leafy Precinct 10, one of Putrajaya’s prettiest areas where many of the city’s most prestigious properties are found. Surprisingly hens and roosters can be seen freely scratching around in the grass next to the lake, keeping a wary eye out for monitor lizards who might fancy a poultry snack.

Seri Perdana Bridge, Putrajaya

The route passes underneath the 375m long Seri Perdana bridge, said to be built with Moorish design elements.  The Prime Minister could cross this bridge if he were going to his office but we will continue along the lake front.

Marine Police HQ and Lake Club, Putrajaya

Next we arrive at the Marine Police Headquarters (right in the picture) and the Lake Club (centre).

If you have a career in the Royal Malaysian Police and you are posted to be Chief of Marine Police at Putrajaya you know you are in for a cushy number. Crime in Putrajaya generally is low. Water-borne crime must be non-existent. There can’t be many marine traffic offences either as there are only a couple of sightseeing cruise boats, a few speed boats used by gardeners and a handful of canoes on Putrajaya’s lakes to contend with.

Kelab Tasik, Putrajaya

I would suggest the Prime Minister end his walk at the Lake Club (Kelab Tasik) and enjoy a cooling lime juice and perhaps a delicious Malaysian meal on the club’s delightful terrace.

Putra Mosque

From the terrace the PM could look out over the Putra Mosque and reflect on his hard work and the nation’s achievements over the past 5 years. He would also have a good view of his office at the massive Perdana Putra complex, and no doubt feel confident that he will soon be back there, re-elected to continue his efforts. In previous elections the result has always been a foregone conclusion as the ruling coalition has been in power continuously since Independence. This time around, many observers say the result will be a close call.

We’ll see!

Perdana Putra, Putrajaya