Taman Wawasan – Putrajaya

Taman Wawasan with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the hilltop.

I went for a cycle ride in Taman Wawasan the other day. I might have mentioned this place before in an earlier post. It is a pretty park in the centre of Putrajaya. It’s like having my own private park because I am usually the only person there apart from the teams of gardeners from countries like Bangladesh, Myanmar and Indonesia who keep the park looking pristine.

These friendly gardeners do a great job.

I don’t know why the park is so empty. You would think that hordes of civil servants from the Ministry of Finance next door would come here at lunchtime to eat their sandwiches.  Too hot I suppose.

Empty park benches next to the Ministry of Finance.

I suspect there is not a lot of drama going on at the amphitheatre either. Better to convert it into a rockery.

Friends, Putrajayans, Countrymen lend me your ears.

It is probably time to remove the phone booths now – even I’ve got a mobile phone. The phone companies must be saving millions from not having to maintain call boxes any more.

Redundant phone booths.

The civil servants are missing out on the many exotic plant species found in the park. Here are a few I snapped (I looked up the names in my copy of ‘1001 Garden Plants in Singapore’ so please correct me if I have misidentified them):

These heliconia marginata look like flamingoes.

Heliconia Marginata


A different type of heliconia – heliconia rostrata.

Heliconia Rostrata


Spathoglottis plicata or Philippine Ground Orchid.

Spathoglottis plicata


Lophanthera lactescens. Common name: Golden Chain Tree.

Lophanthera lactescens


Cochlospermum (said the Chinese fertility doctor to his male patient) religiosum. Known as the buttercup tree among other names.

Cochlospermum religiosum.


Maniltoa browneoides or handkerchief tree sprouts new growths of leaves which suddenly appear in white bunches.

Maniltoa browneoides


Ixora ‘Sunkist’. I have some ixora in my garden but not this variety.

Ixora 'Sunkist'


These would have been lunch if I could be sure they were not poisonous.

Fungus of some sort.

Taman Wawasan is a nice place to spend a couple of hours.

Taman Wawasan, Putrajaya

Putrajaya – Four Parks Walk

Putrajaya, the federal administrative capital of Malaysia and the place I call home, is a green town. Often described as a City in a Garden, around 40% of its 4500 hectare area has been set aside for parks and green spaces. Putrajaya has a population of around 70,000 (planned to increase to 330,000 eventually). During office hours the population surges to 100,000 or so as hordes of civil servants commute into the city from outlying areas. At weekends though the streets are fairly empty and the parks are completely deserted. I don’t know where the 70,000 residents go at weekends – perhaps to the malls – but it seems they are not keen on walking which is a pity because Putrajaya’s parks are very beautiful. Last Saturday I took a circular walk lasting 4 hours which included four of Putrajaya’s many parks. I had the place to myself as usual.

Putrajaya Four Parks Walk

Taman Putra Perdana

This park lies in the heart of Putrajaya on a low hill affording fine views over the city. At the highest point sits the Istana Melawati, a royal retreat for the King and the second-ranked national palace after Istana Negara in Kuala Lumpur. The Shangri-La Hotel is located next door.

Istana Melawati atop Taman Putra Perdana Perdana PutraI wish my bougainvilla looked like this. View of the Prime Minister's OfficeThe pink mosque, Putra Mosque

Taman Wawasan

Crossing the Putra Bridge on Putrajaya’s main thoroughfare I was able to stand in the middle of the road to take this photo without fear of being struck by traffic.

Putrajaya's roads are quiet during weekends.

A happy couple in traditional costumes was posing for wedding photos.

Ugh, there's a caterpillar in these flowers!

Leaving the road I entered the second park, Taman Wawasan. This park has plenty of picnic spots, gazebos, jogging tracks, cycle paths and even a pebble beach though I am not sure I would brave enough to swim in the lake having spotted some rather large lizards cruising around.

Looking back towards the Prime Minister's Office. Taman Wawasan

Wisma Putra Pretty pathway Lotus ponds

Taman Warisan Pertanian

Nearby is the Agricultural Heritage Park which highlights the important role agriculture plays in Malaysia’s economy. This is the only park where you have to pay an entrance fee (cheap). The park contains rubber trees, oil palms, coffee, fruit and cocoa trees and has a demonstration of how rubber is produced.

Rubber trees. The food stalls are popular.

At the entrance is an outdoor eating area including a branch of the famous Kajang Satay.

Presint 16 Promenade

Close to the Agricultural Park is the start of the promenade which runs along the lake shoreline all the way back to the Putra Mosque via the Alamanda shopping mall. On some islands in the lake, isolated from humans, live colonies of egrets, night herons, grey herons, green herons, purple herons, cattle egrets, black crown neck herons, painted storks and cinnamon bitterns.

Painted Storks

This group of painted storks seems oblivious to the threat posed by the large monitor lizard behind them. Judging by its fat tummy, perhaps it has already eaten. Or maybe its a female lizard about to lay eggs on the island and the storks are hanging around to dig up the eggs and eat them as soon as the lizard leaves. Who is the predator here?

Don't look now but there's someone behind us!

For information on two more of Putrajaya’s lovely parks, Taman Wetlands and Botanical Gardens, you can take a look at my website http://www.malaysia-traveller.com/national-parks.html

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