The city of Putrajaya refers to itself the administrative capital of Malaysia. This should have been a huge red flag that it would be a boring place to stay while in town for the Grand Prix. But with only a few weeks until the race and no hotel reservations made, our options had run out. We were either going to stay in Putrajaya at what felt like the only hotel in town, or blow our rent and stay in an enormous suite at the Pan Pacific. Putrajaya it was.
On the train to Putrajaya.
It only cost RM5.50 to get from LCC Terminal to Putrajaya's train station.
Some hotels rooms have Bibles; in Malaysia, the rooms point you towards Mecca.
I didn't take any photos of the hotel grounds for some reason. It was a huge, recently constructed complex. The sprawling estate felt empty and sad, a continuation of the same dreary vibe we got as the city bus drove through town. We arrived in the morning and the hotel was desolate, yet we were told that our room wasn't ready. This was the first of many WTF moments of the weekend. I fell asleep on a couch in the lobby while Jeff quietly typed away on his laptop until our room was ready a few hours later.
Jeff and I decided to rent bikes from the hotel one morning to ride around the city. Putrajaya's development as the federal administration center of Malaysia began in 1995, but the buildings look as though they were completed months ago. The infrastructure of Putrajaya is impressive; there are wide streets and immaculate sidewalks lined with street lamps, bus stops and garbage cans. Everything is spotless. In fact, during our bike ride through town, the only people we saw on the streets were street cleaners and landscapers.
Seri Gemilang Bridge over the manmade Putrajaya Lake.
The Palace of Justice in Putrajaya.
We were looking for a place to buy a cold drink on our bike ride and couldn't find anything, not even a vending machine or a 7-11. Maybe we didn't ride far enough. I later learned that Putrajaya has one mall, as well as a bazaar-style market. We didn't have time to check these out because we were at the race track most of the day. I also wanted to ride to the Putra Mosque, but we had to turn our bikes around and head back to the hotel.
Jeff says the reason why no one was in town is because everyone was celebrating the King of Johor's birthday, but I have a feeling the town would have felt just as eerie even with people in it.