Royal FLORIA Putrajaya

by cedhausen

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Flowers, flowers, and look! More flowers. It would be another year before the administrative capital of Malaysia would witness a congregation of Malays as large as the one choking the entrances and parking lots to the annual FLORIA flower and garden festival at Precinct 4, Putrajaya. Yes, not even the pilgrims gathered in holy city of Mecca could compete with the crowd in Putrajaya, many clad in colourful hijabs smelling orchids and bougainvilleas as they explore the labyrinthine exposition. But enough hyperbole. Despite the festival’s appeal to a diverse audience (who can dislike flowers?), it is particularly popular among the Malays, which makes me wonder about the organiser’s marketing strategy… do they advertise exclusively with Malay periodicals? This isn’t a complaint, mind you, but merely an amusing observation. In fact, the colourful hijabs complement the floral decorations rather nicely. Probably explains why there are so many here with selfie sticks.

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This happened two weeks ago on the first weekend of June, and I was here with my parents and cousin, who’s with us for the weekend having flown from the U.S. Darren (le cousin) desperately needed an intervention because he couldn’t keep his fingers off his phone, so we thought a therapeutic trip to a flower exposition would do him some good. I need to remind myself to just spend some time driving around Putrajaya and snap some pictures of the government buildings there: I imagine their reception halls will be needlessly ostentatious, which would probably result in good photographs.

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To be frank, FLORIA 2015 wasn’t as impressive as FLORIA 2014. In fact, FLORIA 2014 felt bigger. In addition to the usual displays by students and fancy outdoor exhibitions from various state governments, a large part of FLORIA 2014 was dedicated to a wedding exposition, so there were plenty exhibitions that were designed specifically for weddings. In other words, #tooprettyforwords. FLORIA 2015? A kitty pageant. It wasn’t the highlight of the event, but yes, a kitty pageant.

In spite of that incongruous feline diversion, FLORIA 2015 was still worth the visit. To say that I’m a fan of the annual festival wouldn’t mean much, but if the festival could convince an American male teenager who loves anime and raves about Comic-Con to cease playing Final Fantasy: Record Keeper on his phone for three hours, I would say FLORIA has done for itself.

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From the fantastical to the surreal, the neck-bending to the mind-blowing, there will always be something at FLORIA worth capturing. This picture above is an example of the fantastical; ‘The Red Ceiling’ from the previous post, the surreal. And then, you’d also find the oddly-cute-yet-potentially-creepy ones:

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I’m pretty certain those are chrysanthemums, though I can’t explain the green hue… In addition to teddy bears mummified in flowers, you would also find extravagant floral arrangements like this:

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I overheard a conversation from a fellow observer how one of these, which would probably end up in a hotel, could easily fetch thousands. Whoever said florists weren’t a perfectly respectable occupation?

All in all, there’s plenty to see at FLORIA, and the images here are but the handful I feel comfortable to feature, lest this post becomes one heck of a psychedelic trip with the eruption of colours. So if you’re ever in Malaysia from the end of May to the middle of June, you can definitely put this up on your list of place to visit, especially if you enjoy flowers. A bottle of water and an umbrella you can shove into your bag is a must when you visit due to the torrid weather throughout the day and chance of tropical thunderstorms in intervals. There aren’t many reliable areas for cover so unless you enjoy singing in the rain, pack an umbrella. Getting here shouldn’t be too difficult; getting back, however, might be a little tricky, as there aren’t many cabs that whizz by this area. So what do you do? Hit me up if you ever need to!

P.S. With my current work schedule, I will be updating my blog on a weekly basis, usually during the weekends so I can promise consistency on that. These posts will usually feature a new place to visit, places that I’ve recently discovered, or places I’ve been to in the past. That said, if ever I have the additional time, I might throw in an extra post or so on, well, anything that strikes my interest. Life happens in the spur of the moment anyway so I’ll be sure to share the good, the beautiful, the bad, and the ugly if and when they appear. I already have a couple of things I’d love to share and I’m excited to write about them, especially two new dining establishments I’ve recently stumbled upon so stay tuned for those! Until then, goodnight!