One of the classic films that I watched over and over was "Lost Horizon", both Frank Capra's version and the 1973 musical remake. Based on James Hilton's book of the same title, it is about plane crash survivors who find Shangri-La, an idyllic valley in the Himalayas (but in Karakoram in the book).
Have you ever dreamed of a place far away from it all? Where the air you breathe is soft and clean, and children play in fields of green. -- Burt Bacharach, from the lyrics of the song Lost Horizon
Putrajaya is the designated Federal Government Administrative Center. Government buildings abound and yet it is also touted as Malaysia's "Garden City of Tomorrow" and the world's first "Intelligent Garden City". I mentioned in my previous post that while visiting this garden city, I was billeted at the Shangri-La Putrajaya. As you can see, it is a low-rise hotel and each of its four floors has its own unique theme: palms, bamboo, aromatic herbs and aquatic plants.
The Shangri-La Putrajaya abides by the concept of being "a hotel within a park and a park within a hotel".
A view from above. This is the teaser shot I used in my preceding post "Selamat Datang".
A close-up of the tree ferns and aroids in the atrium. (To read about my own tree fern, click here to jump to my post "Greater than the Sum of its Parts.)
The hotel is on a hilltop in the middle of the city, so visitors in the upper floors have a commanding view of Putrajaya. My room was at ground level and so during my stay I had a wonderful, relaxing view of the grounds outside. Not to mention that Taman Putra Perdana (the park surrounding the hotel) was a short stroll away.
A group of Phoenix silvestris, also known as Silver Date Palm or Sugar Date Palm, dotting the courtyard of the Palm Hill Cafe. Breakfast buffet with a view of these magnificent palms was a great way to start my day.
Below is a Bismarckia nobilis. If I owned bigger land, I would want to have a specimen of this. Isn't it grand?
There were also some Giant Fishtail Palm or Caryota rhumphiana. These are not called giant for nothing and my own Caryota mitis would be dwarfed if set beside these.
There were bursts of color around the grounds as well. Here are some croton.
The wonderfully scented Hedychium philippinense, also known as Philippine Camia or White Ginger. It is the national flower of Cuba and is known to them as the White Mariposa because of its similarity to a butterfly. However, the plant is originally from the Himalayas. Hmm. From Shangri-La perhaps?
I was envious of the density of the Bauhinia kockiana or the Red Tailing Bauhinia which is a plant native to Malaysia.
Last February, I posted about our Water Tank's New Clothes featuring my baby B. kockiana. The pictures in that post look pitiful when compared to this:
Just like the character Conway, I had no choice but to leave Shangri-La but I will definitely find a way to go back.