Royal True Yellow

In my previous post about finding the Lost Horizon in Shangri-La Putrajaya, I mentioned that the hotel was on a hill in the center of the city.  There is only one other property on the hill and that is the Istana Melawati, the second national palace and retreat house of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (King) of Malaysia.  Istana means "palace" and Melawati means "guard's tower".

So not only was I in a fabulous garden hotel, I was neigbors with royalty.  Well, almost.  I don't think the King and Queen were in residence while I was there.

I ended up visiting Istana Negara along Jalan Istana, which was the official residence of the King of Malaysia for 54 years up to November 2011.  

Beyond the palace gate are cypresses and casuarinas.

*** Click on this and subsequent images to enlarge.


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Lost Horizon Found

Non-free media. Low resolution copy with no free equivalent. Non-commercial use.

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

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.

***Click on image to enlarge


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Castaway Plants

No, I don't mean the plants people get rid off or set aside to use for compost or those used in the set of one of the reality TV shows or a Tom Hanks movie.  

These plants grow wild on a thousand acre island in the Bahamas.

View from the island's observation deck.The island, once visited by pirates and then (much) later on by drug smugglers, is now overrun by a rodent named Mickey and his friends.  The "official" story has cleaned up the island's nefarious history and has changed it to a story of three explorers and their families setting sail for the Bahamas in the 1920's and deciding to settle down on the island.


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