PUTRAJAYA: Many people took advantage of the long festive break to visit the major parks here.
Droves of people turned up at Taman Botani, Taman Warisan Pertanian and Taman Wetlands, bringing picnic baskets and umbrellas for a day out under the sun.
Some families even brought along their elders in wheelchairs.
Children were seen playing football on the fields.
Taman Botani’s public relations, communications and special events officer Norliza Yahaya said usually some 20,000 to 30,000 visitors visit the park every month.
“But every time there is a festival, a public holiday, or even a special event, the number can go up to 35,000 people.
“We had expected many visitors on the first day of Hari Raya, particularly after the morning prayers,” she said, adding that to mark the occasion, all the staff donned traditional costumes instead of their usual uniforms.
Other parks like Taman Warisan Pertanian and Taman Putrajaya Wetlands had set up small stalls offering festive delicacies.
“Last year, we had tourists from Hong Kong, China, Taiwan and even Singapore visiting us during Hari Raya and Deepavali. This festive break, we expect some 40 tour coaches daily,” said Taman Warisan Pertanian public relations and marketing manager Tuan Syamsani Tuan Mansor, adding that visitors often made a beeline for the park’s orchard and the replica of a rubber smallholder’s house to enjoy the kampung atmosphere.
Taman Putrajaya Wetlands, whose 136ha grounds is a haven for migratory birds and bird watchers, expects a 25% increase in the number of visitors from the monthly 11,000 to 15,000.
“Most visitors come in the afternoon just to sit around near the edge of the wetland area or take a boat ride,” said its head Mimi Omar.
Among the first visitors to Taman Botani yesterday were 56 students from SJK (C) Hwa Nan and their seven teachers, who had travelled from Batu Pahat, Johor, for a two-day trip to Putrajaya.
The school’s assistant head Pek Geok Kee said they had been planning the field trip for a year.
Housewife Siti Fatimah Mohd Said from Kuala Lumpur was also in the park with her sister, who had never been to Putrajaya.
Events organiser A. Thilaga, who turned up with her friends to admire the Morrocan-inspired Islamic Garden in Taman Botani, said she was really impressed with the park.
“It has a lot of flowers and plants which we have never seen before. And the landscape is really beautiful,” she said.
Her friend, kindergarten teacher M. Bavaani, said the park was so peaceful, and spending time there was a good way to relieve stress.