Part 4: 45 hours in Amsterdam & the Withering Tulips

Notice: Dear reader, please note that most of the photos in my blog are currently not available.  They are currently held hostage by Photobucket (which requires me to pay $399USD/year). I am in the process of re-uploading the images on a different host and this will take some time. If you have any burning questions about my post, feel free to leave a comment. Sorry for the inconveniences caused!

I’ve decided to change the way I present my entries. Was looking back on my entries and I realised that the timeline format isn’t user-friendly at all. I hope you will like my new format =) I have 6 more cities to write about and probably I will find the best way of presentation soon!

the guy was trying to climb to the top of "I" but he failed =p photo 547349_10151080129246209_1903882168_n.jpg

** I AMSTERDAM sign is outside Rijksmuseum. (As of May 2012, it was under renovation and we didn’t bother going in)

Amsterdam? What does it remind you of? Windmills, Dutch lady, Cheese (I bought this extremely delicious truffle cheese (9.95 euros), it was so so so so so awesome! and the free samples.. yum yum! ), Tulips, Orange Jerseys, AJAX and of course not forgetting the famous RED LIGHT District!!

WARNING!
Bicycles are the king of the road in Amsterdam. We always wonder how we made it out alive with all the speeding and racing bicycles zooming pass us left right centre everywhere. GOSH. BE CAREFUL!!

Summary of my itinerary when I was there (day 10-12; Friday to Sunday).
Arrival on Friday morning at  Schiphol.

1st thing we did was to go to the Tourist Information Counter and get a 24 hour pass (7.50E). Depending on your own itinerary, you may not need this pass as Amsterdam city is really walk-able.

Directions away from airport:
(1) Train – Read somewhere that no one actually checks the tickets so you may be able to try your luck. You should take this if your hostel/hotel is near the train station.
(2) Bus – we took bus 197 (4Euros) to our hostel -> Stayokay Amsterdam Vondelpark

The hostel is part of the HI membership so we actually got some discount since we were members. Anyway, we paid 36 Euros each per night (weekends), and this was the most expensive accommodation we had in our entire trip.

It’s a really decent place, right beside Vondelpark (I think it’s the largest park in Amsterdam). It is a large hostel with awesome breakfast (but we only ate breakfast once since we left early on the next morning). This is the heartiest breakfast I’ve eaten for the whole trip =p

Day 11 awesome breakfast in vondelpark stayokay YHA hostel. We ate two days worth of breakfast in 1 day. photo 469119_10151018294101209_1532531587_o.jpg

Stayed in a 6-bed female dorm with private toilet. One plus point about the toilets is that the shower and toilet is separated and the sink is outside. This facilitates brushing teeth etc. Most YHA hostels requires you to put on your own sheets and pillow case. It is just a short 5 mins task but you can be rest-assured that your sheets are fresh and clean! Also, do remember to bring your own locks because the locks are not provided.

After checking in, we went to Vondelpark to walk walk since our rooms were only available after 2. Grabbed some lunch in the park before settling down in the hostel. As we didn’t bathe the night before (overnight at London’s airport), we took a shower before heading out.

Went to the “I AMSTERDAM” sign, walked around the city area. Didn’t really do anything much. Oh and we visited the Red Light District too.

Saturday – Set off early to the Keukenhof farm to see the tulips. Had to take a bus back to the airport, then another bus to the farm. Price was 21 euros (tickets + 2 way bus from the airport). After alighting from the bus stop at the airport, just look around for the signs to the Keunkenhof bus. After Keunkenhof, we took the train (we paid for it :/) back to the main area and walk walk walk, look see look see till we were tired. Had authentic Dutch food and saw people watching Chelsea vs Bayern Munich at the pubs/bars. I’m a torres supporter by the way =p

Sunday – asked the hostel to get a taxi for us since the bus doesn’t start operation early as it was a sunday. Guess what came, a black mercs taxi!!

Day 12: 1st ever black mercs taxi ever.. In amstedam. Fyi, we has no choice because we had to catch Eurolines at 730am and on Sundays people here are like... asleep. photo 460273_10151015417826209_143721819_o.jpg

Took the eurolines (7 hours) to Paris!

******************* RECOMMENDATIONS IN AMSTERDAM *******************

1. KEUKENHOF FARM http://www.keukenhof.nl/

If you’re visiting Amsterdam/Netherlands during late March to mid-May, you CANNOT give this place a miss! This is the awesome Tulip farm in Netherlands! It is really really big and you can see a lot of tulips.

Sadly, my schedule only allowed me to visit it on the very last weekend before it close. Here are some pictures of what I seen there. It’s a pity because a lot of tulips have already withered and chop off =(

Finally a sunny day for keukenhof - the place to see tulips.. yet, photo 229807_10151080131856209_1637670212_n.jpgit did not look like the pictures as we were too late for spring =( pictures taken here were angled to look like there's a lot of flowers but in reality.. .. ... photo 282798_10151080132031209_195684528_n.jpg photo 538288_10151080165286209_2012765237_n.jpg photo 599013_10151080139246209_1145611160_n.jpg photo 556273_10151080201186209_204740566_n.jpg photo 598482_10151080197051209_464275746_n.jpg photo 224858_10151080203226209_782365013_n.jpg photo 251948_10151080196181209_1116646026_n.jpg photo 223949_10151080202931209_768809653_n.jpg photo 602998_10151080198826209_1820573166_n.jpg

The field across is supposed to be filled with tulips.. but.. we were too late =(  photo 538656_10151080142011209_2123178045_n.jpg photo 180239_10151080167131209_580633023_n.jpg photo 181382_10151080158676209_690033860_n.jpg photo 598931_10151080200281209_994631987_n.jpg photo 552918_10151080186386209_1774820506_n.jpg photo 246503_10151080206631209_987249335_n.jpg photo 600159_10151080203891209_486067114_n.jpg

(2) Vondelpark 

Amsterdam’s largest park! It’s near the hostel we stayed, that’s why we gave it a visit.. It looks pretty decent and the weather was kind of perfect for a while, because it drizzled slightly. If you have the luxury time, you should rent a bike and cycle! Something I wished I have done~

Day 10: at vonderpark! Outside my hostel~ photo 474825_10151001881406209_227601718_o.jpg

Lunch at Vondelpark~ Day 10 lunch at vondelpark in Amstedam photo 411321_10151018284616209_1348509879_o.jpg

(3) Walking along Amsterdam city, across the canals and the bridges. 

 photo 545363_10151080130166209_1939319181_n.jpg photo 303615_10151080131666209_1944550987_n.jpg

(4) Red Light District

This sign below means “Parental Guidance” or something. Anyways, in the night, it is really a literally “red light” district where there will be red LED light flashing, demarcating the area. Well, prostitution is legal in Amsterdam and this is the main area. Basically, you can expect windows of scantily-clad females. They come in all sorts of races, figures, ages D: They will be enticing you to enter (slow opening and closing of doors). Well, expect that 80-90% of the people are just on-lookers/tourists (just like me) who see it as an eye-opener, with no intention of stepping in. Then again, we were there really early, maybe 8pm+ and I guess it isn’t the time for any activities =/ I wouldn’t have want to witness anything either. Taking photos of them is ILLEGAL and I saw a woman getting scolded by a prostitute because she was fiddling her phone and they got into a mini argument =/ so.. please beware! the bouncers might come and disturb you and who knows you may find yourself in the river the next day. hah.

this sign dictates the red light district of Amsterdam. to me it looks like the kids crossing sign for the roads. to them it means parental guidance =/ and there are really red lights above their doors. so it is literally red light district. photo 550909_10151080209111209_721583015_n.jpg

Random Sightings:

 photo 282363_10151080131456209_2078424712_n.jpg photo 250742_10151080208361209_1076224384_n.jpg photo 181128_10151080209361209_704261652_n.jpg photo 598895_10151080208786209_1931690966_n.jpgcan't seem to take any nice photos with the sky like that. photo 481262_10151080130036209_1739052257_n.jpgwindmills photo 534220_10151080209731209_554340462_n.jpg

i would have love to try this.. but then again my friend said it would be really rowdy and tiring at the same time. oh wells we gave it a miss! This is a beer cart. You drink beer and you paddle on!!

i really wanted to try this but my friend said its gonna be tiring and they are so rowdy. oh wells. photo 601100_10151080209661209_1837063746_n.jpg

Other attractions I did not visit

  • Van Gogh Museum (FYI: The famous starry starry night is NOT inside, it is inside Museum of Modern Art in New York; Only 1 out of the 4 sunflower paintings is inside. )
  • Anne Frank’s House

Food & Drinks in Amsterdam (53 cents Hoegarden)

Day 11: authentic Dutch beer! photo 477566_10151018296916209_81389116_o.jpgOMG Look at the price of hoegaarden!! photo 458037_10151011519476209_240400928_o.jpgescaped to this place because there was a downpour outside =/ photo 598593_10151080130416209_1417077200_n.jpg

Authentic Dutch food~

Day 11 dinner at authentic Dutch restaurant. photo 475434_10151018478711209_1503495112_o.jpg

Turkish food in Amsterdam! Day 10 dinner in some random turkish restaurant along the streets of amstedam. photo 476199_10151018288721209_176970248_o.jpg

***** END OF AMSTERDAM ***** >>> Hello Paris! (After a 7 hours bus ride on euro lines)

Why eurolines? because we did not manage to book euro rail early.. and it was damn expensive once we missed the promotion (book 3 months before)

TIP: PLAN EARLY!

Other posts you may be interested in:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *