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!
** 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!!
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
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!!
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 =(
The field across is supposed to be filled with tulips.. but.. we were too late =(
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~
Lunch at Vondelpark~
(3) Walking along Amsterdam city, across the canals and the bridges.
(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.
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!!
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)
Authentic Dutch food~
Turkish food in Amsterdam!
***** 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!