Amsterdam. Sex and the City (Final) 

The Anne Frank House (Anne Frank Huis). Honestly, I didnt know the indepth story of Anne Frank. I just knew that she was a Jewish girl who stayed hidden in a cramped part of a house from the Nazis. And since that particular house situated in Amsterdam, what better way than to go and checking it out myself? 
I was lucky to get quite an early slot for the house tour at 9.45am (9€ per adult. do book your slot or else you’d have to Q for a VERY long time) and super lucky that it wasnt sold out. Since it was super early and it was drizzling out, we decided to get some coffee and sweets before we begin our walk. 

Flat white, mocchachino, banoffee and lemon meringue. the lemon meringue is 다뽕! 
Sticky Fingers is the in house cafe at The Tire Station. If you’re a guest at the hotel, you can choose to pay as you order or have them charged to your room. All transaction by credit cards only. We went down, got these and nommmmm away and quickly left towards Vondelpark (which is just behind the corner of the building.) 

It was still drizzling out but luckily our winter coats were water repellants so we quickly walked towards the I amsterdam sign. Since our hotel is in the vicinity of Vondelpark and it’s also the shortcut to get to Museum Square where the sign is, we reached there around 730 ish and managed to get nice photos minus the horrible crowd climbing over the huge letters. 

I forgot to mention that after we did some shopping at Leidsplein yesterday, we came here to get some pics with the sign. Needless to say, barely seen a perfect wording. Instead, 

Yeah, it was horrible. With group tours and the wet and slippery letters. I had no idea how those people managed to climb over the letters. So we gave up and decided to walk back to Leidsplein intersection for Hard Rock Cafe. 

And I was glad I decided to come back next morning. No horrible crowd. We took a few photos and the place started to crowd shortly before we left, phewwww!

The building behind the sign is the Rijksmuseum. It is the Dutch national museum dedicated to arts and history in Amsterdam. As you walk through the tunnel, the entrance would be on the left whereby the entrance to the museum gift shop would be on the right. Again, I am no history and art buff but I always buy junks -stuff I never need- so I told my sister that we definitely need to check out the shop. Down we went and boy was I glad I had my sis for the trip. She went ‘You dont need that!’ to everything I held and flipped through. HAHAHAHAHA saved my €€€€€.

You dont need tickets to get to the shop but you definitely need one going inside the museum. Get the I amsterdam City Card if you want cheaper/unlimited access to museums/attractions and transportations. 

By 9am we were already at the entrance of Anne Frank Huis. Since it was still early (and super cold, thanks drizzles) we walked to the corner where the iconic door of the house was for photo ops hehe (typical tourists mehhh)

this is the Q at the museum entrance. They will announce your entry time for you to get into the Q. if you missed your entry time, you might not be able to go in. be punctual! 

the e-ticket for Anne Frank House. take note of the notice for bags/backpacks/trolley. if you have strollers for kids or large umbrellas, there is a place for you to station/park them (folded for kids strollers) right after the tix scanners. Call/email to enquire before you go as this was valid as of January 31st, 2017.

I think we spent about an hour inside. It was as original as it could get, with on-going rehabilitation works. I wish I could appreciate life more by reading Anne’s story on the hardships of having to hide, her fears of being captured by the ruthless nazis. As for me, my only concern while travelling is being discriminated by Islamophobics. I have only recently started putting on headscarf/hijab so I never had a problem going places prior. I know very well that having to hide for your dear life and getting bullied by Islamophobics should never be compared but honestly what is the different when most of the bullied muslims also lost their lives in the end? Hmmmm

There were pages of Anne’s original diary being displayed. It was in Dutch so naturally I didnt understand a single word. At times like this made me wish Im a language expert coz honestly some things do get lost in translations. 

We left the museum after what seems like hours. Fyi, you are not allowed to take any kind of photography inside of the museum. There were staff at every corner watching your every action. Dont risk it, enjoy the exhibition and presentation. Not everything has to be recorded, digitally or not.

Opposite the museum is Pancakes restaurant. They say pancakes but it’s more like fancy crepes 😂. I had one with smoked salmon and avocado and couldnt taste the speciality. Maybe the price is more fancy than the menu idk. Anyway, again all transaction is by credit cards only. 

After we were done taking refuge from the cold (and using the free wifi for customers only, hehe) we walked for a bit towards Dam Square for Primarks. Why do Europe has so many nice things??? Even after converting the currency they are still cheap! Needless to say, I spent my daily budget at Primarks and it was only slightly after noon 😂.

With lack of money in hand, we decided to head back to the hotel to dump all of the purchased items and to retrieve extra money. It was already our last day out so we decided to go to the traditional market Albert Cuypmarket next. 

Maybe it was the wrong season to go there. Not many stalls were opened and the Halal fried chicken stall that we desperately wanted to have were closed for the week 😭 So we had no other option other than the Stroopwafels and Poffertjes. 



While we did see some Halal Indian place around the area, we still refused to go in. I could not stomach the pure indian dishes. Back in Malaysia, we always have rotis at Mamak (Muslim Indians) place but maybe those Mamaks already assimilated with local flavours that they dont taste as foreign as the pure indian dishes i had at where im living now….

why are the flowers so cheap??? i wanted to buy and bring home badly 🌷🌷🌷

We were quite disappointed with Albert Cuypmarket tbh. It was nothing like it was described or recommended on tripadvisor. Not sure if it was just a bad time of the year or we just have different opinion on things but it is more of what the locals would go to. Get their groceries and their typical street food. Maybe I was in the wrong. I was expecting more of a morning/night market feels where you can find popular street food and unique stuff. Or maybe the Dutch only have Stroopwafels and Poffertjes as traditional snacks? 

Feling unsatisfied, we walked 10mins back to the tram stop. Albert Cuypmarket is the same stop you would get down to if you are going to the Carlsberg experience btw.  

Amsterdam Tram Network

So we went back towards Dam and from there we just walked without any particular direction. We were done with shopping, we were done with Stroopwafels (honestly the caramel syrup fillings were just too sweet there only so much you could eat in a day). So we did things that dont require €€€€

WALKING

 😂😂😂😂

photos not as per sequence obviously.

And how could I not visit the most famous Red Light District? LMAO my sister insisted that we had to go here but when I asked her if she knew what kind of place it was she said that it’s one of the must-visit site. I was like ‘mmkayy, you’ll see.’ She freaked out as soon as she saw whats behind the glasses and covered her eyes while almost running. It was funny as heck. the Dutch and fries. Idk why fries is such an obsession here. Lucky for us theres so many halal place selling this. Apparently this place is voted as No. 1 on tripadvisor? Not sure, never checked. But it was good enough for me. You can get fancier ones with the cheese and mustards. 

After we made sure that we walked through all alleys, we made our way back to the hotel to unwind. Didnt even bother about packing coz we already planned to leave the hotel at 12pm next day. 

😴😴😴😴😴😴😴😴

Uneventful flying out day. Checked out at 12pm. Reached airport at 1230pm. Had sushi galore at Schipol and braved through the long ass customs and immigrations before we finally got to our seats in the cabin. 

The end 🌹🌷

Amsterdam. Sex and the City (Part 2) 

DAY 2

5.00am: I had totally forgotten to book a tour for Anne Frank House in advance so as soon as I woke up in the morning I struggled through the official site for a pair of tix. We managed to get into next available slots at 9.45am for Day 3. Not too early and would give us enough time for breakfast.

Had some breads and fruits for breakkie. Breads packed from home, fruits from the night before. Im that kind of person who always packs extra noms from home (one of the reasons is, I’m a muslim. ya know, the halal thingy…so yeah) I know theres a lot of halal place in the whole world but lets face it…when you say Halal you either thought of Kebabs/Shawarma or Indian food. Im living at where Kebabs and Shawarmas are considered as staple food and Indian noms….we just dont get along. Nuh uh. Never. So knowing that we were going to somewhere new Mom packed us 2 small jars of sambal varieties. My mom made me do this I swear 😭

We left our room at 6am ish. First destination for the day- Zaanse Schans aka The Working Windmills. At first I wasnt planning to take the tram all the way to Amsterdam Central Station but unfortunately as soon as we left the hotel my damn foot sprained again. Old injury curse ;((((( So we took the tram from Rhijnvis Feithstraat and bought the day tram pass for 7.50€ per pax. Amsterdam Central Station is just a short ride away. Goedemorgen 🌞

Funny bit: I really needed some coffee and since the in house cafe Sticky Fingers didnt open until 7am, I decided to get some from the nearby COFEESHOP close to the tram stop. Yeap you guessed it right. Coffeeshop =/= Coffeeshop. The guy at the counter was like ‘Im sorry this is not the regular coffeeshop. It was so awkward I wanted to die of embarrassment 😂😂😂

 From Amsterdam Station, get the tix from the yellow ticketing kiosk. You can buy multiple tix at a time. Payment by cash or card accepted. You cant use the day pass amsterdam tram tix for the train to Zaanse Schans. Be sure to tap in and out at the turnstiles whenever you get in or leaving the station if you get a return tix or else you will be having problem on your return journey. The station for Zaanse Schans is Zanndjik-Zaanse Schans. You would have to walk about 15mins to get there but I swear that the walk would be very nice due to the surroundings (except if you go in the summer?) Total journey from Amsterdam Central Station to Zaanse Schans = 30mins (train+feet)
TIPS: Again, you can plan your journey by using the site/app 9292 Planner. It was accurate and we didnt have to waste time waiting for transport at the station. 

erm I swear it wasnt this bad. It was cloudy and cold but not that bad >_<There are a few windmills related museums but we cbb to check them out. Just taking in the sceneries. If you come during the Spring, you would get to see tulips field 🌷

View of Zaanse Schans in Spring. Image taken from www.estonianexperience.com

So, while walking around we found this vintage cafe that serves hot from the stove Dutch waffle – Stroopwafel. The caramel filling is too sweet for my taste but since we got us some tea along with this they tasted perfect together. Stroopwafel is also sold at where I am living now but nothing taste better than having this from the originated country, no? The cafe also sold a lot of cute baking utensils and cutleries as souvenirs. Also mini stroopwafels in nicely packed bags and tins. 

There are also animals around the farm and visitors were strictly reminded not to feed them breads since they wont be able to digest them and it would get them sick 😱

Cheese factory! There were a portion of this place where they would show you how they process the cheese. That would be a paid entrance if I could remember correctly. There is also free tasting of cheese of your choice. Not that much fan of cheese so we got the most basic cheese to go with our next snacks – Nachos with melted cheese. This was 1.5€ and I almost got myself another serving coz it was too damn good! I had this unsalted but still very good nonetheless. 
sis took a few photos of me munching on these and i look super ugly than I already am. I only found out that I eat very sloppily and it had made me conscious of eating with people from then onwards 😭😭😭😭

We spent about 3 hrs around the area walking next to the windmills and finally decided to head back to Amsterdam for lunch. 

I forgot to mention that we got ourselves 2nd class tix so we headed back to the train station early even though the arrival time was about half an hour later just to make sure that we would get to be in the front of the line. There were many of us and just the thought of not being able to make it into the cabin and miss the train annoyed me LOL. We did manage to board the train. We also managed to get seats for ourselves. Only thing was the person sitting across was drunk and he reeked of alcohol. Really bad. I dont drink and I have nothing against drinker but the stench was so unbearable, my sister turned green and I myself almost puke if not for the lemon grass smelling oil I got from previous Bangkok trip. Total lifesaver. I guess thats the karma of being greedy of getting good seats 😭the smelling ointment of lemongrass that saved me from puking in the train. Thank you Bangkok.
From Amsterdam Central Station we took the tram to Damrak and walked about 5 mins to Dam Square. We could just walk from Central Station but because of the sprain foot….nahhhhh. Surrounding the Square is National Monument, Koninklijk Palace (The Royal Palace) and Madame Tussaud + Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum. ( I went to Madame Tussaud in Hong Kong years ago and was not impressed. Also went to Ripley’s in Jeju Island a couple of years back. Not a fan.) 
Took some photos and enjoyed watching the many humans passing bys. We finally decided to get some #noms. 

Wok To Go in Damstraat. A certified Halal Chinese noms nearby the area. Thank you Google, Thank you Tripadvisor. Thank you Bloggers. 

We each got a large portion of different menus and instantly regretted. Dont judge the small box I think there was at least 2 servings of rice. 6.95€ depending on your base, main ingredients and sauce. We decided to walk back instead of taking the tram so we could do some shopping.

There were mostly noms place and cafes/bars around the area so it was lively than our hotel area. I think there was some costume party went about coz we saw older people in costumes walking in a group singing aloud. How fun.

So walking back to hotel means passing by the shopping street Kalverstraat. Re-energized after the noms, we went into a lot of shops and scored a few clothings and stuff we didnt need (women!) In my defense, they were on sale and they were dirt cheap…..excuses excuses…not a very nice picture but the street was more vibrant than this.

We took the tram from Leidseplein coz I didnt wanna walk with bags full of stuff and noms from the supermarket. I love how convenient and frequent to get the train in Amsterdam. You dont have to wait long if you miss one. I could leisurely walk to the stop and already the next one would be arriving. 

Got to hotel, showered and snacking on the purchased noms while watching Rihanna’s  movie.

Zzzzz….

End of Day 2. 

P/S: Even tho we didnt get to do a lot on Day 2 but the walks around the streets in between alleys and shops at night, the view and feels were amazing. Maybe I’m just the kind that enjoys these little things. 

Amsterdam. Sex and the City

Feb 4, 2017

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw away the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

coffeeshop =/= coffeeshop

We were supposed to roam in Italy but the flight was fully booked and Amsterdam was the nearest sector with available seats. I had read in tripadvisor that it’s a city where it’s nice to just walk and roam around so we didnt get the transport pass or the I amsterdam pass (not a museum / art buff). Instead, I like looking at buildings and constructions especially in Europe. Hotel booked, destination confirmed, off we went. 

DAY 1

Conscious Hotels- The Tire Station

A fairly new branch by Conscious Hotels chain. Very good location, in the vicinity of Vondelpark. Very comfortable room albeit the lack of view and very nice shower/toilet. Check in was smooth, wifi was super fast. 

I forgot to set the location on google map beforehand and my roaming pass didn’t work either at first so after 30mins of calling my telco provider I managed to use the internet. Turned out it was only 200m away from the tram stop, Rhijnvis Feithstraat. The whole ride from the airport took only 15mins. How convenient! 
Tips: Download 9292 and GVB apps from apple store or google play for real time transport updates

4nights=319€ including city tax

we should ask for street view next time….

Dropped all the unnecessary loads and changed, we left the hotel around 3pm. It was gloomy, but we were overjoyed that we found a shawarma place on our way to Leidsplein. It took about 40mins of leisure walk from the hotel. It was cold so we didnt mind the walk. 



Nieuwendjik. The pedestrian-only shopping street 

We went all over the place. As they said, Amsterdam is not that big. It is definitely better to walk. Magnificient view, especially around the canals. We really didnt expect and planned much for this trip. It wasnt until 2 days before the flight that we decided that we’ll just do whatever suggested locations there were on tripadvisor and be done with it. But I must say that walking mindlessly from one street to another and crossing the bridges over the canals are so much fun and calming. Just make sure to be aware of your surroundings, especially for the passing bicycles.

Roamed around of what we called the shopaholic labyrinth. It reminds me of my first time in Apgujeong, Seoul. I have never able to find the same way out as I got in LMAO. 

Passing by Fossil, I was attracted by the SALE buntings outside of the store and dragged my sis in. Really really needed a wristwatch and I really liked one of the collections which I saw back in Malaysia. Im not one that normally wears a wristwatch. I rely heavily on my phone. Even in my school days I never really needed one. The bell will sound after every period so we knew when to switch for classes. I work a heavy duty job so nice looking and cute wristwatch arent really suitable so I never really felt like I should have one. 

After browsing through the collections and decided on one, my eyes were suddenly pulled towards a bag. Yeap. A bag. A freaking crossbody bag. I love crossbody bag and I own quite a lot of crossbody bags. Actually I just love bags. I have lots of cheap cotton tote bags that I bought from Flying Tigers Coppenhagen (MY FAV GO TO STORE FOR CHEAP 300¥ PER BAG IN JAPAN. Seriously, I went crazy when I found a newly opened store in Seoul on my recent trip.) So yeah, needless to say I bagged the bag instead of the wristwatch (LMAO wordsssss) spent 120€ minus the tax and it was also on sale. I just love being a tourist with all the tax refund thingy ❤️

Fun fact: There is less crime (pickpockets etc.) at Nieuwendjik because there are a lot of un-uniformed policemen roaming around the area. It is a very touristy area so it is more focused. At least this was what the staff at Fossil told us….😉

It was still winter so most of the shops closed very early. Some even closed as early as 5pm! So yeap, wrong timing to be in Amsterdam I guess? Nevertheless, Sis scored a winter jacket at H&M for only 7€! Dirt cheap! 

Since there wasnt much to do and I was still tired from the previous day work, we headed back to our hotel. Made a pit stop at a local grocery store for some fruits and the drug store for lip balms – 1€ Burt Bees & 3 pairs of woolen socks for 3€. Bargain! 

Zzzzz…

*Day 2 in the next post ^_^
P/S: Obviously im like half a year too late for this post. I have a lot of unpublished posts that I was writing before I forgot all my log in deets. Thank you for still browsing  and reading 🌹