The Netherlands

I’ve never been out of Asia, and that’s the reason why I planned 2-3 months in advance for my… short less than 2 weeks trip. as my partner have lived in Amsterdam before, it actually does make things a little bit easier for me. 

I made it just in time for early fall, where the trees were all starting to turn yellow and red. and that was… mmm.

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minutes before I land, i saw this crazy structured field. the lines all around was amazing. I’ve never seen anything like that. well at least not in Asia. but nonetheless, the view was simply breath taking. that’s a sunrise picture too by the way!

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and after a 11+2 flight with an hour in transit, I made it! my knees hurt, I was sleepy, and my legs got swollen my shoes barely even fit anymore.

the train ride was a quick 20min ride with a reasonable 5.4euros. fairly reasonable given it’s an airport express!

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right out of the station, this!

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for someone who’s never been to Europe, everywhere looked so beautiful!!!

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The entire city was filled with canals, water, parks… just beautiful.

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I mean, don’t you just agree?

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here are some more *spams*

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anyways, first things first. when in Amsterdam, get a bike real quick, because that’s the best way to travel. If you can’t ride a bike right, better learn well because Amsterdam, or should I say the Netherland’s like the land of bicycles. I got mine from Blackbikes, just because they seem to have many locations in case I want to return it somewhere else, but I didn’t haha so perhaps renting from any bike shop would’ve done the trick. but renting a bike isn’t all that cheap. I remembered I paid almost 20 euros for 24 hours. which is quite a lot to pay considering I rented my bike in Japan for less than that for 6 months (student’s benefits but oh wells).

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the entire city is filled with bike parkings so whenever you see somewhere you want to stop by, just park your bike and go! bike parking is also free :).

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I think the most important thing when you land is really to fill in your bellies. so yes, this first section of my “travel” post is FOOD! and what’s better to eat in the Albert Cuyp Market than.. POFFERTJES! I can’t even pronounce that. this place was filled with foreigners really. but I still liked it!

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because these cute little poffertjes/mini pancakes looks absolutely delectable. and they are!

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got the nutella + strawberries ones are boy were they sinful. still finished it anyways. but this is definitely not for the sweet averse people.

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the market is also filled with souvenirs and odd goodies like clothes, funky coasters, uhm weed? etc. it’s pretty much like the Mongkok of Amsterdam except much prettier.

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not long after our first sweet snack. we started with our mains. the famous raw herring with some pickles and onions. this might look meh, but it was so good I had two. 

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well, I googled for a proper shop, thinking that the herring would’ve tasted better if it’s from one, but really, the first street herring tasted much better. this mixed platter was just meh. 

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you can kind of see that this one look’s less yummy right? so go get them from the streets!

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next up. Amsterdam’s most popular Stroopwafels the The Original Stroopwafel. caramels sandwiched between two paper thin waffles. you can’t see it in this picture, but the Superstrooper on the right says “for real men and crazy women only.” and as a crazy woman, of course I got the big as hell Superstroop! If you wan’t to see how it’s bigger than my face, head over to my instagram highlights.

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If you’re looking for souvenirs, I recommend these! it’s quite difficult to bring them back looking like they do when you first bought them though. just saying.

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this shop my friends, is the reason why Amsterdam should be the last stop of your trip, not your first. because that spicy mayo. my goshhhh….. so good. only if I didn’t have to travel to several more countries, I’ll definitely get some of these back!

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not going to encourage this, but if you’re up to try it legally (check your country’s drug law first, like Korea doesn’t allow drug even when you’re in Amsterdam!), I suppose you can start off with some edibles which doesn’t smell like crap. and yes, all that candy, cookies and chocolate are… weeeeeeed. I didn’t try it and won’t though because it stinks haha.

I also had cheese toast and some juice but uhhh, nothing too significant!

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so that’s all for Albert Cuyp!

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honestly, each street in Amsterdam look absolutely insta-able. 

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and here’s some random church, looking all pretty. and as a tourist, I do what tourists do, I go look for the I Amsterdam sign. and heck it was crowded. maybe come at sunrise to avoid people but it was impossible to take pictures here. not going to waste time here especially I only got one full day here!

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just look at the amount of people.

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so this will have to do! now let’s cycle off as there’s nothing to see here.

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better go around taking pictures with trees really.

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pause. now isn’t this the smallest car you’ve ever seen? I think it’s a one seater car hmm.

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I think I appreciated gawking at these oh so beautiful canals instead.

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halfway cycling I stopped by somewhere I wanted to go but didn’t have enough time to. the Heineken Brewery! but if you’re coming without a booking, you’re gonna have to stand at that line behind there. it’s too too too long, I was glad I didn’t put it on my itinerary.

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and… I went looking for beer. haha.

now now, let’s take a step back from the pretty side of Amsterdam and talk about the nightmares I had there and also about how bad the place actually smelt.

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I honestly don’t know the fascination with this plant here as they are everywhere and made the entire city smell bad :S. and very unfortunately, I lived on a  street of “cafes.” so.. Amsterdam is very very expensive. especially if you want to live at the canals. in fact, the hotel here was the worst accommodation I paid for, not just in Europe, but my entire life, and yet, I paid the most for the entire trip. I don’t remember the hotel’s name since I only lived three for a night, but I was stuck in the lift for over 30mins, and the racist receptionist blamed me for “pressing on the buttons too many times” and that’s why I was stuck there? hmm. would you press on something if you’re in a lift and the doors didn’t open for over 3 minutes? if I did an elevator pitch in that elevator, it would’ve been an entire lecture.

now back to something more positive. FOOD again!

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for dinner, I opted for pancakes from The Pancake Bakery! because somebody said it’ll be the best pancakes you’ll ever have. uhm it was yummy no doubt, but definitely not the best in my opinion. hence if there’s a queue, go somewhere else, but if not, definitely worth a try!

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stopped to go visit some shopping mall that looked like they had yummy restaurants I wished I dined at instead of eating an entire day of sweet food (which I also did the next day.. sigh.) if you have more than a day, please don’t sugary things the entire day. maybe that’s why the best pancakes in the world didn’t taste like it’s the best mmm.

the thing about parking in Amsterdam is that you’ll really need to remember where you park as most bicycles look the same :S. especially when it’s a black rented one..

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nearby, there’s the redlight district. actually parked near the malls to walk over to this place. it’s uhm.. an eye opener. girls in lingerie standing around. and I thought Japan was liberal on those things. it’s quite funny since I was literally a terrible tourist walking pass certain “windows” several times because the girls were so pretty. xD. but remember not to take any pictures! because I heard that the girls save cups of pee to throw it on people whom are senseless. I didn’t see that IRL but I did see some girl yelling at a photographer.

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I actually walked back at night to see the real action because in the day most windows were “curtained” :D. no regrets, though jet lag was literally killing me haha.

okay, so you might’ve been wondering what did I do in between since I had very early dinner and the next picture’s all dark. I slept. :S.

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so are you ready  to go back to fooood? one reason why I love Amsterdam is because you can literally find thousands of cheese everywhere. maybe that’s true for most European countries, but these Gouda cheese were MMMM!

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not kidding when I said that there’s a whole variety of cheeses available 😉

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and the craziest thing is.. did you know that cheese dip is a thing?! I got the mustard one and it really went well with the Goudas <3.

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also in case you’re hungry. here’s some hot food vending machine. food doesn’t look great though.

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that’s all for day one! but wait..

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decided to go with some more pictures from day 2 because… well.. I didn’t do anything and the second day all I did was go around on my bike early in the morning to take pictures! above’s the dancing houses of Amsterdam.

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can’t end the post without some vain pictures. so here’s it. #1 canal shot.

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#2 canal shot

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#3 some random shot

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#4 Amsterdam station shot

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#5. my favourite picture at some random alley. but look at the pretty leaves behind!

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