I have updated the design of my blog once again, hi everyone! How do you like the sleek white clean look?
Part 2 of my 96-hour stay in Amsterdam, the remaining 3 days were mainly going around and exploring the city even more. If you have missed it on this blog, you can check the photo diary here and the first timer's guide here.
- May 31 - I have attended the first Google Street View Summit on board Ocean Diva. We started at 9am and finished at around 6pm, still gave me some time to quickly visit Oud West neighbourhood to find a place for dinner. I was intrigued with Happyhappyjoyjoy when I read it on A-mag - an Asian restaurant that happened to be one of the best hole-in-the-wall restos in the city. Quite easy to find because it's only a few meters from the tram. I ordered myself some dimsum (my favourite), a bowl of ramen, and their highly recommended home-brewed beer called 'hophop' - one of the best beers I've tasted, better than Hoegarden.
- June 1 - Woke up early again and decided to chase windmills so I went to the outskirts of Amsterdam - Molen van Sloten & Kuiperijmuseum. I stayed there for about 2 hours and went back to the Centruum to explore more. In between trams and bus stops, curiosity found me and for a while I was in a local market in Serplein. Of course I also had a taste of local delicacies - I tried Herring twice: with and without a bun. The rest of the day was spent at Amsterdam's Tulip Museum, walking around the touristy spots, tried Dutch pancakes, killed time at Vondelpark, Coffee shop (OK, DON'T JUDGE ME, I just went there out of curiosity!), Hannekes Boom, and had the best bike ride of my life.
- June 2 - Home bound but visited a few more shops for presents.
Google Street View Summit 2016 Snapshots
How cool is it to get an exclusive invite from the most famous search engine in the planet? I just can't...
Anyway, the invitation went out only to Google Trusted Photographers and pioneers in the industry who already have names and won awards - my colleague and friend Dan Root of See Inside Group being one of them. I only started with the program last March so I literally gasp and hyperventilated when the invite came to my inbox.
It was intimidating, really, to be surrounded with a pool of award winning photographers and industry experts. A guy standing right next to me actually recognized my badge, asked where my colleague was, and how long I was in the program. I said, 'I'm just a newbie, started last March'. He was like, 'Then what are you doing here? You must be something special, not most beginners get exclusive invites like this,' and I just smiled. Maybe I'm meant for it.
It was a full day summit of sharing Street View Program updates, application and software upgrades, advancement on tech gadgets, and networking. I was able to try the latest gadgets from Samsung (Gear VR 360), NCTech's Iris360, and Ricoh Theta S. All of them were really great but unfortunately, most of the gadgets are not yet available in the Middle East Market so Dubai will have to wait for it for now.
Oud West Neighborhood
My schedule was tight and I moved out of Ocean Diva right after the summit. I read from a magazine that there's a neighbourhood in Amsterdam (Oud West) that is quite getting a buzz these days because of unique dining spots - Happyhappyjoyjoy being one of them. Full-on foodie mode, I once again used my ever reliable Google maps to find the treasure.
I arrived there at approximately 7:15pm and it was full. I secured my seat at the bar, skimmed the menu and found what I've been craving for days: a bowl of ramen and dimsum. The menu is not limited to these by the way, as they also serve other Asian street food from Indonesia, Malaysia, Korea, Vietnam, China, and Thailand. Check out their menu here although I will honestly say that there is no hint of Asia on their ramen (at all) but of course, forgivable. What I loved, however, is their siomai dimsum that taste like the ones from Manila China Town and their home brewed beer 'hop-hop' which I believe is better than Hoegarden.
How to get there. From Amsterdam Central Station, take the GVB tram no. 13 or 17 and drop off at Amsterdam, Bilderdijkstraat/Kinkerstraat.
The day after the summit, I initially planned to take my chances and visit Kuekenhof (the place where you can see a line of tulips, blossoming in a huge garden) but my hostel said it was closed for the season and will only open back in March. Sad Jhoysi went for plan B: chase a windmill. On my way to the windmills, tiny feet itched once again so I decided to stop by Rembrantplein for a couple of tourist snaps.
True that, brains in Amsterdam travel on bikes!
My elder sister who used to live in Amsterdam and stayed for a year reminded me to try the local street food so I did: haring in a bun for me, with onions and pickels. And guess what, LOVE AT FIRST BITE. ^_^
Molen van Sloten & Kuiperijmuseum
From Rembrantplein, I took a tram from Amsterdam, Koningsplein and got off at Amsterdam, Station Lelylaan. Had a 3 minute walk towards the bus station and hopped on bus 145 towards Langsom. Molen van Sloten & Kuiperijmuseum is the first windmill you will see to your right as the bus approach the 5th bus stop.
After the windmill, I immediately planned to back to the Centruum for more touristy things. While I was on the bus, I chanced upon a local market in Sierplein. Similar to Zeeburgerdjik, the vibe of this neighbourhood is very quiet and diverse - one good reason why I hopped off the bus and tried to explore what the locals are selling at their daily ripe market.
Anne Frank House? Book Ahead.
I've been wanting to visit the famous museum but ever since I arrived in Amsterdam, the line I think gets longer and longer each day. So yeah, sadly I missed it. :(
More Amsterdam Canals
I forgot the name of this neighbourhood but I'm pretty sure this one's near Anne Frank House.
Amsterdam Tulip Museum
Canals and more streets
There's this quaint little pancake house near the Casino area that serves yummy pancakes. The best part is the outdoor seating area where yo get to see a view of the canal with people cruising.
Back To Amsterdam Central Station
I ran out of power by 4:30pm so I hurried to the Central Station. I came to see a local who I met in a very bizarre and funny way, he showed me around the city. We went to Hannekes Boom for one round of locally brewed beer, it was wonderful. They have the most awesome spot in Amsterdam I may say, a shack-style Bohemian inspired cafe that serves alcohol too. I get to sit at the edge almost touching the waters.
|Photo grabbed from I Amsterdam Website|
The part where the midget gets a ride home - the road was bumpy somewhere near the Artis as we traverse De Plantage, we even had to stop twice. But it was all so worth it as we approach the zoo, there is a special spot where we saw the flamingos in the dark. I tried taking a photo of what's left from my battery but no chance of good photos at past 12 midnight. Nonetheless, I remembered how it looked like and I still have a vision of it until now.