2014 - Backpacking to Amsterdam (Day 01, 02)

Backpacking to Amsterdam, Netherlands
Backpacking to Stranraer, Scotland
21 May to 26 June 2014 (37days)
(L-R) Ching Neng Bin, Val Allan, Pauline Toh, Catherine Oon, Betty Ching, Lim Kee Moon

We finally get to go to Scotland; after having to wait for three long years since 2011 to visit Rotarian Alistair McCulloch at his Shambley Residence, 12 Millfield Avenue, Stranraer, Dumfries and Galloway DG9 0EG Scotland, UK.

The 6 team members
Val Allan a retired Warden at Outward Bound School Lumut and wife Pauline Toh
Lim Kee Moon a retired electrical engineer at Lumut Naval Base, wife Betty Ching
Yours truly Ching Neng Bin a retired banker and wife Catherine Oon

Flight       Date                           Return air tickets is RM3,600 per pax
MH.16     21 May KUL/AMS   2355hr 0655hr on 22May
KL.1477  24 May AMS/GLA   1520hr 1550hr
KL.1470  25 Jun GLA-AMS    0600hr 0840hr
MH.17     25Jun AMS-KUL     1200hr 0620hr on 26Jun Thursday

Day 01 (21.05.2014 Wed) - MH.16 KUL/AMS 2355hr - Schiphol 0655hr on 22nd

It was a 13hour non-stop Malaysian Airlines (MH16) Boeing 777-200 flight to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. A distance of 10,571km flying at an altitude of 38k feet with the ground speed of 896km per hour.

Day 02 (22.05.2014 Thr) – Amsterdam City, Netherlands


From Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam Central Station – We touched-down at 6.39am and took a train (€4.50 pp) directly from the airport to Amsterdam Central Station and the train ride took about 12 minutes.

From Amsterdam Central Station to Downtown Flying Pig Youth Hostel – A 3-minute walk to the hostel by walking out of the main entrance of the train station and go straight ahead past the Victoria Hotel. Took the first alley on the right and walked to the shopping street at the end. Turned left on the Nieuwendijk shopping street and we were at No.100 on the right hand side. And when we arrived at the hostel at 8am, we were not able to check-in until 11am, so we had hostel breakfast at 8.30am and after breakfast we did the walking tour around the city.

When we came back to the hostel in the afternoon, we met Ching Leng Chu and wife Wan Lan and his sister Kim. They were in Amsterdam since 7th May to visit Leng Chu’s daughter Mei Ching and son-in-law Renee’e.

Evening dinner at 7.30pm was hosted by Ching Leng Chu at Nam Kee Restaurant. We would like to thank Leng Chu for the wonderful dinner. After dinner we took the tram back to Central Station and from there we walked around the Red Light District. From brothels to sex shops to museums, the Red Light District leaves nothing to the imagination. It is very likely that you will have heard about this neighbourhood and to be frank, everything you have heard is very true, but to really put rumours to rest, you have got to
check it out for yourself.

Sleeping: The Flying Pig Downtown Youth Hostel
A cold but sunny day - Temp: min.9 – max.18°C


Flying over Amsterdam, Netherlands
Noticed the many canals and waterways.
We touched-down at 6.39am. It was a 13hour non-stop Malaysian Airlines (MH16) Boeing 777-200 flight to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. A distance of 10,571km flying at an altitude of 38k feet with the ground speed of 896km per hour.
From Schiphol Airport train station we took the train (€4.50 pp) directly from the airport to Amsterdam Central Station.

And the train ride took about 12 minutes.
Welcome to Amsterdam the city of Diamonds.
At Amsterdam Central Station. Our walking tour started from Amsterdam Central Station walking along the famous Damrak Road passing by: Beurs van Berlage the vast former stock exchange building with a square tower used for events, concerts & exhibitions. ‘GiG Amsterdam, for live music venue.
From Amsterdam Central Station to Downtown Flying Pig Youth Hostel – A 3-minute walk to the hostel by walking out of the main entrance of the train station and go straight ahead past the Victoria Hotel. Took the first alley on the right and walked to the shopping street at the end. Turned left on the Nieuwendijk shopping street and we were at No.100 on the right hand side.
The Flying Pig Downtown Youth Hostel, Nieuwendijk 100, Amsterdam, located next to Amsterdam Central Station and the Red Light District.
And when we arrived at the hostel at 8am, we were not able to check-in until 11am, so we had hostel breakfast at 8.30am
Breakfast is from 8.30am to 11am.
We had very good hostel breakfast at 8.30am.
On the left is the Park Plaza Victoria Amsterdam.
There are several companies offering boat tours. It is a great way to get an overview of the city and it is a very different view of the city than walking around or on the trams.
The museum about a sensitive area of human sexuality is located in the busiest spot of Amsterdam, at the Damrak street, just in front of the Central Station, in the real middle of the traffic madness.
Voted No.1 Holland's Fries in the Netherlands, the Amsterdam location of this chain attracts lots of tourists who can be seen munching away with their fingers coated in mayo.
Walking along the very busy Damrak Road, Amsterdam.
Along Damrak Road, Amsterdam.
Dam Square - Several times a year there are carnivals or festivals there in the square and you can also visit inside the Royal Palace. Please remember though that the National Monument in the Square is a memorial to the victims of WWII.
The Royal Palace in Amsterdam is one of three palaces in the Netherlands which are at the disposal of the monarch by Act of Parliament. The palace was built as a city hall during the Dutch Golden Age in the 17th century.
De Nieuwe Kerk Amsterdam is exhibition space in a medieval church that hosts royal weddings, ceremonies & organ recitals.
Madame Tussauds is a wax museum in London with branches in a number of major cities. It was founded by wax sculptor Marie Tussaud and was formerly known as "Madame Tussaud's"; the apostrophe is no longer used.
The National Monument is a 1956 World War II monument on Dam Square in Amsterdam.
A national Remembrance of the Dead (Dodenherdenking) ceremony is held at the monument every year on 4 May to commemorate the casualties of World War II and subsequent armed conflicts.































































































































































































































































































































































































Dam Square
Dam Square




Amsterdam, capital of the Netherlands, has more than 100 kilometres of canals, about 90 islands and 1,500 bridges.


We were taking a rest in a public space facing the canal.

The Magere Brug is a bridge over the river Amstel in the city centre of Amsterdam. It connects the banks of the river at Kerkstraat, between Keizersgracht and Prinsengracht.

Canal houseboat in Amsterdam with a small floating vegetable garden.


The three main canals, Herengracht, Prinsengracht, and Keizersgracht, dug in the 17th century during the Dutch Golden Age, form concentric belts around the city, known as the Grachtengordel.
Amsterdam is the most bicycle-friendly capital city in the world. In Amsterdam, over 60% of trips are made by bike in the inner city and 38% of trips are made by bike overall in the greater city area.


Canal houseboat in Amsterdam with a small floating vegetable garden.

Alongside the main canals are 1550 monumental buildings.
The 17th-century canal ring area, including the Prinsengracht, Keizersgracht, Herengracht and Jordaan, were placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2010.

The Munttoren ("Coin Tower") stands on the busy Muntplein square, where the Amstel River and the Singel canal meet, near the flower market and the eastern end of the Kalverstraat shopping street. The name of the tower refers to the fact that it was used to mint coins in the 17th Century.

One of the famous diamond factories
Walking back on Nieuwendijk shopping street to our FlyingPig Hostels

Flying Pig

When we came back to the hostel in the afternoon, we met Ching Leng Chu and wife Wan Lan and his sister Kim. They were in Amsterdam since 7th May to visit Leng Chu’s daughter Mei Ching and son-in-law Renee’e.



Flying Pig

Nam Kee at Marie Heinekenplein, Amsterdam

All happily waiting for dinner in front of Nam Kee Restaurant.

Evening dinner at 7.30pm was hosted by Ching Leng Chu at Nam Kee Restaurant. We would like to thank Ching Leng Chu for the wonderful dinner.

Nam Kee is a chain of 3 Chinese restaurants in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The original restaurant opened at the Zeedijk in 1981, followed by restaurants at the Geldersekade 117 in 1992 and Nam Kee at the Marie Heinekenplein 4 in 2010.

Chinese vegetables with oyster sauce, Dry fried squid with salt and pepper, Chicken with cashew nuts and Mixed vegetables with bean curd.


Oysters of Nam Kee - steamed with black bean sauce.


After dinner we took the tram back to Central Station and from there we walked around the Red Light District.


From brothels to sex shops to museums, the Red Light District leaves nothing to the imagination.


It is very likely that you will have heard about this neighbourhood and to be frank, everything you have heard is very true, but to really put rumours to rest, you have got to check it out for yourself.



















Click below to view daily adventures:
Day 01 (21.05.2014 Wed) – MH16 KUL/AMS 2355hr – 0655hr on 22May
Day 02 (22.05.2014 Thr) – Amsterdam City, Holland
Day 03 (23.05.2014 Fri) – Amsterdam Zaanse Schans Village (21km)
Day 04 (24.05.2014 Sat) – KL.1477R AMS/GLA 1535hr - 1605hr Glasgow Airport
Day 05 (25.05.2014 Sun) – Stranraer, Scotland
Day 06 (26.05.2014 Mon) – Fishing station at Lady Bay (15km) Loch Ryan
Day 07 (27.05.2014 Tue) – Portpatrick and Mull of Galloway Lighthouse (58km)
Day 08 (28.05.2014 Wed) – Lide supermarket (2.8km) and Museum
Day 09 (29.05.2014 Thu) – Exploring Galloway Forest Park (56km)
Day 10 (30.05.2014 Fri) – Kirkland Fishery Farm in Leswalt (4.6km)
Day 11 (31.05.2014 Sat) – Exploring Galloway Forest Park (60km)
Day 12 (01.06.2014 Sun) – Trekking 20.8km Loch Ryan Coastal Path
Day 13 (02.06.2014 Mon) – A free and easy rest day
Day 14 (03.06.2014 Tue) – To Robert Burns Cottage at Alloway (78km)
Day 15 (04.06.2014 Wed) – Fishing station at Lady Bay (15km) Loch Ryan
Day 16 (05.06.2014 Thu) – A trip to the Giant Causeway (153km) by coach
Day 17 (06.06.2014 Fri) – Trekking 4km Ardwell Pond, Ardwell Bay (18km)
Day 18 (07.06.2014 Sat) – Our ladies went shopping in Ayr (72km)
Day 19 (08.06.2014 Sun) – Visiting Isabelle/Robert in Newton Steward (50km)
Day 20 (09.06.2014 Mon) – Overnight stay at Fishing Station, Lady Bay Loch Ryan
Day 21 (10.06.2014 Tue) – Visited a farm using automated milking
Day 22 (11.06.2014 Wed) – Day 1 of Scenic West Coast Tour, Scotland
Day 23 (12.06.2014 Thu) – Day 2 of Scenic West Coast Tour, Scotland
Day 24 (13.06.2014 Fri) – Day 3 of Scenic West Coast Tour, Scotland
Day 25 (14.06.2014 Sat) – Day 4 of Scenic West Coast Tour, Scotland
Day 26 (15.06.2014 Sun) – Day 5 of Scenic West Coast Tour, Scotland
Day 27 (16.06.2014 Mon) – Allan and Pauline 50th wedding anniversary
Day 28 (17.06.2014 Tue) – Mysterious beach walk at Loch Larbrax, Scotland
Day 29 (18.06.2014 Wed) – Lake Loweswater, Lake District, UK (day1)

Day 30 (19.06.2014 Thu) – Outward Bound Ullswater, Lake Ullswater (day2)
Day 31 (20.06.2014 Fri) – Return from Lake District (day3)
Day 32 (21.06.2014 Sat) – Our last visit to the bothy at Lady Bay
Day 33 (22.06.2014 Sun) – A farewell dinner hosted by Margaret Modrate
Day 34 (23.06.2014 Mon) – A farewell tea hosted by Vera Little

Day 35 (24.06.2014 Tue) – To Glasgow for a night stay for next day flight
Day 36 (25.6.2014Wed) Glasgow
6am to Amsterdam 8.40//MH17 12noon to KLIA
Day 37 (26.06.2014 Thu) – MH17 touched down at KLIA at 6.20am. 

 

Total expenses per person was RM6,139.05 
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5 comments:

  1. Next time you are in this bicycle haven you must bring along a folding bicycle,

    Capt Wong

    ReplyDelete
  2. Au Kwok Heng12 August, 2014

    Thanks Mr Ching for your great effort in the write-ups all this while. I have been enjoying it. Amsterdam City and its nearby village are really beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you for sharing Mr. Ching, you had a wonderful long holiday.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you Ching for sharing your recent visit to Amsterdam and Scotland. Love the pics ypu posted and the detaied write-up.

    ReplyDelete
  5. It's great to go travelling with old buddies and comrades-in-travels of the past. Once again Ching NB enjoys the company of his usual travel-pals in Amsterdam. The city is typical of an ancient European territory with horse-drawn carraige, canals, old monumental buildings etc. We see that the country is a large piece of flat land from aerial view. Isn't it coincidental that the Flying Pig Youth Hostel lies next to the red light district? The group picture taken in front of Nam Kee Restaurant is very candid, well taken and worth keeping for memory. Will read more.....Thanks NB, Great effort for an interesting read.

    ReplyDelete