Things To Do In Amsterdam

Amsterdam is the capital of Netherlands. There are many activities, which one can do in Amsterdam.However, it becomes that more important to identify few activities & do them. Doing all the activities is costly as well as time-consuming. Hence, streamlining activities becomes a necessity.  I trust in doing those activities only; which I really want to try (Traveling for self, not for others 😀). So, here is my guide to THINGS TO DO IN AMSTERDAM.

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In my previous posts, I have covered topics like Travel Guide to Amsterdam, Schengen Visa application. Continuing on my voyage of discovering Amsterdam. Here are the things to be done while traveling to Amsterdam. The recommendation is based on my personal experience.

Things To Do In Amsterdam

Canal Tours:

Some will feel this is a waste of money. However, canal trip is ultimate to see the things which are hard to find out. I did canal tour with commentary (yeah! there are 19 languages in which one can listen to the history of the place). From crooked building (Moving buildings or dancing building) to the smallest bridge (It is assumed that; If you proposes below that bridge, you will be together forever with that person). Little stories like these are hard to find in any blogs & with the canal tour, I was able to know all this. I would surely recommend canal tour to know the place in a much better way. I enjoyed the tour. Sitting on a boat & covering places was a great experience for me.

Bridge Mark My Adventure

Cycle Tours:

Amsterdam is not big radius wise & best way to cover the place is by bicycles. There are many vendors which provide rental bicycles. Hence, finding bicycles won’t be a problem. Most of the people in the city commute through cycles only. Perhaps it is the most used transport mode. I had a cycle & explored the city on my own. It was fun to take random streets & explore it. The only thing that will matter will be your strength to ride cycle. Each street is beautiful in itself. The view while crossing canals are an exclusive experience. At the start, it was difficult to adjust to right-hand drive. However, once you get used to the rules. It was fun. To my surprise, I saw signals for cycle riders as well. PS: Don’t get surprised if you see an old age granny overtake you at a brisk pace. Ride on your own risk :P.

PS: Don’t get surprised if you see an old age granny overtakes you at a brisk pace. Ride at your own risk :P.

Red Light Area:

The most famous part of the Amsterdam is its age old Red Light Area. People who want to explore their kinky side should visit this place. As the name suggests the place has everything related to above 18. A huge number of crowd visit these places during the day as well during the night time. Crowded through out the day, this place has some surprise packages like Prostitute Museum & sex museum.

Van Gogh Museum & Other Museums:

Amsterdam has lots of museum. Some of them are must visit, I personally liked Van Gogh Museum especially his most famous work of Sunflower painting. He used one paint brush to paint an entire painting. It was amazing to see the detailing he did. His life was short but his work speaks for him. Other than Van Gogh there is history museum & Rijiskmuseum are other ones. Museum Lane is a place to visit. If you are lucky enough you can see few people performing on some musical instruments.

“Mighty is the way of life, not the years in life”

Parks & Zoo:

Amsterdam has cleanest of air & sky I have ever come across. The best thing to do in summer is to do outdoor activities. If one is sports enthusiast head towards parks. The lush green parks are amazing. The soft grass & clear sky will encourage one to try some activities. I visited Vondelpark & was excited on seeing people practicing kick boxing in open ground. Few people were cycling rigorously. This is not all one can also see few people smoking up ( Very common in Amsterdam). On a clear day, parks are the best places to be in.

There is one zoo, if traveling with kids, the best way to spend some quality time. I saw lion, he was not the strongest Lion but the way he roared it is something. I read somewhere that Lions have strongest of roar & once I  heard him roar I could sense the intensity when Lions are in full flow. Amazing creature. Gorillas were the other creature who demanded my attention.

Rotterdam:

This place is not talked about much, but it is worth a visit for some quiet time if one is from Asia than Rotterdam would be dead in terms of crowd :D. The major attraction of Rotterdam is its cubicle house, Erasmus bridge & some of the unique structure. Rotterdam is a wonderful place to spend a day & enjoy its unique structures.

Parties:

In Amsterdam party becomes much more important. The young crowd starts pouring in from 11 pm (still early as per the standard). The best place to party would be Leidseplein there are many pubs & bars located in line here. Expect to pay entry fees on weekends. One thing that can upset you is its music. Most of the clubs play Dutch music. So if looking for an international English. It would be tough to find. However, if you get one don’t leave that place; crowd starts to build around 11 or 12 pm so don’t get upset to see few people. There was one unique thing I experienced which was called smashing in which people push each other for fun. 

Things to do in Amsterdam

 

Coffee Shops & Truffles:

Perhaps, 90% of people would know Amsterdam is famous for its coffee shops. Smoking up is legal here. Thus, one can smoke up anywhere he or she wishes. The liberal culture made it possible to implement this. The fragrance of grass can be sniffed every where. Walk into any coffee shop & decide for yourself. There is a proper menu to choose from (Already in love with this place ??).

Truffles are other things which are famous here. Finding a truffle shop is tough. There are various types of truffles available. Smart shops are the name given to the truffle shop.The shop owner will ask about the expertise level & will suggest accordingly. I would recommend doing as shop owner say to avoid any mishappening.

PS: When having a truffle make sure you are on empty stomach & not mix with anything else. Also, Parks & open spaces are a preferable place to eat it.

Heineken Factory:

Heineken beer factory is a nice place to know all about the beer manufacturing. If one is a true beer lover. This place is a must visit.

Amsterdam Central:

Probably the most visited area in Amsterdam is central. The place has some of the brilliant architects. Madame Tussauds is located here. One can witness lots of street performances here. Spend a good afternoon here. This place surely is the most crowded part of the city.

Shopping:

The cheapest destination for shopping would be Primark. The quality of the clothes are good & the rates are very reasonable. Even, Zara is cheaper in Amsterdam. All shopaholics there is hidden opportunity to trace.

Evenings:

The best way to spend evenings would be sitting in some cafe near canals & have few drinks with your friends. The blissful feeling of sitting near flowing water, the calmness in the air & sky & few conversations to remember are the things to do.

Other than listed activities, there are few more places you can cover like Jordan, Anne Franke House, Hauge, Haarlem etc. There is so much to see in the city.

So what are you waiting for. Pack your bags & explore this beautiful city.

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Here is extra information on Amsterdam.

Amsterdam Mark My AdventureMark My AdventureRotterdam Travel Guide

“PRICES CAN’T BE EQUIVALENT WITH THE EXPERIENCES;

EXPERIENCES ARE MORE WORTHY THAN THE COST IT BEHOLDS”

 

 

 

 

Indonesia Visa For Indians

Indonesia is one of the few countries which allow Indians a free visa. A place so much beautiful & entry is free is the cherry on the cake. Just book a ticket & explore this beautiful place. This is as simple as it sounds.Here is a guide to Indonesia visa for Indians.

I went from Thailand to Indonesia on my 2 weeks solo trip. It was hard to decide which place to chose in the budget. After searching for different countries, I chose Thailand & Indonesia & the main reason behind the same was the ease with which I can get the visa. Thailand offers visa on arrival for Indians & Indonesia offers a free visa. So, it was easy to shortlist these places. Also, these places are dirt cheap so expenses of items are not too high.

After boarding a flight from Pattaya. I landed in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia bit nervous reason being what if there were any last minute surprises. I stood in the line waiting for my turn to come. There was a counter for visa on arrival, to clear my doubts I cross checked with the representative. To my relief, he said just stand in line & get stamped.

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Nervousness is always there be it. We are nervous about everything from standing in a queue to asking for a help. The best way I found out to calm the nerves is listening to music. Play some music to change the mindset. The tempo of songs can set up a mood.

 

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I stood in a queue to waited for my turn. I handed over my passport. The guy asked me about the details of my stay & return. I replied with the answer. He checked my passport & stamped it in no time.

After collecting my passport, I went ahead with my plans.

 

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So, as I mentioned the process is simple & hassle free. So, book your tickets & enjoy this place.

Have any doubts about the Indonesia visa process, you can contact me at untouchedroads@gmail.com. I would be more than happy to help you.

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Visa On Arrival Thailand

Thailand offers VOA (Visa on Arrival) for Indians. This makes it one of the most favorite place for Indians.I chose Thailand as it is easy to get a visa on arrival. The process was simple & hassle free. Here is my guide to Thailand visa for Indians.

Visa process

There are few pre-requisite that need to kept in mind while applying for visa on arrival. VOA is generally valid for 15 days only & purpose of traveling should be tourism only.

  1. A valid passport with minimum 6 months of validity from the date of entry.
  2. Two passport size photograph (35mm X 45 mm) on a white background not older than 3 months.
  3. A filled application form available at the counter.
  4. A confirmed return ticket within 15 days from the Thailand.
  5. A covering letter stating details of your itinerary (Contact details, hotel name & booking details)
  6. A confirm booking of accommodation in Thailand.
  7. A cash of 2000THB at the counter as a visa fee.
  8. A detail of 10,000 THB per person or 20,000 THB per family (Bank account statements, credit card statements etc).

It is necessary to submit all the mentioned documents at the counter to have a trouble free entry.

Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok has a proper board mentioning direction for the booth for Visa on Arrival. This information is for first-time solo traveler. It becomes very uneasy to get down on unknown land. Just keep calm, follow the instructions & submit all the necessary documents.

I reached the airport at 4 in the morning & it took me around 20 mins to get a visa. The process was simple. Just fill the form, stand in a line & wait for your turn. The list of required document is also mentioned at the counter.So, cross check documents prior to submitting them.

Make sure you have a hard copy of everything as you need to put all the documents in a folder & submit it to the authority. After submitting the documents, authority will check your application & once everything is checked. They will give you a token number; once your token number comes, get your passport STAMPED.

For more details, you can visit the following website.

Embassy

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First Impression of Bangkok

Tourism is one of the most important factors which contribute to Thailand’s economy. Traveling to Thailand has entered on the bucket list of thousands of travellers. One of the reasons of attracting travelers from India is its affordability & VOA (Visa On Arrival). The process is simple & cheap thus lots of Indians chose Thailand for their holidays & honeymoons. I went to Bangkok & Pattaya for 4 days on a solo trip & here is my first impression of Bangkok.

 

Arriving at Bangkok airport: First thing first, applied for Bangkok visa on arrival. It is a very simple process. For me, it took approx 20 mins to complete the entire process. However, during the rush period, it takes more than 2 hours of time as well.

The moment I stepped outside the Airport. The city engaged me with its charm & vibe. The best way to explore a city is by living like a locale; use public transport, eat on streets etc etc.

Human Interactions:

People of Bangkok were really very nice. They were helpful in every best way possible. From helping me understand the currencies to board the buses, they helped me everywhere. Best cities have best people to support them & Bangkok is one such example.I was traveling by bus & asked a fellow passenger to inform me when to get down, the lady was super sweet & helped me to get down at my designated destination. She also helped me in deciphering the currency. One more incident that showed the generosity of Thai people was like this.

I was searching for my home stay in Pattaya, it was hot & humid & I walked for at least an hour to find my hostel. But, I was not able to locate the address.Tired of walking, I stopped at one shop.

The shop owners asked me “What happened?”.

I said “I am lost”.

They were generous enough to call that homeowner thrice to locate the house. So, from whatever experience I had; I felt that they were super sweet to me.

Infrastructure

The city has a beautiful infrastructure & fantastic public transport system. It is easy to get around the place. Taxis are equipped with meters to avoid any inconvenience. Police are active in Bangkok & it is very easy to locate their car while on routes. But, I don’t think you will every require it. I certainly hope; that you don’t ever require it :D.

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Culture:

Bangkok is a proper backpackers place. You can wear shorts & travel to most to the places & local people will hardly roll their eyes. Every place you visit, there will be some traveler accompanying you.

Once I went to China Town for a trip, I was hungry so ordered a plate of noodles & specifically told the lady to “prepare a veg noodle”. The lady didn’t know the English; hence it was difficult to communicate with her. However, seeing the lady in a problem; a local girl came to her help & told her what needs to be done.

I guess helping others is engraved in their nature.It doesn’t feel like you are traveling to a different place if you meet such helpful peoples. It is refreshing to see the energy of the city. The moment you land on the airport the pain of traveling long hours just vanishes. It is such experience which can not be captured in any amount of words.It is refreshing to see the energy of the city.

Activities:

Places in Bangkok doesn’t disappoint you a bit. It is very easy to see the pics & get excited but by the time you reach the place is opposite of what you expected (Filters effect). But, Bangkok was the opposite, the places were exorbitant beautiful. I only covered places which grabbed my attention. It is better to cover few places completely than covering all the places. One activity which needs to checked is the adult shows. Adult shows are one of the most sought of activities in Bangkok & also the most duped ones. It is better to check the place before entering these places. There are lots of stories of people getting duped here.First impression of bangkok

Overall, I would suggest everyone, to visit this place, the place is amazing; especially the Khao San Road. It is on the list of every travelers & tourist. The place gets insanely happening after the midnight. The crowd dancing to beats without any reason is epic to watch. I spent two nights there & loved every bit of it.

One thing that I loved was canal rides in speed boats. It was one of the very rare experiences for me from this trip. Just stand at the front & experience cities skyline like a movie star.

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Bangkok On A Budget

Bangkok is the capital of Thailand. The place is on the list of every traveler. Throughout crowded with tourists & travelers, the buzz of this place is amazing. When traveling to this wonderful place; it is very easy to lose an account of money. I went for 4 days & spent around 15K INR inclusive of everything. The place is dirt cheap according to western traveler & I too feel the same. Here is my guide to cover Bangkok on a budget.

I have covered 3 countries till now (out of India) under INR 1 Lac cumulatively. When I circulate this fact, their eyes pops out.

So the big question

How I managed to keep my expenses low?

This post is the guide for Bangkok on a budget. However, the main principles to save money while traveling remains the same for each & every place.

Let’s Start

Expenses are generally bifurcated into broad headings like flight tickets, Accommodations, Activities, Food & site seeing. Out of all these expenses, the major chunk of money goes into Flight tickets. If this factor is catered, then it is easy to manage other heads.

 

Flights: Here is the tip, a TO & FRO Flights cost less compared to two individual flights. The prices of tickets from India to Thailand has dropped dramatically. During offer, it is easy to find flight tickets at a price of INR 3.5 K one way. Yeah!!!! Just INR 7 K from India to Thailand. But usually, the offer is from one or two airports only. In my case, I chose Chennai for my departure. I got an offer of 5K INR from Chennai. Whereas, the same flight costs me approx. 11K INR from Mumbai. Thus, I traveled to Chennai via train & boarded a flight from Chennai. This way, I was able to cut down on my flight charges. The best place to find cheap tickets is SKYSCANNER.

Accommodation: Staying is another factor which can pull a major chunk of money. However, as Thailand is much cheaper than western countries &hence it is easy to find good accommodation at a cheap rate. Hostels price starts from as low as INR 150 & goes up to INR 1500 for a night. I booked a hostel through BOOKING.COM & stayed in one of the best hostels at the premium location of Khan Sao Road; at a cost of INR 250 per night. I prefer hostels for two reasons; one it costs very low & second it provides an opportunity to meet new people. I made several friends while staying at hostels.

 

Food: Being vegetarian it is difficult to survive outside India. One of the best ways to eat cheap & veg food is to have food on streets. I was able to eat noodles, rice, bread & butter, juices all on the street that to at the cheapest of prices. A price of noodle plate costs INR 40; whereas the same plate cost approx. INR 120 in some restaurants. There is not a major difference in the taste but there is surely a difference in prices. There is one departmental store in Bangkok which is 7 11. It is the best departmental store I came across ever. The place is open 24 * 7 & it offers everything on an MRP. Thus, no matter where you are, you can always find a good offer in this shop. This shop is located at every corner of Bangkok. So, the best way to have anything is from this shop only.

Public Transport: Bangkok has a very efficient public transport system, buses, metro & waterway all have a decent connectivity. The buses run from each corner & connect major points in Bangkok. I traveled mostly through Buses & ferries. I liked ferries more as it was a nice change for me as it also gave a feeling of some movie. The prices of bus tickets are as low as INR 2.

Also, I have not done activities which do not excite me, I am a person who believes in experiences, so rather than doing everything; I just did the things which were interesting enough for me. This is a nice way to keep cost on a check.

All these techniques helped me to reduce price subsequently. If on a single trip one can save upto 40% of the trip cost (which is a huge cost); it is always a blessing. There will be many people who will be against such thinking, but it is ok. I am here to share my stories ;).

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Top Things To Do In Bangkok

Bangkok

 

Bangkok is the main touristic attraction of Thailand. Lately, Thailand has become one of the most visited countries on this planet. The reason being that it is tourist friendly, beautiful & full of energy. I went to Bangkok on my longest trip outside India till date & this was not some on-sight job, but a proper backpack holidays for around 2 weeks.

Thailand is a fantastic place to be in. A true backpackers paradise, on the out-sight it is vibrant, colorful & fun loving. Crowded through the year with travelers, this place is surely on the list of everyone. I stayed for 4 days in Bangkok & Pattaya. It was a great trip, I loved the culture, the ambiance, the energy & the feel of the city. This place needs to be visited at least once in a lifetime.

So, What are the things to do in Bangkok?

Here is my take on world’s backpackers capital & my guide of things to do in Bangkok.

*) Khao San Road: No matter from which place you come, this place is a must visit place in Bangkok. The road is famous for its roadside cafes, bars & never ending party nights. This place is vibrant & lively. From roadside eateries to decent restaurants everything can be found here. The place is decent until 11 pm in the night. But after that, it is just a mad house. By 12 this place is jam packed with peoples. High music & vibrant environment is hard to be ignored & if you are YOUNG, WILD & FREE; this is THE PLACE FOR YOU. Scorpion are available like a Kabab’s 😛

 Things To Do In Bangkok Khao San Road

*) Nana Plaza: Nana Plaza is another prime attraction of Bangkok. A red light area. The place gives a glimpse of everything :D. There are different types of outlets depending upon interests. It is visited by almost every tourist. The nights are lively & eventful.

Things To Do In Bangkok Nana Plaza

*) China Town: Chinese have made a place for themselves in most of the cities. The place to find cheap & affordable collectibles. Known for shopping, one can find good products here. One way to cover this place is through the cycle, but I did it on foot.Food is also one of the specialties of this place. Try street food here; it’s amazing.

*) Floating Market: One of the most promoted activities in Bangkok. It is astonishing to see all the selling done on the boat; it is good for the first time. I did not found it interesting enough. However, it is very famous among western tourists. The cost of the boat is higher comparatively, but it is expected considering the hype of the place & amount of tourism it attracts.

Floating Market Mark My Advneture

*) Temples: Bangkok is mainly a Buddhist country. Every place there is temples of Buddha. I am from India, hence had a little interest for the temples. However, for western travelers, it is a good attraction. The Grand Palace is one of the main temples in Bangkok. The place can be reached through waterways as well as through road.

The Grand Palace Mark My Adventure

Spa:

After roaming around the places, one is always up for some refereshments & in Bangkok there are plenty of Spa & Massage centers. Nothing best than ending your day with a perfect spa & massage. There is a service provider named Riwigo; which offer best services at discounted rates. When in Bangkok book an apointment through Riwigo & enjoy some leisure time.

This is my view on things to do in Bangkok. However, Bangkok is not all about all these; there are many other attraction like MBK (A shopping paradise for Bangkok peoples) , Wax Museum, Ayuthaya Ruins ( A city of ruins), Tiger Safari ( A place to get photo with big Cats, I chose to skip this after seeing one documentary about how owner teased big cats; It saddened my heart hence chose to skip this), Elephant Safari ( Elephant is respected in whole of a Thailand, There is safari of the same).

So, It depends on what you like, there are so many things to do in Bangkok. I stayed for 4 days but should have stayed more. But, it is the beauty of traveling, it is difficult to cover everything at a single point in time. However, I loved the experience of the city & would definitely visit it again.

Other than places, there is a factor which adds to the flavor of Bangkok is the COST. South East Asia is considered as one of the cheapest places for a holiday. On average, per day cost works out to be INR 500 (less than $10). So, no doubt why this place is topping the chart in tourism.

This is my suggestions on top things to do in Bangkok.

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