Saturday, March 31, 2007


Body Exhibition:

I stumbled upon this exhibition while looking for information on Amsterdam in the internet.

the most expensive entrance fee among all the trips we had

outside Beurs van Berlage where the exhibition was held

I spent around 2 hours plus inside scrutinizing every part of the body. It was really good. Pity we weren't allowed to take any photos and there's not even a chance to secretly take a photo as there were many security guards around. They preserve the body really well and there was no smell as well as no iquid coming out from the body. I was rather impressed by the transverse section of the whole body like an MRI scan at the end of the exhibition. It was really an eye-opener for me and the only regret I had is that I didn't study my anatomy knowledge beforehand so that I could put it at greater use in the exhibition.

I came out from the exhibition first before my mum and my sis and bought myself a vlaamse frites. It was recommended in the Amsterdam book which I brought along but I think the fries don't taste any different from the ones we eat. But I learned that we could eat fries with mayonaise! Taste nice!

yummy...can't believe the amount of fat I'm eating

Then we had an early dinner at Hoi Tin at Amsterdam rather dodgy Chinatown. It was again recommended in the book but as that book was published in 2004, I doubt its accuracy. The place was rather stuffy and smoky.

we had duck rice for dinner

it cost 7.50 euros for that duck rice but the portion was huge

we went shopping in Chinatown and I found that the price of some goods here is cheaper than UK.

I've been to London's Chinatown, Manchester's Amsterdam's Chinatown

We walked along Red Light District and there were already a few prostitutes sitting behind the transparent glass windows so that men passing by could take a good look at them and decide whether they want to have sex with them or not. It was an eye-opener for me. Again, taking photo is prohibited. Besides prostitution homes, there were live sex show in some 'theatres' which cost 35 euros per entry. Whoaman. There were even pictures of nude women and men having sex in front of the theatres.

the entrance to RLD

A pic of a general view of RLD. See those buildings at each side of the canal with transparent windows? The prostitutes will either sit or stand in behind the windows and when a man is interested, he will negotiate the price and when the man agree to have sex, the prostitute will pull the curtain across. We went there quite early so business hasn't started much.

I couldn't find the sex museum when we first arrived at Amsterdam as I took the wrong address and I forgot that I actually put a picture of the map in my phone! lols. But we managed to find it in the end but din go in as Steph and mum said that all we see inside is just statues and porn art work.

So I just took a picture in front of the museum.

we went to a boat tour instead to substitute the visit to the sex musuem.

man...I dun understand a single word on the ticket

the boat we sat

I would say our boat captain which was also our boat tour guide was very good. He was very funny and kept cracking jokes. That's how I got the pictures of the various shapes and sizes and the leaning buildings on previous entry.

this is the smallest canal in Amsterdam and the captain told us that every morning people just swim from this canal to the other side to go to work

This is the smallest street in Amsterdam. 'Parking is free here!' said the captain

'Why drink and drive when you can smoke and fly?' the captain said. This is one of the coffeshops where people smoke weed and eat muffins with Hash peppered on it. Drugs taking is legal here.

I sat at the wrong place where my window couldn't be opened so when I took this picture, the reflection from inside the boat can be seen. sad case. Oh btw, it was 7.45pm at that time and the sky is still quite bright.

We went home after that. Nothing much in Amsterdam to see as most of the tourist attraction were closing and Amsterdam could be dangerous at night.

Tired after whole day of walking.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Miniature Village

Miniature Village

Miniature Village wasn't in our plan but we came across it unexpectedly when we were at a tourist information point and we saw a voucher which said 25% off for the entry fee to the miniature village.

Even it was quite a long walk to the miniature village (as we have to save on transport), it was worth it.

entrance fee after 25% discount. Fortunately we saw that voucher

where's Malaysia??

an overview of the miniature village

aiks, I dunno the name of this building

behind me is the De Valk flour mill which was used to ground corn to flour for 200 yrs

they even have MAS and SIA here!

some people would definitely think that I'm weird, sitting in the middle of the bridge

it also happened that there was a magic zoo exhibition going on in Madurodam. So we also visited it. The magic zoo (dunno why is it called magic) is an exhibition of ice sculptures. But pity the animals are sculpted using dry ice instead of the real ice. I would prefer to go to the ice hotel in Sweden where the hotel is built from snow.

The temperature in the zoo was maintained at -11 celcius and I thought the temperature was ok but it turned out I was wrong. When I got out from the zoo, my fingers were numb.

at the entrance of the zoo

in one of the igloos...i was starting to feel the cold

me sitting on a tortoise...haha

Keukenhof Garden

Keukenhof Garden:

the combination of the daycard and the bus trip there cost us 18 euros each. damn expensive

This website could give u all the basic information about the garden.

But from what I saw and experienced in the garden, let me sum it all up in words and pictures about the use of Keukenhof Garden

In Keukenhof Garden,

1. the main thing of course is to look at the flowers
there are orchids too!

2. but to some avid photographers, this is a nice place to take close-up of flowers

lol...taken without me noticing..and btw, I'm not an avid photographer

Tulips - the national flower of Holland

3. well, for some people who appreciate art, there are many artistic exhibits around the park

4. it's a good place to buy flowers too. They have many flowers seeds, bulbs and full-grown flowers for sale

5. It's a good place to propose for a marriage too! haha. I read the brochure that says that at least a marriage proposal was made everyday at the Brides Lane in Keukenhof.
picture source. I didn't take any photo of the Brides Lane as I didn't know about its existence only until after I returned home

6. You can also play chess in the garden
I still prefer the smaller version one

7. It's a good place for companies to do publicity too!
Ikea promoting their name in Keukenhof

Ikea and their cool waterbucket design

8. For people who have never seen a goat or donkey or ram before, you can see these animals in Keukenhof
mr donkey

the horns are intimidating! I don't dare go near

9. A good place to sleep and relax!

sleeping time! haha

the girl managed to get on top with the help of her father

10. and also a good place to meditate..haha!

Last but not least...

11. it's a good place for bloggers like me to put up some photos with their silly pose to entertain their
dancing with the statue

Thursday, March 29, 2007

highlights of the trip

Jz wana finish blogging about my Holland trip then I can do my other work

Let me first start by giving a brief introduction about Holland.

Netherlands aka Holland is aptly named as it means low (Neder) lands in Dutch. It's called that because about one-third of the country is below sea level. Dikes and dunes were built extensively to prevent the flooding in the country. I was suddenly reminded by my mum of a story which I heard long time ago about a little boy who sticked his thumb into a hole in a wall and that saved the whole village from flooding.

I only planned to visit a few places in Holland which included the famous spring garden Keukenhof Garden which opens for only 2 months every year and charge expensive entrance fee, the sex museum which I only heard about it before I left for Holland, the Red Light District in Amsterdam and the Chinese restaurant Hoi Tin which Steph (and the book) said serves very good dishes.

But it turned out that I visited a few other unexpected places which put a made my Holland trip a nice and enjoyable one.

When I was young, I used to help my sister cut up paper figures in magazines (she used to have a rather weird hobby of using the paper figures to replace the barbie dolls). The magazines ( the good old days 'Wings of Gold' and now 'Going Places') which my parents brought back from the airlines unfortunately became our victims.

I remembered coming across many picturesque pictures of a garden with long arrays of all kinds of flowers and I used to marvel at how beautiful the place was and hoped to visit there someday.

I also remembered when I was young, I had to wait for hours for my parents to pick me up so I used to read 星星周刊 (some sort of Sin Chew's weekly publication for primary school students). I read about the miniature village and was amazed at how small the buildings were. But when I saw that the miniature village was in Holland my heart dropped as I thought I would never have the chance to visit it.

Fast forward a few years later when I was in secondary school, I read a newspaper article of a body exhibition which was held in Singapore. The exhibition was about bodies which were very well dissected using modern technology thus revealing even to the very finest detail of every blood vessels. As I have always been interested in the human body I had always wanted to visit the exhibition but I knew that I would never have the chance as the likelihood of the body exhibition to come to Miri (which is a small town) is very small.

Those were my childhood dreams and somehow as I grew up and became busy with course work I have forgotten about them.

But when I was in Holland, I had the chance to visit them! Keukenhof garden was planned but the miniature village and the body exhibition was rather unexpectedly.

As there are many pictures which I took for each trip, for the following few days, I shall post an entry each day on each trip which I went to in Holland.

Architecture in Netherlands

The buildings in Holland are very unique

People can live...

on land

or on water

floating houses completely supplied with water and electricity. Only rich people can afford to stay in these

In Holland, the Dutch have...

very ancient buildings

to very modern buildings

They also have buildings...

which lean to the left

and which lean forward

*This is due to the fact that the old buildings in Holland were made on wooden pillars so when these wood rot, the buildings foundation become unstable thus making them lean in a certain direction

Some buildings have weird designs too...

buildings with weird windows

made of glass
completely glass made dunno-what-is-that in the middle of the park

They also have buildings of various shapes...

They have triangular buildings (???)

multi-coloured round buildings
this building reminds me of a snake

half-cylindrical shape buildings
Amsterdam central station

and rectangular-shape buildings
most buildings in Holland are like this

Buildings with sizes that range from humongous to downright small

XL-sized buildings

L-sized buildings

M-sized buildings

S-sized buildings
small shop...I think just half the size of my bedroom

XS-sized buildings
the smallest building in Amsterdam!

XXS-sized buildings - the smallest buildings ever!
taken in the the famous miniature village in Madurodam, Holland

the buildings in Holland are special aren't they? =)