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Continuing with our weekend tour of Amsterdam – which is well known for its nightlife.  Above is the largest department store (De Bijenkorf, literally the beehive in Dutch) in Dam Square, across the street is a performer swallowing flames in front of a Christmas tree and a crowd of tourists.

There are apparently lots of South American steak houses in (at least) the touristy areas of Amsterdam – mostly Argentinian. I wonder why we did not see any Dutch steak houses – after all, there must be lots of cow here given the amount of cheese the Dutch produces.

The South American influence continues … there was even a Chinese-Surinam restaurant!  I would like to have tried it but ate dinner already when we walked past the place. This place is near the beginning of Warmoesstraat.

The Chinatown of Amsterdam is central, old and inhabited mainly by Cantonese.  This restaurant Wing Kee on Zeedijk was written up by a local Chinese newspaper as an old stand-by for Chinese settlers and visitors. We had some noodles there before leaving for the airport.  The staff and ambiance definitely reminded me of those eateries that I frequented in London during my student days.

Next to Chinatown is the red light district, famous for the scantily-dressed girls who offer themselves in neon-lit windows.  Below is Casa Rosso on OZ Achterburgwal, the default safe-for-tourist erotic entertainment establishment of Amsterdam.  There seems to a crowd outside of it, the few times we walked passed.

A weird sight in the red light district is the swans and ducks that loiter in this section of the canal. Presumably, they know there are lots of visitors in this part of town at night or the water there is warmer, who knows.   But no one was feeding the swans – after all who will bring bread crumbs at night to the red light district ?

This is the entrance to the red light district, looking down Oudebrugsteeg. We stayed at the Radisson Blu in the red light district – it is on a quiet street but the location is really excellent since every thing of interest in central Amsterdam is within walking distance.

Another famous thing about Amsterdam is the coffeshop, which is not to be confused with a  cafe.  They do serve coffee but most patrons go there to consume cannabis and mushroom which are openly sold.  The varieties and accessories on display and the subculture – is unique to Amsterdam.  Below is the Greenhouse Effect coffeeshop on Warmoesstraat.

The red light district felt somewhat safe with bright neon everywhere, almost carnival-like and not seedy – despite the abundance of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll on offer.

A popular chain of late night fast food stores – Chipsy King. Haha.



  1. So nice photos!

  2. Great post, I love the ‘Dam but I’m a big fan of Rotterdam too.

    Weirdly I think that sex theatre is the one where my fella and I walked past on our first trip there and we’re approached by a guy at the door
    ‘You like? You want to join us?’
    ‘Na mate, you’re alright?’
    ‘You brother and sister? Coz that’s ok too, come on in!’

    We just giggled and politely declined.

    If we weren’t tempted too much at first all of a sudden we really weren’t! Lol!

    The last thing we wanted was to sit in a sex theatre where it was thought of as ok for a brother and sister to go to together

  3. Nice Chris, never been to Amsterdam..good to see the pics that are contemporary and beyond the stock photos of the city. Maybe the focus on S American style steakhouses is that they really import authentic Argentine beef… unlike USA (the Dutch might not be afraid of FMDV).

  4. me and my friends went to watch a sex show there. it was a bit amusing and funny, to be honest. it’s like they were just doing some dance steps, only, there was an “insertion” (as to what a friend of ours called). LOL
    great pictures btw 🙂

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