Saturday, May 14, 2016

Europe Trip - The Red Light District of Amsterdam

Maybe buying tickets with no seat reservation was a huge fault. We ended up struggling with our luggage and minimum energy inside the train which was very packed, maybe the most crowded one that we took through out the journey. 

Most of the seats were taken by people with seat reservations, we could find seat here and there but we could not stick together. In the end, we were separated and so were our stuffs. It was quite a tiring 3-hour ride, but yeah, we reached Amsterdam in the end!

Amsterdam Centraal Station is huge and integrated with the metro station. In front of the station there are a few tram stops and bus stops. It is the heart of the city. Upon arriving, we brought a metro-tram-bus pass for 4 days cost EUR 20.5 (~SGD 33) per person. Even until the last day of our stay, we did not know that the pass did not cover the train. 

We then took the train to Sloterdijk Station where our aparthotel was located. We got an apartment hotel near Sloterdijk Station, just 1 train stop away from Centraal Station. On the map, it looked near to the station. However, the actual condition was not that ideal. The wind was strong like hell and we needed to roll our luggage to the next block crossing the road. We were almost blown by the wind while walking. It was such a scene! When we settled down in the hotel, only we know that the wind speed was about 40 km/h that time. Oh Gosh, lucky we did not get blown away by the wind and landed somewhere else.

We took some rest and then made our way to the Red Light District of Amsterdam.

Amsterdam Red Light District is located at the Centruum, a short walk from Amsterdam Centraal Station. The area is actually called de Wallen whereby rows of shophouses in front of a small canal are actually brothel, sex shops, sex museums, peep shows, bars, gay bars, etc. And the most unique attribute of Amsterdam Red Light District is the prostitutes being displayed in the windows.

Prostitution is not something new in Amsterdam. The Red Light District is actually a way to prevent forced and illegal prostitution. Prostitutes in Amsterdam have their own union, frequent testing and standard monitoring. This is a profession!

Amsterdam Red Light District was there since the fourteenth century and now prostitution is legal in Netherlands.  However, only EU residents can have this occupation since no working permit will be given.

The Red Light District, still sleeping 
One of the window
One of the shop

The later it is, the more people will flock this area. We walked past and found many 'live mannequin' selling themselves: some were young, some were old, some were skinny, some were not so skinny, many kinds, many forms. We saw some ongoing transactions and we saw some closed curtains. However we did not take any picture because it's not allowed for the privacy of everybody transacting in the area.

I guess this is another face of Amsterdam which shows the openness and the respect towards all people. 

We closed our day and got back to the hotel after a simple dinner in Amsterdam Centraal Station. Most of the restaurants were not opened because Monday after Easter Sunday was a public holiday.

Love is in the air,
Little Feet

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