Hocker. Marijuana. That's the image of Amsterdam for most people, including me before I stopped as a backpacker few years back. And I like it, not for the sex nor the drug. The under-sea-level city has its own charms. I guess.
When I have 5 hours transit time in Schiphol Airport, heading to the city is the best thing I can think of. In other words I was praying for a smooth flight from Osaka, for not affecting my plan.
Flight landed on time, confirmed my connecting flight, convinced the immigration officer that I can come back on time. Spent some time to get a ticketing machine which take coins, make sure I'm on the right platform. 10 mins later, I was in the world of canal again.
Here is some travel trips!
There is direct train from Schiphol to Amsterdam Central, €7.10 for same-day return ticket. You can purchase the ticket through the ticketing machine but I only found one that's take coins. Others take credit & debit cards. You also can buy the ticket from the counter, but the queue is long and according to wikitravel, you need to pay extra €0.50.
I don't have any plan for Amsterdam. I don't even have any map in my hand. I followed the crowd. My memory was my guide. One turn, I was at the China town, where I had had the 2nd best Chinese beside London. And another turn I ended up at the red light district, where girls in lingeries waving hands at you in their very own glass cubicle. Another turn, I bump into a flea market right in-front of a church.
I spent the whole 2 hours wondering around the street, crossing bridge after bridge, taking pictures, and while I was tired, I took a seat next to the canal, put aside the camera and enjoy the scenery with my own eyes. Travel without any plan, without any must see attraction was surprisingly joyful and relaxing. Like always, time flies in happy moments, it turned dark then only I realized I don't have much time left. Grabbed a french loaf tomato sandwich, jumped into the train and I'm leaving this beautiful city behind again.