Amsterdam’s Only Tourist Boat Ferry To Pampus and Castle Muiderslot

•August 15, 2012 • Leave a Comment

If you have more than a short stay in Amsterdam, or are a returning visitor who has already seen the major in-town sights, or you are one of those people who like to do something that your friends back home will say, “Wow, I didn’t know that was possible!” then you’re going to want to know about this unusual opportunity to visit some of our historical spots in a way that most foreign tourists never will. If you want the story just in pictures, please scroll right down till you hit them. I don’t mind 🙂


Only when you go visit Muiderslot by boat excursion can you enjoy such beautiful unspoiled views of this amazing medieval castle. Prepare to disembark maties!

Muiderslot is a place that many foreign tourists do get to while Pampus is a place that hardly any foreign visitor will even know about. In the case of Pampus, it is sadly so poorly marketed to foreign tourists that I could only find one decent English language page from Iamsterdam.


Both places are really worthy of a visit and now there’s even a better reason to plan a visit to one of these places – Amsterdam Boat Excursions – and that’s what I want to bring to your attention.

Its now been possible for quite a while I discovered to take a lovely and relaxing open water cruise from Amsterdam’s stunning and newest nautical neighborhood called Ijburg to either Pampus or Muiderslot. And that’s just what I did today to test it out. Here are some details and following that there’s a bunch of pictures I took today so you can know what to expect.


The boat ferry runs Tuesdays thru Sundays from April 1 – October 31 with the high season of May 1 – September 30 enjoying more daily departures (see timetable). The two guys who run this venture (and many other nautical activities with their company Rederij het Ij) are experienced, hands-on, enthusiastic, friendly, knowledgeable and dedicated nautical professionals.

The boat left its berth at Ijburg marina (see Google maps) across from the great cafe restaurant NAP precisely at 11 AM with about 40 persons on board. This morning it was mostly families with young kids heading for Pampus plus me and two grandparents with their two grandkids heading for Castle Muiderslot. The boat sails a circular route – first 50 minutes to drop off the Pampus passengers and then another 20 minutes to deposit the castle goers at a dedicated pier right behind the castle (which beats the very long walk for those tourists coming by land-bound public transportation). And at the appointed time, about 2.5 hours later, there they were to pick us up at the castle, after having first picked up the folks at Pampus, for the 30 minute trip back to Amsterdam.


For all the information on this fun and unusual way to get to Pampus or Muiderslot, check out their website!!! So enough talking, here’s the pictures from the next page…

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Give and You Shall Receive – Revisited

•March 7, 2011 • 1 Comment

This is something I wrote four years ago after my first visit to Cambodia. What I didn’t know then, was that this visit, and in particular this day, was going to be a life-changing experience for me.

When I first decided to visit Cambodia it was to fulfill a long-standing wish to experience the Khmer ruins of Angkor Wat. I imagined the wonder and bewonderment of seeing such ancient and exotic temples. I imagined the magic of the jungle setting, especially of those temples that are still half overgrown by majestic trees. I imagined a near-spiritual experience and not just a run-of-the-mill week of travel to a new destination. What I didn’t know is I hadn’t imagined the half of it.

As I was searching the internet for accommodations I came across the Shinta Mani hotel. Although I would end up not staying there, this hotel was going to give my visit to Siem Reap and Angkor Wat quite an unexpected focus. The hotel appeared to be a very nice boutique hotel with spa but as I continued to read I discovered that Shinta Mani was quite a bit more than that.

Shinta Mani is Sanscript for

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My Very First Impressions of Cambodia – Revisited

•March 7, 2011 • Leave a Comment

This was written four years ago after my first visit to Cambodia. I thought it may be interesting for other travellers to republish this timeless piece here. It was written four days after leaving Siem Reap and the flood of impressions I had and emotions I experienced were just beginning to settle. Here are my first impressions of Cambodia and general introduction.

Although Cambodia has begun to experience growth in tourism, primarily in Siem Reap, the tourist base for the famous Angkor Wat temples, and also inSiemreapbetweendevland Phnom Penh, the country is still largely rural and extremely poor. Siem ReapGbboutique_06 with all its restaurants, day spas, guest houses and hotels, many of them very nice, is still very much a chaotic, dusty and in many ways 3rd world place. The development of the tourism infrastructure and tourism based economy has begun to plant the seeds for a modest middle class but has not yet spread much beyond the city limits. It is only now beginning to reach into the indigenous urban population. In the Siem Reap tourism sector

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Fun Fair, Pizza and Ice Cream

•November 9, 2010 • 5 Comments

For 'smile-view' click to enlarge 🙂

Last night after hanging out a bit at Savuth’s house we decided to head out to the local Siem Reap fun fair. Seeing the pure joy of a kid during a rare visit to a fun fair has got to be one of life’s better and more simple pleasures.

Siem Reap fun fair

The picture doesn’t do it justice as it was a pretty major affair. Lots of rides, plenty of food stalls and dozens if not hundreds of stalls selling everything from shoes to handbags to household accessories and more.

Let's do it again!

The rides are  quite simple, unsophisticated and would never qualify for liability insurance in the west but that does not have any negative impact on the joy and fun-factor for the kids. In some ways, the simple nature of it all creates a powerful back to basics type of pure fun that we no longer experience or perhaps appreciate with our high-tech, high-polish, super-sized lifestyle.

It was also a bit funny watching them initially struggle to eat their first-ever pizza slices with a plastic fork and knife

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Fellowship of the Food

•November 7, 2010 • 8 Comments

Whenever I come visit Cambodia, some of my friends back home collect a bit of money to support one of the projects here that is near and dear to my heart. This year I used the money to help a small, independent and fantastic charity I have known here since 2007 called the Ponheary Ly Foundation. For some more info about them you can check out the bit I wrote last year when visiting: “Education is the Sweetest Revenge.”

We earmarked the money to provide a hot lunch to the nearly 200 primary school students of the very rural and very poor Koh Ker community. This is a school that is pretty much run by the Ponheary Ly Foundation since 2006. Koh Ker is the site of the ruins of one of the capital cities of the ancient Angkor empire. Due to its 100 km distance from Siem Reap, the tourist town serving the main temples of Angkor Wat, it gets almost no tourists and enjoys no development.

Part II

Koh Ker village was established in 1979 after the Vietnamese drove the Khmer Rouge from power. This part of northern Cambodia was one of the Khmer Rouge’s last holdouts. When established, the village became home to transient war victims: returning refugees who had fled to the northern border with Thailand, those who had survived wandering in the area’s jungles for several years or people who were lucky enough to outlive their torturous Khmer Rouge servitude.

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Random Thoughts Between Malaysia and Laos

•October 27, 2010 • 2 Comments

When your mind has nothing in particular to do, the space is created for random images to generate random thoughts. Is that necessarily a good thing? I don’t know. You can be the judge of that. But it works for me….

I guess although ‘retired’ from the biz, my ad man’s eye still catches a good ad strategy and media buy when I see one. Imagine, you have just checked in for your discount airline AirAsia flight at the off-site dedicated Low Cost Carrier Terminal at Kuala Lumpur’s International Airport. As you’re waiting in an atmosphere that can best be described as organized (for the most part) chaos, you see this huge wall poster from Malaysia Airlines, one of the world’s best airlines, who doesn’t even fly from this terminal. But who does offer everything you are about to do without or have had to pay extra for. I should have done an impromptu market research to see how many people noticed the poster and how many are going to consider trading up to Malaysia Airlines the next time they have to fly.

After 55 years of living and 44 years of flying

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37,000 feet above Afghanistan

•October 25, 2010 • Leave a Comment

On the way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

(Thinking of visiting the temples of Angkor Wat? Don’t forget to check out my friend Savuth’s tuk tuk services and all the handy information available on our website Angkortuktuk).

Smaller and smaller

•October 23, 2010 • 3 Comments

When I told one of my friends that I have three flights on three consecutive days before I get to my final destination, Luang Prabang in northern Laos, he commented, “Yeah, and the planes must get smaller and smaller.” He was right… Here’s to relative scale a KLM 777 (Amsterdam – Kuala Lumpur), an AirAsia Airbus 320 (Kuala Lumpur – Vientiane) and a Lao Airlines ATR-72 (Vientiane, Laos – Luang Prabang, Laos). Luckily I’m not going any further. Otherwise it would have been by longboat (which is kind of true). Heart of Darkness anyone?

Here we go again!

•October 22, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Getting really psyched for my next trip to the places and people I love so much!

The initial itinerary looks like this:

Oct 24 fly to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; overnight at airport
Oct 26 fly to Vientiane, Laos; overnight there
Oct 27 fly to Luang Prabang, Laos
Nov 1 fly to Siem Reap, Cambodia
Nov 12 ten – twelve hours by road to Kep, Cambodia
Nov 17 fly to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Nov 21 fly to Amsterdam

(Thinking of visiting the temples of Angkor Wat? Don’t forget to check out my friend Savuth’s tuk tuk services and all the handy information available on our website Angkortuktuk).

See Laos with ‘See’

•August 4, 2010 • 2 Comments

In October, 2009, after spending two weeks in Siem Reap, I headed off to Luang Prabang, Laos, which was my first stop on my first visit to this beautiful and intriguing country. Because many people combine Siem Reap and Luang Prabang, I wanted to introduce you to the fantastic guide, and in the end friend, I had in Luang Prabang.

First the key details: His name is Bouasy Souliya (‘See’ for short) and he can be reached at seelaos [at] or +856-20-55872149.

Thanks to the advice and help of some fellow Tripadvisor travelers I got in touch with See

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