Quick Overview - Paris, Amsterdam and Istanbul

Before I really start dissecting on my Paris - Amsterdam - Istanbul trip, I've decided to write an overview of each city that I could identify with. To start, I need to tell you that traveling in / to Europe is not cheap but NOT IMPOSSIBLE. I spent a total of MYR 8k inclusive of return flight, in between flights and trains, as well as accommodation and truckload of souvenirs which in my opinion is really-really cheap.

Give me a few weeks to update on my trip but for now, here's a quick run through.


While we were finalising our trip, Paris came last to mind and we were deciding between Brussels (simply because we heard really nice things about the city, it was a cross over between Netherlands and France) and London (because it's London) as well as Paris (because it's the most famous city in the world). After much consideration, we finally imagined ourselves more strolling around Champs Elysees towards the Arch de Triomphe. Eventhough we were heading to Europe (for the first time for me), this was still going to be a holiday. And it still needs to be relaxing.

We reached Paris really early in the morning, and immediately had a truly Parisien breakfast of croissant and coffees. Our first impression wasn't the brightest (I really don't want to say this) but the reception was a bit of a snob. We have had heard about French being French, but nothing like reality. I don't know whether it's completely off-track to compare Asian hospitality with European - but I couldn't help to do just that. The man behind the desk just stood there when we tried to move our bags... so I started working on my theory, that people will be nice to you... if you are nice to them first. And surprisingly, it worked by an inch. He loosen up a little bit after a few stumbles but still refused even a good morning.

After visiting Paris, and what people seem to describe it as the city of romance, I must say instead, I find it the city of history. I couldn't get my eyes off these amazing French gothic architecture that the Kings of Europe built and in fact, they are still strong and part of French's huge identity. I had no idea why anyone would want to visit Paris prior to coming to Paris, but now I know why I would. The building, the cafes, at the end of the day, Paris is Paris. The atmosphere that people pay to come to visit, it's artistic, luxurious and beautiful in short.


I never thought of visiting Amsterdam prior to this trip either. But mum was so certain that Tulips came from Holland that she told me "we must visit Amsterdam". Guys, Amsterdam is the more romantic one. Canal cruises, biking trips, stretches of tulips, sex (you'll get it), intricate cafes, smaller lanes, parks, stretches of greens, windmills, markets, I have this idea in my head that Amsterdam is a lot more tame to explore with your partner. Not only are the straats (streets) so beautiful during Spring, they're so simple and so much more relaxing.

The people could speak perfect English (a little American too) so that helped a little bit.

Maybe I preferred Amsterdam as a honeymoon / romantic spot more because of its humility. It's a huge city, with half a million bicycles around - you can just imagine strolling and biking around.

You should consider Amsterdam as a honeymoon destination.


Istanbul is like a shot of tequila after you had some long island teas. You enjoy your long islands smooth and easy, that when you come to Istanbul - bam! You get a whole dose of discovery, excitement and crazy all at once. It's so colourful, jovial and full of vibrant that you will love it by the minute.

It was such a great build up from Paris, to Amsterdam to Istanbul that I couldn't think of a more genius way to maneuver these three cities than that. The main reason we did this trip was to catch on Istanbul's tulip festival with carpets of tulips, and basically, realize mum's all time dream come true. She told us, growing up she reads a lot of English literature books and they always described Spring so lovely with the tulips around. All she ever wanted to do was to see and feel it for herself.

But little did we know this Tripadvisor 2014's city of the year Istanbul is A WHOLE LOAD MORE than just tulips. Because of it's very special location right in between the Asian and European continent, Istanbul is a melting pot of culture and history. It is also, one of the more famous trades in the world dating back as early as 330AD so they were among the oldest discovery in the world.

Istanbul is so easy to be loved.

Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.


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