Usually, this is the period where people fly to the warmer parts of the world, especially Asia. But with the many travel restrictions to most Asian countries due to Covid, we thought we would give you some options to visit Asia without having to book a plane ticket.
If you live in the Netherlands and you are going to miss Asia this winter, indulge yourself with these Eastern hotspots that will bring you straight to Asia without having to book a flight.
Traveling to a different culture what we are craving for during this difficult time
Thai Nakara Welness & Spa, Haarlem
It’s the first thing we do when we arrive in Thailand. Getting a Thai massage. To be fair, the incredible affordable price in Thailand certainly has something to do with it, but it’s more than that. When you arrive at a good Thai massage salon or spa (find out where the best Spa’s in Amsterdam are), all your senses must feel, hear and give you that Thai experience. This is why we want to recommend Thai Nakara Welness & Spa located in Haarlem. As soon as you step inside, you feel like you are in Thailand. All the masseurs are Thai and have learned the traditional Thai massage methods back in Thailand. If this massage is a bit too tough for you, you can also book a hot stone massage, relaxing massage or foot massage. That last one is my favourite and they have two big comfortable chairs available to pamper your feet. thai-nakara-haarlem
Find out where you can find the BEST SPA’S in AMSTERDAM!
Japanese Staycation at Hotel Okura, Amsterdam
Travel to Japan by staying at Hotel Okura in Amsterdam! You can now book an exclusive STAYCATION at Hotel Okura which includes in room dining, breakfast, parking and an origami & chopstick workshop! You can use all the facilities such as the swimming pool and best of all, you can check-in from 10AM and check-out at 5PM the next day! (And if you are lucky, you will receive an upgrade!) Staying in luxury hotels has never been so much fun (and now is the time guys!)
Did you know Hotel Okura also offers a Japanese HIGH TEA?
Order a Chinese Hot Pot at home!
During the pandemic, restaurants closed for months at the time, so take-out had become immense popular. We’ve all ordered Thai food or sushi before but have you heard of a Hot Pot? Basically, it’s a Chinese fondue where you cook your ingredients in a tasty broth. This new eating concept is now extremely popular the Netherlands and brings many yummy flavours on the table. We had to try this so ordered at Hot & Hot in Amsterdam. You can pick several broths but we tried the spicy and vegetarian mushroom broth. Next to this, you order vegetables, fish or meat on the side. Furthermore, they also serve the most amazing bubble tea’s! While we are still being patient until we can travel to Asia, enjoying exotic food can be seen as a journey to a different culture! Order your Hotpot here! (they deliver across the Netherlands during the lockdown)
Dine at Miyaki & Jones, Arnhem, Utrecht, Haarlem
They just opened their latest location in Haarlem, and then Corona happened. Luckily, their delivery service was a big hit and now that they have re-opened all their restaurants (in Utrecht, Arnhem, Haarlem), it’s back to A-fusion business. At Miyaki & Jones you can enjoy a variety of Asian dishes with a Western twist. You can order a la carte but they have a nice deal where you order a three-course menu that includes 2 dishes per person if you share with a friend. Our favourite dishes to choose from are the crispy mango salad, spicy jacked shrimp or the peking duck crepes. On the menu are also innovating cocktails that include rose petals or dry ice for that extra experience. We tested the Haarlem location and wow, this building is something. Luckily, this location has two floors which means they can easily and safely fit in the Covid-maximum amount of guests. At the moment they work in two time slots for dinner. Visit the website for more info. miyagiandjones.nl
Check out our FAVOURITE THAI ISLAND in the world!
Taste Vietnam at ĂnĂn, Utrecht
Walking into ĂnĂn, you are instantly hit with the smells and colours of a busy side street in Saigon… or in this case, Utrecht! The vibe is alive and the place is dotted with wait staff running between tables and the kitchen carrying steaming little plates of mouth-watering Vietnamese treats. On top of the tables are typical of what you would find in a local Vietnamese eatery – colourful plastic trays filled with sauces, chop sticks and napkins. The bamboo chairs are also in style and the creased paper menu completes the ambiance. We rest our case when you taste the food, delish. Dishes have been created to share – a traditional Asian concept, so you typically order around 6 different dishes. If you have never been to Vietnam, get the vibe here. More on ĂnĂn here.
Visit an Asian Supermarket!
Fortunately, The Netherlands has a melting pot of different Asian cultures. This results in many Asian supermarkets and Toko’s. The supermarket with the biggest variety in food and kitchenware is without question Amazing Oriental. With 20 (!) locations across the Netherlands, it is safe to say they are also the biggest. We go here to shop for frozen dumplings, fresh coconuts, bags full of Asian sweets and exotic vegetables. We can shop here for hours on end! amazingoriental.com
Visit an Indonesian Pasar Malam
For those that are not familiar with a Pasar Malam, this means “Indonesian Night Market”. In the Netherlands you can find these events all over the country. However, here they are also hosted during the daytime. Typically, you shop here for Indonesian food, clothes, lifestyle brands but also listen to music or dance. Unfortunately, many Pasar Malam event have been cancelled or moved due to Corona, but keep an eye out on this website for future dates!
There you have it, a nearby trip to Asia! It may not be the exact same thing, but hey, we need to get through this pandemic right!