What you Missed in 3 Tage Marburg!

I have been living in Marburg for about three years, and it’s only now that I have realized that this city is such a hidden gem!

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Situated in Hessen, the city is approximately one hour away from Frankfurt. The place may be associated with the Grimm brothers, who popularized various fairytales such as Hansel and Gretel, Rapunzel, and Snow White. Even before they were famous for these tales, they were just ordinary students who took law in Marburg. The city is also famous because of its linkage to Protestant Reformation.

Besides its rich history and cultural traditions, I think the city has a lot more to offer today. One great way to know more about it is through attending one of its most festive celebrations which is “3 Tage Marburg” (3 Days Marburg).

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This event was held from July 7 to 9. 3 Tage Marburg can be seen as a good opportunity for different people living within and outside the city to take a break out of their own daily work or academic routine and enjoy summer through a diverse range of activities which were spread all throughout the city center.

Shopping

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Normally, shops are closed in Germany every Sunday. Though this time, almost all business establishments in Marburg were opened for that event and most of them offered huge discounts to all their products and services. There were also raffle draws which aimed to give away interesting prizes like vouchers, free tickets, and the grandest is a new car.

After shopping, eating and drinking might be the best option to beat the summer heat.  There were a lot of food/ drink stalls which offered cold cocktails, beer, wine, soda, warm sausages, fries, and other finger food.

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My main favorite was the Hungarian food specialty named Langos, which is made of flatbread and one can choose from different toppings like cheese, salami, and ham which can be paired with any sauce of one’s choice. The price starts at 4 Euros, and 50 cents or 1 Euro will be added based on the topping.

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The best company for me who went out of their way for good advertising and  public relation is dm. I really loved how they used their trucks to strengthen their products and services. I was greeted by friendly, accommodating, and courteous staff from their dm-Foto-Truck. They explained their products/services and gave me complimentary pictures, personalized shower gel, and other stickers. Aside from the freebies and marketing/advertising collaterals, I think the dm staff did a pretty good job in patiently explaining to us customers why the product is important to our personal lifestyle. Their customer service was superb on that event! That effective communication made the brand even stronger for me.

Sports

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I just observed that people tend to do more outdoor activities, especially in summer. In 3 Tage Marburg,  sports competitions like Dragon boat and boxing were also part of the program. Since I am from a country which is definitely in love with boxing, I had a really great time watching the match live. The anticipation, punches, and hits were definitely intense!

Dance

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I am taking Hip Hop classes this semester and  I was lucky to see some of my instructors performed with their other students. I just noticed that dancing is not just about the skill or technique, but it is also definitely how one enjoy his or her performance. I was really happy and surprised to see that even little kids did breakdance really well!

Music

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A festival wouldn’t be complete without music.  Different local and international performers were invited to showcase their singing and musical prowess. The stage located in the Marktplatz really added a whole new vibe/ ambiance as the festival-goers sat, drank or ate.

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However, I really loved the performances in Steinweg because of the intimate ambiance, and the music genre as well. The soul and passion of each musician were really felt.

Karaoke

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When I knew that there will be a Karaoke  Show in the program, I made sure to go there. Little did I know that I will be a part of the show. I was spontaneously asked to go on stage, and  I just tried to have fun and entertain people. I knew that my performance was “super far from perfect,”  but just to see the audience smiling and clapping with me was really priceless. I also learned a lot from all the people who joined the contest.

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I think that 3 Tage Marburg has initiated a certain atmosphere where openness, respect, and creativity exist. Different people from various locations, ethnicities, and even cultural backgrounds can gather together, have fun, and celebrate and I believe that this is the special charm that people will always find in Marburg.

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Hong Kong

If you want to shop like you’re in Thailand, visit Mickey and the rest of the gang in Disneyland or just enjoy mouthwatering dishes, then Hong Kong should be definitely your next adventure.

It’s ideal to be in Hong Kong around December to February since you will really enjoy the cold weather especially if you’re living in a tropical country here in Southeast Asia. Last January 2013, I got the chance to visit this lovely city.
There are numerous airlines that offer affordable flights to Hong Kong.
For the transportation within the city, I never took a cab since they have a good  train system as well as there are also buses from the airport to the city. Just make sure that you purchase an Octopus Card upon your arrival in the airport. You can use this card in their public transportation.

Do you want a cozy and affordable  place for accommodation?

Please do note that any accommodation in Hong Kong is really costly. Ms. Rainbow from OiSuen Guesthouse is really nice and friendly. She offered a lot of tips on how to reach various tourist destinations and how to deal with locals especially if you want to shop in the night markets. OiSuen Guesthouse rooms are quite affordable as well as they have indeed good service (room cleaning, assistance etc). Discounted tickets may also be purchased in the hostel. After a tiring day, it was nice to have a chat with Ms Rainbow about my experiences and she also shared some unforgettable  memories of  other tourists. Staying there is an enriching experience.
Here are some of the places that you shouldn’t miss:
Ocean Park

You can do a lot of things here, that’s for sure. You can go to there magnificent aquarium, visit other animal sanctuaries, try their park rides, play games, shop for souvenirs  or  watch shows. I really like here because your ticket is really worth it!

 

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Disneyland
If you’re a child at heart then  you  really belong in this place.When I saw Mickey Mouse or just even the palace, the magic and  excitement  just came back to me. Indeed, Disneyland will bring you back to the time when you believe that fairies and happy ever after do exist.
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Avenue of Stars/ Symphony of Lights
When I watched the Symphony of Lights, my first reaction was “how did they do that?” Synchronizing the lights of every building is quite tough but then they pulled it off. After the show, I  strolled  along the Avenue of Stars where you can discover Hong Kong’s film history and stars.
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Big Buddha
When I went to the Big Buddha, I rode this Crystal Cable Car (If you are adventurous, then try this!) It has a glass flooring which let you see the scenery. For the Big Buddha, I felt  peace while we were there on the top. You can also visit the temples nearby if you want to commune with nature and reflect.
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Night Markets (Ladies Market)
Just a tip, try to bargain  for the lowest price then if  they can’t give your demands then look for another stall which has the same product that you want. You can see a lot of merchandise along the streets and  a good way to get the most affordable price is to look around first then bargain 🙂
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Food in Hong Kong
In a cold winter, all you need is a hot noodle soup 🙂
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Sidetrip:
Once you are in Hong Kong, you can also take a short day trip to Macau. There you can see Saint Paul Ruins, Casinos and the heavenly, egg tarts.
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Freedom in Amsterdam

Traveling in Netherlands is indeed expensive, but it’s worth it.

You have been warned that you need to spend some money in Netherlands, especially in Amsterdam, since their cost of living is relatively high compared to other European countries.

On the other hand, why worry in spending much if you can have one of the best days of your life here? Here are some of my recommended activities in Amsterdam!

Ride a Bike

Once you set foot in the city, you will be surprised that bicycles dominate their modes of transportation. For us, we’ve tried tandem bike. The person who will be riding in front should definitely control the direction and balance, while the other person will just support peddling at the back. I can say that it can also be considered as a good partner activity, since it will really develop good communication (since the one in front should say when to stop so that the other can stop peddling) and trust.

It pays literally to look left or right before you cross the street. You also need to be aware that there are bike lanes, tram rails as well as pedestrian lanes so be mindful of these demarcations to avoid accidents.

To have a safe and definitely relaxing bike ride, go to Vondelpark near Rijksmuseum. Or if you also want a different kind of biking experience try Canal Bike!

Eat!!!

Well, Amsterdam’s Stroop waffles, Apple Strudel with Cream and Dutch fries are really worth a try. If you are looking for some other dishes, you may also opt to eat affordable Asian dishes in Yu Family Kitchen. For alcohol lovers, Dutch Beers should be on your list. I find it refreshing and there’s a balance of sweetness and bitterness (well, it still depends on what kind of beer you order).

Here’s a major tip! Usually, normal meals in Amsterdam range from 8 to 10 Euros. But don’t worry, you can still find affordable meals by just spending your precious 1 Euro. Where is it? It’s in HEMA, a one-stop shop which can be found on Nieuwendijk 174-176. The mall opens at 9am and their 1 Euro breakfast is available until 10am. For the 1 Euro snack, it’s usually available starting 4pm.

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Stroop Waffle: Hot Dutch Waffle

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Mayo and Dutch Fries

 

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Brouwerij’t IJ Beers

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Shrimp and Vegetables in Oyster Sauce at Yu Family Kitchen

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HEMA’s Apple Strudel and Cheesecake

 

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Hema’s 1 Euro Merienda/ Snack: 1 cake and 1 coffee (We can’t get enough so we buy more cakes!)

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Hema’s famous 1 Euro Breakfast!!!! We just add some cents for the pancakes and bacon.

Visit their Museums

I love how Amsterdam embraces art and their rich cultural history. Various artworks from renowned artists like Rembrandt and Van Gogh can be seen in Rijksmuseum. They also have free app which you can access through the museum’s wifi connection. Using the app,  you can hear additional details about different artworks inside the museum. One trend that I noticed among all the artworks by Dutch artists is that they mainly focus on themes about their daily lives. As a normal museum visitor, I find it relatable and easy to understand. You can also find a cozy library where you can read books inside the museum.

We also visited two unusual museums that may not be common in other countries. Visiting The Hash Marihuana and Hemp Museum is really an eye opener, because through their free audio guide, I better understand the pros and cons of legalizing and using Marihuana. Second, the Sex Museum provides a collection of various materials which were forbidden to see back when we were just minors. I think they can still improve the museum using  modern technology such as videos, audio guides etc.

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The Night Watch by Rembrandt can also be found inside Rijksmuseum.

 

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Two Mothers by Frans Stracke (1893): This sculpture shows the life of a fisherman’s wife with 2 fishes in her pouch showing that they also have impoverished life at that time

 

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Library inside Rijksmuseum. How I wish I can just seat here all day just reading books!

 

 

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Rijksmuseum’s park

 

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These are some various ways on how Marijuana has been smuggled in the past. You can learn more about all the issues connected to Marijuana in Hash Marihuana and Hemp Museum.

 

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Stop and Smell the Flowers

If you are in Netherlands during the period between March to May, please visit Keukenhof. Not just for nature lovers, I find the park very relaxing and  a perfect place to rejuvenate and unwind. Though, if you want to see all flowers in full bloom, then I think it’s good to visit at the end of April or first week of May.

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Keukenhof’s Flowers in Willem-Alexander

 

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Keukenhof’s Flowers Outdoor

 

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Vincent Van Gogh Exhibition in Keukenhof: Paintings and Flowers

 

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Stylish Flower Arrangements

 

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Take a peek in Amsterdam by Night

Dubbed as the “sin city”, Amsterdam offers  unwavering freedom to its tourists. The Red Light District is somehow famous for its window prostitutes. All day and night, people can also buy Marijuana (joint, space cakes etc) in coffee shops. Though, it’s still up to the tourists to be responsible while enjoying these “sorts of freedom”.

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Red Light District

 

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Coffeeshop

 

Where to stay?

Eat, Play and Sleep in The Student Hotel. They really have friendly staff so if you have any questions, they will be very happy to help you. Their Kitchen offers various meals from breakfast to dinner. If you want to unwind after a busy tour, then you can also play table tennis or billiards here. Your money is definitely worth the comfort that you’ll be experiencing here.

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Don’t forget to visit other tourist attractions!

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Anne Frank House. The line is really long so it’s recommended to book your ticket online or go there early in the morning.

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St. Nicholas Basilica

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Dutch Houses

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Windmill

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Royal Palace

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